The Elantra review - wiping competition off the floor

Even though the compact crossover segment is currently on fire in the United States, that doesn’t mean that the compact car segment has fallen to the wayside. In fact, just the opposite has happened as the segment is extremely competitive. There’s a lot of great product out there that doesn’t take a lot of money to own. One of those vehicles is the 2017 Hyundai Elantra. We had a chance to sample it recently in New Orleans and was impressed with this little car.

(Full Disclosure: Hyundai flew me to New Orleans to drive the new Elantra. They paid for my hotel, food, and transportation on the trip. They, however, couldn’t prevent it from raining.)

The Elantra is a pleasant-looking four-door sedan with seating for 5. During my brief time with the vehicle I had no problems finding a comfortable driving position, and there was plenty of room in the cabin for my passenger and our gear. Rear seat passengers have a surprising amount of room for a car in this class.

(Photo: Eileen Falkenberg-Hull)
(Photo: Eileen Falkenberg-Hull)

Even though the Elantra is a compact sedan, it does have more interior space than a BMW 3-Series and the Audi A4, while sharing the same interior volume as the Cadillac CTS.

Some people described the Elantra, especially in profile, looking like a Jaguar. I can see what they’re on about with the aggressive headlights and daytime running light treatment. Around back, the car shares its taillight design with the Hyundai Genesis. The whole package looks really great, without looking over the top. While I am a big fan of the Ford Focus and the look, in sedan trim I’m digging the Hyundai a bit more.

At this time, we’re unsure if there’ll be a hatchback version of the new Elantra, but on cars this size we do like seeing it as an option.

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(Photo: Eileen Falkenberg-Hull)

Hyundai spent a lot of time talking about how they worked on the NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) of the vehicle. They polled their customers and determined a quiet ride is something they look forward to, and Hyundai went to great effort to make the Elantra quiet. While we didn’t have a decibel meter with us, I can say that the car was pretty quiet. Considering the monsoon we were driving in most of the time, that’s a pretty good effort.

Additionally, Hyundai hasn’t gone crazy with offering ginormous wheels. A nice set of 16-inch wheels with tires that have large sidewalls makes for a more quiet and more comfortable ride. Kudos to Hyundai for not feeling the need to go with big wheels on the top-spec models.

The only cars we had on hand to sample were the top spec Limited models with all the options checked. That means our cars had a MSRP of $27,585. While that might seem like a lot for a compact car, I actually believe it to be good value.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Review First Impressions New Orleans_2

The leather interior was nice, and all of the touch points in the car felt nice. Sure, there were some areas that were plastic feeling, but overall the interior quality is pretty decent. Our car also had navigation with support for both Android Auto and Apple Car Play. We even had Hyundai telematic services that allowed us to remotely start the car from our smartphones anywhere on the planet.

Since we were rocking the loaded models, we also had HID headlights with cornering functionality. Radar adaptive cruise control prevented us from experience road rage on the I-10, and lane keeping worked pretty well. Of course, that stuff can be disabled (and I do disable lane keep). Emergency automated braking is also on hand to prevent you from accidentally rear-ended the car in front of you in nasty weather of if you aren’t paying attention.

An additional part of the safety and NVH story is the extensive use of high-strength steel. 53% of the car is made from the stuff, which improves safety and lowers weight. Hyundai is expecting a Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and we have no reason to not believe them.

(Photo: Eileen Falkenberg-Hull)

Finally, I’m going to get around to talking about the engine and performance. The Limited model we drove had a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that has a combined fuel economy rating of 32 miles per gallon, 28 mpg in the city, and 37 on the highway. The engine makes 147 horsepower. While we live in a world with 707 horsepower sedans, 147 really is enough for the day-to-day grind.

For those of us who do like extra performance, Hyundai promises an Elantra Sport later this year with a 1.6L turbo engine, 6-speed manual (or 7-speed automatic), and a multi-link rear suspension. We’re looking forward to seeing that!

While only spending a few hours in a car isn’t really enough time to fully ascertain how good a car is, I can tell you that the new Elantra is pretty solid. Hyundai has long-ago solved the reliability and quality issues that plagued the company, and they now build rock-solid vehicles that’d make you think twice about buying anything else. The Elantra wipes the floor with the Corolla, and is pretty competitive with even the new Honda Civic. It’s a car you should really test drive.

Tony Hartman Kok

Sales Manager
T: 730-3000

Johnny Milan

Senior Sales Associate
T: 593-3778

Demis Thielman

Sales Associate
T: 739-1974

Lizzette Koolman

Sales Associate
T: 594-4900

Alex Dijkhoff

Sales Associate
T: 592-6075

Adolfo Gonzalez

Sales Associate
T: 563-5074

Jerald Winterdal

Sales Associate
T: 660-2425

About Garage Centraal

The goal of Garage Centraal Aruba is simple: that everyone that needs a vehicle is able to have a vehicle that satisfies their needs and expectations, with expert service and parts support. That is why we offer brand new, award winning quality vehicles from Hyundai, Isuzu and Volkswagen, along with an extensive catalog of pre-owned vehicles.

We are open from 8:00am till 5:30pm on weekdays and saturday from 8:00 to 12:00pm. Come visit us or call us at 522-6200

© 2015 Garage Centraal Aruba. All rights Reserved. Vehicle specifications are subject to change without notice. Vehicle specifications on photos can vary from current offering. Prices exclude taxes. Please ask your Sales Associate for more information.