Hyundai virtually launched the next-generation 2021 Elantra sedan earlier this year. Offering an absolutely unique style, it also arrived with more diverse features, such as a hybrid version, an N Line version, and several equipments normally reserved for luxury cars. At the dawn of its marketing, the manufacturer has just unveiled the price range, which starts at $ 19,650 MSRP, which excludes freight charges, tax, title, and license fees.
This, therefore, confirms that with the 2021 Elantra Hyundai is maintaining an entry-level price at less than $20,000, unlike several competitors whose price generally exceeds this psychological threshold for the least equipped trim.
The 2021 Elantra, is perhaps one of the best sedans in the compact segment, that I have tested at Torque News. It looks like Hyundai has redesigned the new Elantra to dominated the compact market. I am reviewing the Limited trim, but I really like the Hybrid version, which I am looking forward to reviewing soon.
Entry-level trims of the 2021 Elantra come with a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, the same that is shared with the Kia Forte. Apart from the entry-level trim, all other trims are equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The economical hybrid trim of the 2021 Elantra - new for 2021 - offers a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder with an electric motor and a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, a combo that is expected to deliver 53/56/54 mpg city/highway/combined for the SEL and 49/52/50 mpg for the Limited.
At first glance, the seventh generation of the Elantra looks like a downsized Sonata. It's the same wedge-shaped profile, pointed at the front and curved at the rear, same ultra-short hood. However, as you look more carefully, the 2021 Elantra marks its own territory with endless intersections of curves at the ends and straight lines on the sides.
Refined, angular, and somewhat over-designed, the Elantra does what it takes to stand out aesthetically, while remaining conservative enough not to frighten the large clientele it intends to attract: the compact sedan market.
At the front, the optical units are integrated into the very interior of the imposing grille, and the turn signal is almost perfectly hidden there. The headlights stretch outward with an odd shape and typical model LED strips. At the bottom of the body, a rather curious and very angular chrome applique disguises the nose.
In profile, it gets a little more complicated. First observation, the Elantra is longer than the older generation at 55 millimeters. “The 19-inch wheels and tires make a beautiful looking car look and perform even better,” says Scott Margason, director of product planning, Hyundai Motor North America, in 2021 Elantra's release notes. “After listening to our early 2020 Sonata buyers, we were quickly able to add power height adjustment to the passenger seat on the Limited trim. In addition, across the lineup, we’ve added Safe Exit Warning that gives drivers a second set of eyes to let them know if it's safe to open the doors on the driver’s side of the vehicle when parallel parked on a busy city street.”
In addition to flashy styling, the new Hyundai Elantra 2021 is equipped with a large amount of equipment in the purest Korean car tradition. These include the standard 8-inch infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, or the optional 10.25-inch instrumentation screen, semi-autonomous driving, or even ventilated seats.
Hyundai's quest for respectability also dictated the interior layout. The headroom is impressive. The Elantra often sets itself apart from the competition by its interior space. Passengers benefit from a significant available space, obtained by seating them lower. I have read reviews, where some people wrote the roofline is low, but I didn't feel that way. For me (and I am an average size person) the access was fairly easy and the clearances impressive.
Several objects can also be placed in its large trunk that can be modulated by folding all or part of the rear seat backrests.
For a vehicle of this category, the very “techno” environment of the Elantra is quite eye-catching. LA Press, reviewing the 2021 Elantra, notes that the dashboard is "very Mercedes-Inspired). "Very Mercedes-inspired, the dashboard is organized around two screens (the instrumentation unit and the infotainment center) that are easy to consult and control. Faithful to its "generous nature," the South Korean firm pays particular attention to the level of equipment of its compact sedan, which receives several elements of comfort as standard that may enhance the value of the consumer," Eric Lefrancois notes in his review. I think I can agree with this view.
Considered solely from the perspective of the accessories/price ratio, the Elantra presents itself as a rather interesting case, but not exceptional either.
With the 2.0-liter, the buyer of a 2021 Elantra should not expect to experience particularly strong sensations. Here, the goal is to get from point A to point B. The fact remains that the Elantra offers a satisfactory driving experience. In Normal or Smart mode, you don't feel any real dynamic change. I appreciated the tranquility of the engine and the barely noticeable operation of the gearbox. For a little more action, Sport mode lets you experience a more dynamic personality at the Elantra. The responsiveness of the engine is awakened, as is the management of the automatic gearbox, which seeks the best torque range to improve performance. I should also add that the suspension aims for comfort at all times of driving.
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra, while renews itself, doesn't mark an extreme difference from the 2020 model, which it came to replace. Even though this is a new model, I still think I recommend this vehicle for those, looking for a great compact sedan with good mileage. In fact, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra is a finalist for North American Car of the Year. "What’s going to push the Elantra over the finish line is its diversity. In addition to its standard, gas-engine model, it’s available as a hybrid, an N Line version, and an N version," thinks Keith Griffin, Torque News Hyundai reporter.
Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.