Sign in to follow this  
William Maley

Review: 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited

3 posts in this topic

William Maley    393

We are currently living in a golden age of compact cars. From distinctive styling to new powertrains that offer impressive power and fuel economy, the compact car has been growing up. One of the key players in this dramatic change is Hyundai. When they introduced the last-generation Elantra for the 2011 model year, it was unlike any compact that Hyundai or for that matter, any automaker had produced. The swoopy lines of the exterior made the Elantra look more expensive than it was. Plus the combination of a smooth ride and long list of standard features helped propel the model towards the top.

How do you follow up this impressive act? Hyundai decided to play it safe when it introduced the 2017 Elantra at the 2015 LA Auto Show - evolution and not revolution. Was this the right decision considering the current crop of compacts? We spent a week in the Elantra Limited sedan to find out.

The basic shape of the Elantra is mostly unchanged to the last-generation model. But Hyundai has done some finessing to it. The front features a larger hexagonal grille that has been appearing on Hyundai’s crossover lineup. There is also a new front bumper with a vertical strand of LED lights and reshaped headlights. The side profile becomes bolder with sculpting along the doors and more prominent character lines. In the back, the Elantra takes the trunk lid from the larger Sonata and new taillights. It might not be as daring as the new Honda Civic or Mazda3, but the Elantra has an air of elegance. It stands out but doesn’t scream about it.

The interior is where you begin to see the big changes. Higher quality materials like soft-touch plastics are used in a lot of the interior. The dashboard design and layout is the same as the Sonata. This means a much easier control layout than the outgoing model and larger buttons for the various controls. Our Limited tester came with a 7-inch touchscreen as standard. Hyundai’s infotainment system is one of the better systems thanks to easy-to-understand interface and blazing performance. The 2017 Elantra brings forth Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. With our iPhone hooked up to the system, we found Hyundai’s implementation to be one of the best. It only took a few seconds for the system to recognize the phone before bringing up the CarPlay interface. From there, performance was smooth and we had no issues with either the system or phone locking up.

Compared to the outgoing Elantra, the new model is about an inch longer and wider. This space has been put to good use in the back seat as legroom has improved. Headroom is still a tough affair if you happen to above 5’8” as your head will be touching the roof. The front seats provide a fair amount of adjustments to get yourself comfortable. The one item we would have liked is a bit more thigh support for longer trips. 

Most Elantras will feature the engine seen in our tester, a 2.0L Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder with 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet. A six-speed automatic is only available on the Limited, but the base SE has the choice between it and a six-speed manual. Compared to the 2.0L found in the last-generation Elantra, there isn’t any real improvement in the power delivery. It still takes its sweet time to get up to speed whether driving on a country road or merging onto a freeway. Out of all the compacts we have driven in 2016, the Elantra is right alongside the Nissan Sentra for being some of the slowest vehicles in the class. The six-speed automatic does a competent job with providing smooth gear changes. 

Hyundai has two other engines on offer for the Elantra: A turbocharged 1.4L found in the Eco and updated turbocharged 1.6L coming in the new Elantra Sport. For our money, going with either one of these engines would be the better option. We’ll have a better opinion whenever we get behind the wheel of either model in the future.

EPA fuel economy figures for the 2017 Hyundai Elantra stand at 27 City/38 Highway/32 Combined. Our week consisting of 60 percent city driving and 40 percent highway returned an average of 30.7 mpg.

If there one area the last Hyundai Elantra did very well, it was ride comfort. The new model continues this with improved suspension tuning that irons out most bumps and imperfections. But Hyundai still has a lot of work to do when it comes to noise isolation. A fair amount of road and wind noise comes inside, making the Elantra not a great choice to do a long trip in. Handling has seen a noticeable improvement with the Elantra showing less body roll in cornering. Thank the additional structural rigidity Hyundai has added to the Elantra. Still, the steering could use a bit more work. It feels way too light and you’ll find yourself doing a fair amount of correction when driving on the highway.

Hyundai took a big risk with the last-generation Elantra and it proved to be a major success. The design and features on offer shook up the compact car arena and sent manufacturers back to their drawing boards to build something that could take on the Elantra. But for this new model, Hyundai played it safe. They took an idea that was working and just improved it. In certain areas, this is a good thing. The interior is a much nicer place to be in and the addition of CarPlay and Android Auto is nice to have. But Hyundai could have done more to make the Elantra stand out even further. The 2.0L four-cylinder could have a little bit more power and more work should have been done in terms of keeping outside noises from entering the interior.

