2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited

Susan Frissell
womenwithwheels.com

Just a few years ago, when asked what car to buy-as automotive writers often are-I would answer: “I have two words for you: Hyundai Elantra.” Since then, of course, there are many more great midsize cars on the market; namely, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Mazda3, etc.

We have always been partial to the Elantra, a simple, yet, capable little 4-cylinder passenger vehicle. It’s no secret in our family, that my over-the-top enthusiasm during those years convinced my ‘very American car” sister to purchase a Kia Soul. Now she has two in the fleet!

2017 Elantra Sedan

Long ago when small, basic commuter cars were just “ok,” there wasn’t as much to choose from. Today is a different story. And although pricing doesn’t reflect the days of yore, the cars are good bets. Along with the basic equipment, many of these near-entry level sedans and coupes have heated seats, a sunroof, top-of-the-line sound systems and great warranties.

For 2017, the Elantra Limited is new; the sixth generation for Elantra. Hyundai has paid special attention to stiffness, quietness, economy, and fun-to-drive characteristics. Our test Limited edition Elantra carries a MSRP of just $22,350, however, with several options, the total vehicle price hovered just under $28,000. Ouch.

Those opting for a Elantra aren’t-in our estimation-the same buyers who go after a Ford Focus ST or the Alfa 4C, so they don’t expect pizazz. No matter. For the average drive-commuter-the Elantra fits the bill. Our week spend in the 2017 Elantra Limited was pleasurable and comfortable. It’s just a great little car to drive, well, everywhere!

2017 ELANTRA SEDAN

The Elantra is quiet inside; the interior basic, yet comfortable. Our Limited trim level came with leather heated surfaces and heated front seats. Hyundai uses SoyFoam as padding in their seats, so don’t expect the supple leather of a Mercedes. The good news, it is durable. Not fancy, just practical, the Elantra interior, with a limited number of colors and different surface textures. The hard plastic on the doors isn’t the best, but expected at this level.

The “new” look of the Elantra isn’t drastic, but noticeable. The front end has a ‘snub nose’ look, Hyundai’s hexagonal grille and vertically stacked LED fog lights. The rear taillights have been slightly redesigned, and the edge of the trunk carries a simulated spoiler. Resembling many of their competitors (think Cruze, Dart), the Elantra looks up-to-date.

Our test Elantra Limited came with several options, including the Tech Package (Navigation System, AVN 4.0 w/Touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Infinity Premium Audio System w/8 speakers, Center channel and Subwoofer, Clari-Fi Music Restoration Technology, 4.2-inch color TFT color instrument cluster display, power sunroof, heated front and rear seats, Auto-dimming rearview mirror w/HomeLink and Compass, $2,500); the Ultimate Package (HID Headlights w/dynamic Bending Light, Automatic Emergency Braking w/pedestrian detection, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist System, Integrated memory System for Driver’s Seat and Outside Mirrors ($1,900); carpeted floor mats ($125), cargo tray ($100), and Rear bumper protector ($70).

2017 Hyundai Elantra Ltd interior

The Ultimate Package includes of course, all the latest in safety technology, such as land keeping, backup camera, forward collsion warning. We’re still adjusting to all these modern safety features, and still find that looking back and behind when in reverse is a long-held habit. The heated rear seats are a nice touch for passengers, but only if you are often toting more than one passenger.

Powertrains are also new for 2017 in the Elantra: Two, infact: the SE and Limited trim editions get the 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder, with 147 horse and 132 lb-ft torque. Complemented with Hyundai’s six-speed automatic transmission, combined fuel economy is 33 mpg. We prefer keeping the tranny in sport mode, as Eco is a tad sluggish.

The Elantra Eco model gets Hyundai’s 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, with 128 horse and 156 lb.-ft. torque. Mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Eco brings in about 35 mpg.

Lighter in weight than the 2016 Elantra, Hyunda has added more high-strength steel, and a redesigned suspension, with bigger rear bushings. The Elantra takes most bumps and various road surfaces with ease, but the ride is different front to back seating areas. Over all, the Elantra is a quiet four-door sedan, with just a small amount of body roll.

Value remains the touchstone of Hyundai’s vehicles, however, one can opt for a less expensive Elantra model. As is the case with our test vehicles, they are often top-of-the-line, so higher pricing is expected. These days, the public isn’t just shopping for Hyundai and Kia’s long warranty. Rather, their innovation, list of goodies and dependability have become sought after qualities of the Hyundai brand.

SPECS

MSRP: $22,350; total vehicle price $27,880, destination $835
Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC I4, FWD ,147 hp @ 6,200 rpm; 132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission: six-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC
Curb Weight: 2,811 lbs-2,976 lbs
Wheelbase:106.3 in.
Height: 57 in.
Width: 71 in.
Length: 180 in.
Fuel Economy: 28/37/32 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)
Observed Fuel Economy: 30.5 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14 gal.
Wheels: 17-inch
Tires: 225/45 R17
Warranty: 5 yrs/60,000-miles New Vehicle, 10 yrs/100,000-miles Powertrain, 7-yrs/Unlimited mileage Anti-perforation, 5-yrs/unlimited Roadside Assistance

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