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    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited

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      The Little Changes Matter

    The Hyundai Elantra has been quite the success since the Korean automaker introduced back in 2012. With distinctive styling, impressive feature set, and value that very few competitors can match. But since that time, competitors have been introducing new and refreshed compact models into the marketplace to challenge the Elantra. What does Hyundai decide to do? They introduced a refreshed version Elantra for 2014. I spent some time in a 2014 Elantra Limited sedan to see if it still is a formidable challenger.

    This being a mid-cycle refresh, the Elantra doesn’t have any dramatic changes inside or out. The Elantra’s exterior still has the ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language in spades with flowing curves throughout the vehicle. Changes for the 2014 model include a new front grille, LED-trimmed headlights, and LED taillights. These little changes do freshen up the Elantra and make it one of more elegant compact models in the marketplace. As for the interior, Hyundai has made some changes to the trim and infotainment system. Otherwise, the Elantra is still the same high-quality, and comfortable interior as before. One downside to the Elantra is the backseat. Legroom is slightly tight and headroom is only more so due to the sloping roofline.

    One of the biggest changes is the introduction of a new 2.0L GDI four-cylinder producing 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The downside is that the 2.0L is only available on the new Sport model. The SE and Limited models stick with the 1.8L GDI four-cylinder 145 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want the 2.0L engine in the Limited, but I will admit that the 1.8L does get the job done. Power is adequate through the rpm range, so you don’t feel like you need any more power. The six-speed automatic which comes as standard on the Limited is smooth and doesn’t hunt around for gears. Fuel economy on the 2014 Elantra Limited is rated at 27 City/37 Highway/31 Combined. My week saw an average of 32 MPG.

    Ride characteristics of the Elantra remind me of a larger sedan as it floats over bumps, and provides a mostly quiet ride. On curves, the Elantra sedan is surprisingly a good handler with no body lean. However the steering is a disappointment if you decide to push it as there no feedback. There’s also the Driver Selectable Steering Mode which allows a driver to vary the weight from three different settings. I found this system to be more a gimmick than actual feature.

    Summing up the 2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited sedan goes like this: It still is a formidable challenger in the compact class. Hyundai tweaked the small things that were needed and left the rest of the car alone. This improved the vehicle from being good to being one the class leaders.

    Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Elantra Limited, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2014

    Make: Hyundai

    Model: Elantra

    Trim: Limited

    Engine: 1.8L GDI DOHC D-CVVT

    Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic

    Horsepower @ RPM: 145 @ 6,500

    Torque @ RPM: 130 @ 4,700

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/31

    Curb Weight: 2,943 lbs

    Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea

    Base Price: $21,650.00

    As Tested Price: $25,335.00 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:

    Technology Package - $2,750.00

    Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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