2017 Hyundai Elantra

300-hyundaielantraabsolutely!  AUTO REVIEW | By Steve Kursar –

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra sedan is all new for this model year, and it is slowing becoming one of the best compact cars in its segment. This car looks and feels like a luxury vehicle. With just one look inside, you’ll have to agree that the interior feels expensive, too. It may be inexpensive, but it sure doesn’t feel that way.

Surprisingly, the new Elantra is in its sixth generation. It seems to have lived a stealth existence as a very affordable but excruciatingly bland car that appealed to buyers looking for the least expensive ride from point A to B. It didn’t help that this Korean car had a terrible reputation for reliability. But, just as Japanese manufacturers have won over a skeptical American public by selling super reliable vehicles, Hyundai is rapidly doing the same. Expect nothing less than up-to-date styling design and quality engineering in the latest Elantra.

The 2017 Elantra is both wider and longer than the previous model and boasts class-above total interior volume. It has so much room, in fact, that the 2017 Elantra is classified by the EPA as a midsize car. The driver-oriented interior is very quiet due to integration of sound absorbing materials in key areas throughout the car. Every Elantra seat, covered in either cloth or available leather, is made of SoyFoam, an environmentally friendly seating foam made from soy bean oil.

Two all-new powertrains, both designed to enhance fuel economy and everyday driving performance, appear in the new 2017 Elantra. With an MSRP of $17,150, the standard engine is a 147 hp, 2.0 liter, Nu MPI Atkinson four-cylinder engine that gets EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

The really intriguing powertrain is the 128 hp, 1.4 liter Kappa turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine that is only available with the Eco trim and is mated to an EcoShift, seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Although the fuel economy ratings of 32 mpg city and 40 mpg highway are impressive, the dual-clutch transmission may confound and disappoint American drivers. This transmission is common in Europe but still new to the United States. Several auto manufacturers have introduced it here, and drivers have found it wanting. You’ll have to be the judge in regards to the Eco.

If you’re looking to downsize, take a look at the new Elantra. You may discover a compact car that is larger than it appears.

Follow Steve Kursar at KursarOnCars.blogspot.com.