Earlier this year we test drove the new 2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited, liking it so much it won our praise and a coveted spot on our “Id Buy It” list. In the economy sedan class it’s a value packed, well built car with smashing design.
Enter the 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited, a car nearly identical to the one that knocked our socks off last April, but one that gets 50-plus MPG with hardly a performance penalty.
It’s design is a love it or hate it scenario, Hyundai went bold. Complex and dramatic origami-like overtures abound in the mass, creases, lines and details. A black chrome grille wraps into LED headlamps that look like bird wings spreading out.
The lower fascia features more to see with a bright shiny chrome element that wraps around to the corners and folds up in ways you almost watch more than look at. Wheels here are 17-inch alloys. If you go with the Blue model they are slightly smaller and narrower at 16-inches.
Priced at $29,260 the Limited model is one of two, the base model being the Blue at $23,550. In both cases the cars pretty much come as they are with few stand alone options making your choices simpler and more dependent on your budget.
In the case of the Limited, it’s fully loaded. Leather seats, heated and ventilated. It has the top-end infotainment system with the smooth continuous dash panel and 10.25 dual digital screens – kind of like a Mercedes-Benz.
The interior design is every bit as dramatic as the exterior. A cock-pit like form wraps around you as the driver in our tester with a color keyed statement of such. The center stack blends into a sweeping handle that feels like something well more exotic.
Ahead of the artfully conceived steering wheel is a fully digital instrument cluster, you can change up with different information and themes. The hard plastic is the only giveaway you’re not in a Aston Martin.
Rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split, the trunk is massive for this class and there is a spare tire underneath the floor too. Thank the packaging of the hybrid battery pack under the rear seat for that.
Powering the Hybrid is a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter direct-injected four and an electric motor combined with a 5-speed DCT automatic. With 139 horsepower and 195 pound feet of torque, the car manages to accelerate rather briskly. Never in our week did we find it lacking, the high torque really helps around town.
Also helping the driving experience is its traditional transmission which shifts gears instead of a CVT like most hybrids. It feels more natural and less like a science experiment. Because it has a strong electric motor, it performs well in its efficiency.
It’s rated by the EPA at 49 mpg city, 52 mpg highway and 50 mpg combined. In our week with it we achieved a healthy 53 mpg combined. Impressive.
When all is said, we liked this Hyundai Elantra just as much as the last one if not more. It also gets added to our “Id Buy It” list.