I reviewed the N Line version of the all-new 2021 Hyundai Elantra a couple of weeks ago; I enjoyed that car quite a lot, this week I had the opportunity to review the Elantra Hybrid, which is on the opposite spectrum of the N Line. The Elantra Hybrid is all about saving fuel and being less impactful on the environment.
In this review I’m going to mainly talk about the engine/driving dynamics of the Elantra Hybrid, for more of my thoughts on the 7th generation Hyundai Elantra, head on over to my review from a couple of weeks ago.
2021 Hyundai Elantra Canadian Prices
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is offered in two trims (Hyundai classifies the two-tone interior as a separate trim level, so technically there are three trims available); the Elantra Hybrid Preferred has a starting price of $24,699, the Ultimate starts at $26,999, and Ultimate Two-Tone Interior is also priced at $26,999. Below is a list of prices for all of the trims and combinations:
|Elantra||Preferred – Sun & Tech Pkg||$23,399|
|Elantra||Ultimate – Two Tone Interior||$25,599|
|Elantra N Line||N Line||$27,599|
Our review car was the 2021 Elantra Ultimate HEV and had a price tag of $28,924, which included $200 for the paint and $1,725 for Delivery & Destination fee.
2021 Hyundai Elantra HEV Engine
The Elantra Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-liter GDI 4-cylinder engine and PMSM electric motor. The gasoline engine produces 104 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 109 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) has an output of 32 kW (43 HP) and 125 pound-feet of torque. The total combined output is139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This engine is mated to a 6-speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). The battery powering the electric motor is a 1.32 kWh Lithium-ion Polymer battery.
The Elantra HEV is rated at 4.5/4.2/4.4 liters/100 kilometers in city/highway/combined driving. I averaged 4.9 L/100 km in about 90% city driving. These numbers are pretty close to the claimed numbers, I was driving the car like a hybrid should be driven, no aggressive acceleration and trying to coast as much as possible.
Driving the 2021 Hyundai Elantra HEV (Hybrid)
When I reviewed the Elantra N Line, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s a family car but it also gives you some thrills. The Elantra HEV on the other hand is all about saving fuel. It drives as you’d expect a hybrid car to drive. There isn’t much power to give you thrills, but this car is meant for maximizing the distance you can travel on the minimum amount of fuel.
The combined torque of 195 lb-ft is actually a pretty good amount, getting the Elantra HEV moving from a standstill at a decent pace. If the engine is warm, the Elantra Hybrid starts you off in electric mode, however, the slightest hint of pressure on the accelerator brings the gasoline engine to life. This is normal behavior for all non-plug-in hybrid vehicles I’ve reviewed over the years. The electric motor is mostly used when you’re just cruising at a constant speed in the city or on the highway. I drove it in a way to maximize the electric motor use by accelerating and then releasing the accelerator pedal to get the car to coast and then applying very light pressure on the accelerator to keep it moving at a constant speed using the electric motors only, as long as there was enough juice in the batteries.
The 2021 Elantra Hybrid comes with the standard driving modes like Normal, Smart, and Sport. The Sport mode is actually pretty good and does get the car moving. However, in this mode, and even in normal driving, the engine is quite loud and sounds more like a generator than an engine in a car. I’ve found most hybrids sound like this, however, those hybrid vehicles come with CVTs. One reason could be the fact that when the electric motor is running the show, the car is so quiet and when the gasoline engine comes online, the difference in noise is more dramatic and noticeable. The engine noise wouldn’t be as noticeable if it was running all the time, instead of having the silence of the electric motor and then going back to the louder gasoline engine.
The interior on the Elantra HEV is basically the same as the one on the N-Line, however there are subtle differences. The gear lever on the HEV is more like an upside-down gold club, the metallic gas/brake pedals are replaced by rubber pieces, and the large knob for the different driving modes on the N-Line is replaced by a painted circle. I wasn’t a fan of the placement of the drive mode knob on the N-Line, the HEV takes care of that by placing a button by the gear lever. The gauge cluster on the Elantra HEV is digital, which has crisp graphics and looks good.
As far as styling goes, there are slight differences in the front bumper. Instead of a pair of plastic grills on the lower front bumper on the N-Line, the HEV features pieces of chrome which kind of looks like mirrors. The rear bumper on the HEV doesn’t feature the piano black treatment, which is a good thing in my opinion, and the exhaust tips are hidden below the bumper.
Below is a list of tech, safety, and convenience features on our review Elantra HEV Ultimate.
- Automatic headlights
- LED daytime running lights
- Projection headlights
- High Beam Assist (HBA)
- Leather seats
- 6-way manually adjustable driver’s seat
- 4-way manually adjustable front passenger’s seat
- Driver’s seat height adjuster
- Heated front seats
- AM/FM audio system with 6 speakers
- 8.0″ Touch-screen display
- Wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay
- Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
- USB/auxiliary connectivity
- Bluetooth Hands-free Phone system
- Leather wrapped shift knob
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Heated steering wheel
- Cruise control
- Bluetooth controls
- Proximity keyless entry with push-button ignition and remote start
- Hands-free Smart Trunk
- 12-Volt outlet
- USB/auxiliary connectivity
- USB (2)
- Wireless charging pad
- Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
- Electronic Stability Control system (ESC) w/ Traction Control System (TCS)
- Brake Assist (BA)
- Hillstart Assist Control (HAC)
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with Pedestrian, Cyclists, and Junction Turning Detection
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
- Lane Following Assist (LFA)
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with traffic stop and go
- High Beam Assist (HBA)
- Blind-Spot Collison-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
- Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
I think the 2021/2022 Hyundai Elantra HEV is a fine hybrid vehicle that does what it’s meant to do. It is as fuel efficient as the competition and is a comfortable car to drive around the city or even for longer trips. The styling might not be for everyone, but some people might be attracted by the boldness of the design.