The new 2021 Hyundai Elantra has technology typically found on cars costing thousands of dollars more. A new video from the Korean automaker might surprise you in the value you get from a comparatively cheap compact car.
The new features include customizable widescreens that keep drivers connected, digital car keys and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Take a look at the video to see all the tech, which will explore below.
As mentioned above, cheap is a relative term. To get the wireless technology, you need to purchase the Limited trim starting at $25,540.
Hyundai Digital Key
Frankly, the digital key still makes me nervous. There are some extremely bright car thieves out there. Of course, there are some extremely bright programmers out there combatting the malicious hackers who want to steal your Elantra. For the time being, let’s put our faith in the programmers.
Hyundai Digital Key is a dedicated smartphone app available on Elantra Limited and SEL models with the Premium Package. You can lock and unlock the vehicle, activate the panic alert and start the engine using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication and Near Field Communication (NFC).
The price point is actually pretty good on the SEL with Premium Package. It adds about $3,000 to the SEL’s sticker price of $20,900. You get a lot of good tech for about $25k before delivery charges and dealer fees.
With Hyundai Digital Key you don’t need your traditional car key. You can also securely share keys with family and friends. The level of access can be tailored to each shared user for a defined period.
The primary driver can determine duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle. Also, keys can be revoked remotely. Each Elantra still comes with traditional keys. Digital Key is compatible only with phones using the Android operating system. So, you thieves with iPhones? You’re out of luck for now.
Dynamic Voice Recognition System
The Elantra Limited and SEL with Premium Package have an enhanced natural language voice recognition system for better feature control. This natural-language voice interface includes Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies powered by Houndify, delivering speed and accuracy in voice recognition and responses. It also has an ability to remember context, such as the user’s location to support natural interactions.
Of course, I’m dying to test this system with some friends with strong Boston accents. They’re usually a good foil against voice recognition systems. Comment below if your accent has fooled voice recognition systems. Any Nawlins folks stumped a car?
Using a natural voice, one can control the:
- Climate on/off
- Air conditioner on/off
- Heat on/off
- Fan speed
- Defrost on and set fan to feet
- Set fan to face, feet, or face and feet
- Warm up/cool down
- Turn on/off heated seats (driver/passenger)
- Set heated seat levels 1, 2, or 3 (driver/passenger)
- Rear window defroster on/off
- And additional functions to be named later.
To activate controls, all the driver has to do is use the “push to talk button” on the steering wheel and say the command. Simple commands include, “Turn the air conditioner on,” “Set the fan to my face,” or “Turn on my heated seat.” There are also more requests the system can handle like “What is the temperature in St. Louis?”, “When is Mother’s Day?” or “Find me a coffee shop.”
Leave the Cellphone Cords Behind
Hyundai Elantra’s standard eight-inch Display Audio user interface allows owners to leave the cell phone cords at home. This is because Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available as segment-first features, allowing one to leave the phone in a pocket or purse without unsightly cords.
Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.