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is an improvement over the outgoing model. But in light of fresh competition such as the Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic, the Elantra doesn’t find itself on top as it once did.

Cheers: Still sharp looking, Improved interior design, Comfortable ride
Jeers: Slow performance, Too much outside noise coming in, Seats could be improved for longer trips

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

Year: 2017
Make: Hyundai
Model: Elantra
Trim: Limited
Engine: 2.0L MPI Atkinson Cycle Four-Cylinder
Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 147 @ 6,200
Torque @ RPM: 132 @ 4,500
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/37/32
Curb Weight: 2,811 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
Base Price: $22,350
As Tested Price: $23,310 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)

Options:
Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00


View full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ocnblu    733

I like these.  I want to see the hatch version in person, it's on YouTube.  I just cannot trust Hyundai for quality though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2016 at 7:25 PM, ocnblu said:

I like these.  I want to see the hatch version in person, it's on YouTube.  I just cannot trust Hyundai for quality though.

I think the Cruise and the Mazda three strike me both as much better small cars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Hyundai had a put a lot of confidence into hydrogen being the future power source for vehicles. But much like Toyota, the Korean automaker is realizing that electrics are the way of the future and they might want to jump on the bandwagon soon.
      Today at a press conference in Seoul, Hyundai announced that it would be placing electric vehicles front and center with plans to launch several long-range EVs in the coming years. This includes an electric version of the Kona early next year and an electric sedan for Genesis in 2021 that is expected to have a range of 310 miles. Hyundai also confirmed a report by Reuters saying the company is working on a dedicated EV platform.
      "We're strengthening our eco-friendly car strategy, centering on electric vehicles," said Hyundai Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk.
      Hyundai isn't fully giving up on hydrogen. The automaker showed a concept version of its new fuel cell SUV that will replace the Tucson Hydrogen. Hyundai says the model can go 360 miles on one tank of hydrogen. It will launch in Korea next year, with the U.S. and Europe following sometime after.
      Source: Reuters

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Hyundai had a put a lot of confidence into hydrogen being the future power source for vehicles. But much like Toyota, the Korean automaker is realizing that electrics are the way of the future and they might want to jump on the bandwagon soon.
      Today at a press conference in Seoul, Hyundai announced that it would be placing electric vehicles front and center with plans to launch several long-range EVs in the coming years. This includes an electric version of the Kona early next year and an electric sedan for Genesis in 2021 that is expected to have a range of 310 miles. Hyundai also confirmed a report by Reuters saying the company is working on a dedicated EV platform.
      "We're strengthening our eco-friendly car strategy, centering on electric vehicles," said Hyundai Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk.
      Hyundai isn't fully giving up on hydrogen. The automaker showed a concept version of its new fuel cell SUV that will replace the Tucson Hydrogen. Hyundai says the model can go 360 miles on one tank of hydrogen. It will launch in Korea next year, with the U.S. and Europe following sometime after.
      Source: Reuters
    • By William Maley
      A fresh stack of spy photos of the upcoming Hyundai Veloster N have made their way on to the web this week. The photos show the mule losing some of the camo that we have seen in previous spy shots and are able to pull some new details. The most apparent item is a new rear wing mounted the roof. We can also make out a set of large tailpipes and the front grille extending towards the bottom of the bumper, possibly hinting that there is an intercooler hiding behind it.
      We also got an idea of what is in store for the standard Veloster. Hyundai has decided to drop the split-window liftgate of the current model and go for a regular hatchback. We also note there is coupe-like styling for the roofline.
      The Veloster N will be the second model from Hyundai's new N performance lineup and the first N model to arrive in the U.S. It is expected that the Veloster N will share the powertrain found in the i30 N - a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder 246 horsepower. A performance package bumps power to 270.
      Source: Automobile, Motor1

