The compact car segment is very popular in Canada, maybe not as popular as SUV/CUV’s, but a lot of people buy these cars because of their size and fuel efficiency. However, most of these so-called compact cars have grown in size over the years and now they’re classified as mid-size.
There is a lot of competition in this segment, with great cars like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra, Chevy Cruise, VW Jetta, and the Hyundai Elantra (I’m probably forgetting a car or two).
The newest cars in this segment are the Civic and the Elantra, some of the other cars the Elantra is competing against are a bit old. The two well established cars in this segment are the Corolla and Civic, but the Elantra has been giving them a good run for their money. With the introduction of the sixth generation Hyundai Elantra earlier this year, the Elantra should be able to close the gap to at least the Toyota Corolla.
In Canada, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra is offered in seven trim levels and is currently only offered as a sedan, I’m not sure whether Hyundai will offer a hatchback on the sixth generation Elantra. Below is a list of trims and starting prices.
|Elantra L||6-Speed Manual||$15,999|
|Elantra LE||6-Speed Auto||$18,499|
|Elantra GL||6-Speed Auto||$20,349|
|Elantra GLS||6-Speed Auto||$22,699|
|Elantra Limited||6-Speed Auto||$26,249|
|Elantra Ultimate||6-Speed Auto||$28,799|
Our review car for the week was the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited.
All 2017 Hyundai Elantra trims come with 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engines, producing 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 132 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual (offered only on the base “L”) trim or 6-speed automatic transmission. According to Natural Resources Canada’s fuel consumption ratings, 6-speed manual equipped Elantras should consume 9.1/6.6/8.0 Liters/100 km in city/highway/combined driving. Cars equipped with the automatic transmission should consume 8.3/6.4/7.4 L/100 km. Our week long review netted us 8.2 L/100 km in 75/25 city/highway driving, according to the on-board computer. I was also mostly driving in “Eco” mode.
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra may not be the most powerful car in its segment, but it does the job well. There’s more than enough power for what this car will mostly be used for, which is to commute to and from work, take the kids to practices, drive to groceries stores etc.
The engine produces enough power for normal city/highway driving and it does give you the option to change throttle response in the form of three driving modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport. These modes do change the way the car drives, in Eco, you’ll be saving the most fuel but you’ll get slower throttle response. In the Sport mode, the throttle response is sharper, the steering feels is heavier, and gears are held much longer, giving the car a much more sportier feel and the Elantra does become a bit fun to drive.
The ride quality on the Elantra is on the softer side, other cars such as the Focus, Mazda3, and even the new Civic have much more sportier rides. The steering feels is very numb, I couldn’t really feel what the wheels were doing.
The 6th generation Hyundai Elantra receives all-new styling, featuring a sleek new front end that looks sporty and is very aerodynamic. Personally, I’m a fan of the new look of the Elantra, I think it looks great and gives the car a premium look.
The front now features a hexagonal grill, giving the car a resemblance to other vehicles in Hyundai’s lineup. The Elantra comes with vertical LED daytime running lights and is available Adaptive HID headlights, which turn with the direction of the wheels. The front fascia also features vents that allow air to pass through the front bumper, reducing drag. At the back, there’s a rear deck lid integrated into the trunk that kicks up at the back, which is one of my favorite design elements on this car. This little deck lid really gives the Elantra a sporty look, in my opinion.
The Elantra Limited also comes with LED door-handle approach lights, which light up as you get near the vehicle. The Elantra is equipped with hands-free trunk release, which opens the trunk when you stand behind the trunk with the key-fob in your pocket, this is a great feature for when your hands are full and you need the trunk open. The Elantra also comes with LED side mirrors turn signals and LED taillights.
The overall length of the 2017 Elantra sedan has grown by 20 mm compared to the 2016 model, it’s also wider and taller by 5 mm, the wheelbase remains the same at 2,700 mm.
The interior on the 2017 Elantra also sees major changes compared to the 5th generation car, with a more elegant and European looking layout; the interior on the Elantra is very similar to the Sonata. I personally think the new interior layout is much nicer, have a look at our review of the 2015 Elantra for comparison.
The interior layout is very simple and easy to understand, with a clutter-free approach. The interior is dominated by a large touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard, the touchscreen is pretty responsive and has crisp graphics. The resolution is about the same as the 2016 Sonata I reviewed last week, I did complain about the rear camera’s resolution on the Sonata, however that was a $40k+ car, I think the rear camera’s picture resolution is acceptable on the Elantra due to its lower price. The gauge cluster consists of a tachometer and a speedometer, which are large and easy to read, there is also a small TFT screen between the two gauges providing information such as fuel economy, trip computer, radio channel selected etc.
Most of the surfaces on the interior are hard plastic, however, the top part of the dashboard is soft-touch plastic. I would’ve liked softer material on the outside of center stack, the vertical area where I rest my right knee when driving, it felt uncomfortable.
Although the Elantra isn’t the biggest car in its segment, there is still plenty of room for the front and rear passengers. The front seats are comfortable and the driver’s seat comes with a feature I haven’t seen in this segment (in fact, our $50k+ Infiniti Q50S doesn’t even have it), which is memory seats. To me memory seats are very important because my cars are driven by multiple people and I hate having to reset my seat to my perfect driving position. The Elantra’s memory seat also remembers the side mirror position. The Elantra Limited comes with 8-way adjustable power driver seat with lumbar support.
The rear seats are also comfortable and have heating, there was more than enough leg room for me (5′ 8”) and it should still be comfortable for taller passengers. The back seat easily fits two large adults, having a third adult is pushing it a little.
Standard/Available Features and Tech
Hyundai was one of the first manufacturers to offer some high-end features in their entry level cars, the Elantra is available with all the latest features we’ve come to expect from cars (thanks to Hyundai), below is a list of standard and available features on the 2017 Hyundai Elantra sedan:
- Proximity Key with Push-Button Start
- Hands-free Proximity Trunk
- Android Auto
- Auxiliary Input Jack
- USB Connectivity
- BlueTooth Hands-free Phone
- Satellite Radio
- Heated Seats and Steering Wheel
- Backup Camera with Cross Traffic Alert
- Dual-zone Automatic Climate Control
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Adaptive HID Headlights (Elantra Ultimate)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (Elantra Ultimate)
- Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection (Elantra Ultimate)
- Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) with Lane Keep Assistance (Elantra Ultimate)
I think the 2017 Hyundai Elantra is a good looking vehicle with an elegant design, it offers a lot of features at a pretty good price. There are however a lot of great vehicles in this class and if you’re looking for a compact/mid-size sedan, you’ll definitely need to compare all the cars in this segment, most of these cars have similar pricing but some offer sportiness while others offer comfort. At the end of the day, the choice is yours and you can’t really go wrong with picking a new vehicle in this segment.
For more information on the Hyundai Elantra, check out hyundaicanada.com.