Our test drive of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited shows once again the brand’s ability to offer up a unique combination of design, quality, appeal and value.
Redesigned for 2021, the Hyundai Elantra has a design language called “parametric dynamics”. We call it origami swan. Either way, we found it to be stunningly artistic and always eye catching in a way nothing else in its class is.
Longer, lower and wider the new Elantra stretches its interior proportions and feels much like a classic American sedan from the 70’s by comparison to all the crossover SUV’s the rage today.
The quality, fit and finish inside however is nothing like those old American heaps however. In spit of the value pricing, Hyundai’s cabin manages to be lined with quality materials and switchgear along with plenty of appealing design work.
The twin wide screen digital dash displays are very cool, offering a lot of information and crisp graphics that can be customized to your tastes. This is something Mercedes-Benz for example charges a lot extra for in most of its cars, yet here is standard on Elantra SE and above.
The audio system has excellent sound and a cool relaxing theme feature that plays background sounds like a stream, woods, ocean and other meditative options if the radio and all its commercials are too much at the end of the day.
Powering our Elantra is the brand’s venerable 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a continuously variable transmission that Hyundai calls IVT that actually works very well to not feel like a rubber band.
The powertrain comes without the annoyance of an idle start-stop system on SE and above thank you. In such, mpg ratings are slightly less than the base model at 31 city, 41 highway and 35 combined. In our we managed 34 mpg combined.
Handling and ride were tight and solid, offering a feel that conveys the car is well built and free of body flex and rattles. Suspension tuning is about medium in firmness, offering enough spring to give confidence while not jarring in ride.
Our fully loaded Limited tester rang in at $26,660 with a laundry list of features that some cars in its class aren’t even available with at more than this.
We really came away feeling that while the Elantra is not the mainstream choice in its class, it likely is one of the best in terms of unique design, value in features for the money and in length of warranty coverage.
We liked it so much, it makes our “Id Buy It” list for 2021.