Hyundai enters its sixth generation of Elantra production this year in a big way, with two new engines, a new platform, new suspension and new styling, with a bold and dynamic design, as well as advanced safety and technology features.
The Hyundai Elantra for 2017 displays a confident, athletic stance, leading off with the family?s signature hexagonal grille and offering available HID headlights with Dynamic Bending light, available vertical LED daytime running lights and functional air curtains in the new front fascia. The hood rises from the grille to the sharply angled windshield with pronounced character creases running to the ?A? pillars.
In profile, the Elantra?s silhouette showcases a sporty, coupe-like greenhouse with blacked out ?B? pillars, whose top flows gracefully to the short rear deck with its integrated spoiler lip. A bright lower, upswept trim strip accentuates the car?s racy form and impressive aero features. The co-efficient of drag is now 0.27. Out back, the Elantra displays width and stability, sitting low over the wheels and tires. There is a smart hands-free trunk with a proximity key, along with available LED taillights. The wheelbase and height remain the same as last year?s Elantra, but the overall length and width are increased for 2017 5-passenger, mid-size sedan models.
Moving to the inside, the Elantra offers the same interior volume as the premium class Cadillac CTS, and more than Audi?s A4 and BMW?s 3-Series, while the refined dynamics provide a simplified, yet modern and driver-oriented layout and feel that emphasizes the high tech detailed execution. The wide design of the Instrument panel delivers a sense of spaciousness, in a contemporary and intuitive form.
Interior highlights include: Leather seating with heated front and rear seats, a Premium instrument panel with a 4.2-inch color LCD electroluminescent cluster, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a 60/40 split folding rear seat with a center armrest, dual automatic temperature control with an auto-defogger, a 7-inch display for the audio system, an available 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, Dual-charging USB port; integrated Memory System; and Hyundai?s blueLink connectivity features.
Structurally, the new Elantra utilizes 53 percent high strength steel ? an increase over the previous 21 percent. Torsional and Bending rigidity have both also been increased by more than 25 percent. Ride quality is enhanced thanks to rear suspension revisions, and NVH quality is also improved for a quieter ride.
Propelling the new Elantra lineup are two all-new powertrains: a Nu 2.0-liter MPI Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder that makes 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm along with 132 pound feet of torque at 4,500 rpm driving the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission; or a Kappa 1.4-liter T-GDI, four-cylinder that generates 128 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 156 pound feet of torque in a range from 1,400 to 3,700 rpm. The first engine is available now in SE, Limited and Ultimate trim level Elantras, while the latter will power an Eco model when it becomes available soon. It will also drive the front wheels, but via a 7-speed Dual Clutch automatic transmission.
The new Hyundai Elantras will all feature user-selectable drive modes: an efficient Eco mode; a well-balanced Normal Mode; and a dynamic Sport Mode.
Safety technology features include: Automatic Emergency Brake with Pedestrian Detection and Smart Cruise Control; Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist System and Rear View Camera with Dynamic Guidelines; Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist.
Elantra pricing starts at $17,150 in SE trim ($100.00 less than in 2016) with a manual transmission and tops out at $26,750 for the Limited Ultimate. Add freight charge of $835 for all trim levels.
All test vehicles during the national press introduction were in Limited Ultimate trim. The base price of my Scarlet Red metallic tester with the Black interior was set at $22,350, which escalated to $$27,710, after adding the Tech and Ultimate Packages and Inland Freight and Handling Fee. I was recently able to spend more time at home in a similarly equipped Limited model with an Electric Blue exterior and a Black interior with the same pricing structure.
SUMMARY: The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Ultimate is an ideal mid-size, 5-passenger sedan. It accelerates nicely, albeit a bit on the ?buzzy? side when prodded with gusto, the automatic transmission shifts smoothly, and the ride quality is both stable and comfortable.
Handling characteristics lean to the sporty side of the performance chart, and switchgear is both user-friendly and intuitive ? that is, all but the nav system, which posed some problems in terms of software and programmability during our planned route test drive.
The new Elantra is very attractive and is capable of more than holding its own with competitors in the mid-size sedan segment, and, at a much lower price, content not withstanding.
Bottom-line, this latest seventh generation Elantra is a delight in every respect ? it is likely to continue as an impressive Hyundai sales leader.
[wptabs style=”wpui-light” effect=”slide” mode=”horizontal”]
?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$27,710.|
|Engine Type and Size:||Nu 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve MPI Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder / or Kappa 1.4-liter DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder turbocharged GDI .|
|Horsepower (bhp):||147 @ 6,200 rpm-2.0L / 128 @ 5,500 rpm 1.4L|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||132 @ 4,500 rpm-2.0L / 156 @ 1,400-3,700 rpm 1.4L|
|Transmission:||6-speed manual, dry single plate with diaphragm spring type clutch / or 6-speed DCT electronic automatic with overdrive lock-up torque converter, gate type, electronic shift lock system, SHIFTRONIC? manual shift mode.|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Front-Wheel Drive.|
Front – Independent, MacPherson strut with coil springs, hydraulic twin-tube gas-filled shock absorbers, and 22 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Coupled torsion beam axle with gas-filled, hydraulic monotube shock absorbers and coil springs.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted vented discs front / solid rear drum with 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution.|
|Tires:||Nexen NPriz P225/45 R17 91W M&S mounted on 5-double-swirl spoke alloy wheels ? machine face/ painted inners.|
|Length Overall:||179.9 inches|
|Curb Weight:||2,767-2,932 lbs. SE? M/T ? 2,811-2,976 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||14.0 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||26-mpg city / 36-mpg highway ? M/T ? 29/38 A/T – varies with wheel size.|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.