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      A fresh stack of spy photos of the upcoming Hyundai Veloster N have made their way on to the web this week. The photos show the mule losing some of the camo that we have seen in previous spy shots and are able to pull some new details. The most apparent item is a new rear wing mounted the roof. We can also make out a set of large tailpipes and the front grille extending towards the bottom of the bumper, possibly hinting that there is an intercooler hiding behind it.
      We also got an idea of what is in store for the standard Veloster. Hyundai has decided to drop the split-window liftgate of the current model and go for a regular hatchback. We also note there is coupe-like styling for the roofline.
      The Veloster N will be the second model from Hyundai's new N performance lineup and the first N model to arrive in the U.S. It is expected that the Veloster N will share the powertrain found in the i30 N - a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder 246 horsepower. A performance package bumps power to 270.
      Source: Automobile, Motor1
    • By William Maley
      Sometimes, you find yourself scratching your head as you struggle to think if any more can be said about a vehicle. The two vehicles seen here, the 2017 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee have been reviewed by me numerous times - Durango has two, while the Grand Cherokee stands at three. Not much has changed on either vehicle since I last reviewed them. This puts me in a bit of quandary: What do I talk about? The answer was to delve into the trims themselves and figure out if they are worth the cash.
      The Grand Cherokee seen here is the top-line Summit. Jeep updated this trim last year with new front end treatment consisting of a new grille and LED fog lights. The exterior changes for the Summit do sharpen up the Grand Cherokee, a design which should be noted that has been around since 2011. One design touch we really like are the set optional 20-inch aluminum wheels as they dress up the Grand Cherokee quite nicely. The larger wheels don’t affect ride quality as the Grand Cherokee’s suspension turns bumps into light ripples. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.
      The interior now has the option of the “Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package” that brings a leather covering for the dash and center console, and premium leather upholstery for the seats and door panels. My test vehicle came with this package and I am not sure its worth the $4,995. The key reason comes down to the leather used for the seats. I can’t tell the difference between the leather upholstery used for this package and the one used on lesser trims. Aside from this, the Summit retains many of the plus points found on other Grand Cherokees such as a roomy interior, simple infotainment system, and excellent build quality. 
      The Summit begins at $50,495 for two-wheel drive and $53,495 for four-wheel drive. Our test vehicle came to an as-tested price of $60,675 with the leather package, skid plates, and 20-inch wheels. The upside to the Summit is you get most everything as standard such as navigation, premium audio system, sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power liftgate. Personally, I would skip all of the options as fitted to our test vehicle and get a base Summit.
      Now on to the Durango. This one is the GT which can be best described as the R/T minus the V8. This means you get similar exterior tweaks such as a body color grille surround, black mesh inserts, LED daytime running lights, and 20-inch wheels finished in black. Our model came with the Brass Monkey appearance package which adds brushed bronze wheels and blacked-out badges. This makes for a mean looking crossover that doesn’t break the bank - the Brass Monkey package will only set you back $595. The GT is also quite confident in the bends with minimal body roll and nicely weighted steering. 
      Downsides? The Durango is starting to show its age inside. Various materials and the plain design put the Durango towards the back of the pack of the current crossover crop. Also, the value equation for the Durango can go downward with the number of options you add. The test Durango seen here comes with an as-tested of $49,660 with most the option boxes ticked. Not an absurd amount for a three-row crossover, but the Durango is missing out on features that many models feature such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and compatibility for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
      You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the powertrain. That’s because both models feature the same 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 295 horsepower and paired with an eight-speed automatic. I have written a lot about this powertrain on both models before and my opinion hasn’t changed. The engine offers strong low-end power and minimal NVH levels. The automatic transmission, for the most part, does a decent job of being in the right gear at the right time. Though we found the transmission to be somewhat slow to respond whenever heavy throttle was suddenly applied. Fuel economy for both models landed around 20 mpg.
      Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are still competitive in their respective classes, despite getting up there in age. Just be careful with your option selection as it can make both models very poor values.
      Disclaimer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Durango
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $40,095
      As Tested Price: $49,660 (Includes $1,095 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Group - $2,395
      Rear Entertainment System- $1,995
      Safety/Security and Convenience Group - $1,195
      Second-Row Captain Chairs - $995
      Trailer Tow Group IV - $995
      Brass Monkey Appearance Group - $595
      Second-Row Console - $300
      Year: 2017
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Grand Cherokee
      Trim: Summit
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,952 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $53,995
      As Tested Price: $60,675 (Includes $995 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package - $4,995
      Summit California Edition - $995
      Skid Plate Group - $295

      View full article
  • My Clubs

  • Who's Online (See full list)