While crossovers and SUVs are top sellers right now, there’s still a viable market for sedans. And for a top value among all of them, is Hyundai’s compact 2020 Elantra.
After a makeover from last model year, the new Elantra has added safety features, increased luxury and a host of standard equipment (not to mention the best warranties on the market) that others charge extra for.
Elantra is offered in trim levels of SE, SEL, Value Edition, top-line Limited that was tested and a hot Sport. There’s also a hybrid version.
Elantra Limited came furnished with leather seating and has passenger space equivalent to some midsize sedans.
The sedans vertical stack is ergonomically designed with an optional 8-inch touchscreen (a 7-inch is standard) with voice controls and a host of apps including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, rearview camera, Bluetooth, Blue Link connectivity, nav, Infinity audio and more. It also displays selected driving modes. Below it are easy to use HVAC controls and below them is a convenient wireless charger.
Within the gauge cluster, a 4.2-inch driver information display that informs and alerts the driver on features, functions and mode selections.
Elantra’s safety features include Hyundai’s SmartSense that uses a front-facing camera to detect an imminent collision and includes lane keeping assist and a driver attention warning that detects driver fatigue. It can also be set to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead by adjusting vehicle speed.
Elantra’s newest option is Safe Exit Assist that sounds an alarm when a vehicle approaches from behind letting passengers know it may not be safe to open a door to exit the vehicle on a street.
Added features include blind-spot warning with rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist. Of course Elantra also comes with forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection that employs a front facing camera and radar to warn the driver of a vehicle or pedestrian, and may employ auto braking if needed.
Elantra is a comfy rider with perforated and heated leather front seats that are nicely supportive and comfy over long hauls. The rear seats are comparably comfy with decent leg room provided the fronts aren’t racked well rearward. Headroom though is generous.
At 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space, it can easily handle two large rollie luggage bags, and then some. Flip the rear seatbacks and a pair of golf bags can be stowed. And when accessing the trunk, Elantra has a neat power trunk release. Stand near the trunk with the key fob in your pocket or purse and the trunk will automatically open. Really handy with packages or if it’s raining.
Depending on trim model selected, Elantra is offered with three engine choices. The Limited came with a 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder with 147-hp and 132 lb/ft of torque. It earns EPA mileage estimates of 30 city and an impressive 40-highway mpg with start/stop engine technology. Now those are close to hybrid numbers and exceptionally economical.
Coupled to an IVT transmission, that operates similar to a traditional automatic transmission, the combination offers lively performance, especially when in Sport mode that increases engine rpms by 1,000, while at the same time adjusting steering effort for a sportier feel.
Other modes are Normal and Smart, the latter selects proper driving modes between Normal and Sport by judging driving habits.
Ride quality on 17-inch Nexen tires is surprisingly smooth and quiet for a compact sedan. Handling is similar to others in this class. There’s some body lean in sharp turns but Elantra remains stable and controlled.
As said, Hyundai Elantra Limited offers good value for the money. And it comes at an affordable price. With an extremely long list of included safety features and functions, Elantra Limited came standard with LED headlights, LED running lights, LED taillights, alloy wheels and a short list of options.
One extra cost option was the Ultimate Package ($3,350) that added the upgraded 8-inch touchscreen, Safe Exit Assist, 4.2-inch driver display, power sunroof, forward collision warning, smart cruise control and Integrated Memory System. Add to that carpeted floor mats ($135) and Elantra’s $22,800 base price bottom-lined at $27,215 with a $930 delivery charge. A reasonable and attractive price for a content laden sedan.
Elantra was awarded four out of a full five stars in the governments’ overall vehicle safety score, plus four for driver/passenger frontal crash; five for front seat side crash, four for rear seat; and four for rollover.
The competition, incidentally, has a tough time competing with Hyundai’s generous 5 year/60K New Vehicle Warranty; 10/100K Powertrain; 7/Unlimited anti-perforation; and 5/Unlimited Roadside Assistance. With those, the Hyundai Elantra makes a compelling compact sedan buy. The only way it could be better is if it was offered with AWD.