Test Drive Notes Library
- Roomy inside. It’s about the same size as a Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus, but it feels much roomier inside. The cabin is airy, and the back seat room is particularly good for a compact car.
- Comfort. The ride is soft and comfortable. You give up some of the sporti-ish-ness you get with the Honda Civic or Ford Focus, but if much of your driving is urban, especially pot-holed-urban, you’ll appreciate the soft tuning of the Elantra’s suspension.
- Fuel Economy. While most Elantras will come with the standard 2.0 liter 147-hp four cylinder engine, our Elantra Eco tester came with the smaller 1.4 liter, 128 horsepower engine. The smaller engine also comes with a dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission. The combination works well, and feels entirely adequate around town. EPA rates the Eco at an impressive 35 mpg overall, and that’s exactly what we got in our tests.
- Controls. Inside the Elantra, controls are right at hand and particularly easy to understand and use. The touchscreen is easy to master, and there are dedicated buttons for the controls you use most commonly. Hyundai did a good job on the Elantra, ergonomically.
- Visibility. Visibility (or lack thereof) can make a big difference in how relaxed you feel driving a car, and the Elantra is relaxing to drive because you easily see what’s going on in front of you. Visibility is particularly good to the front and sides.
- Available Safety Features. While only available on the “Limited” trim model with the larger engine, you can opt for forward collision warning, automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning.
- Value. Expect to pay low $20’s for the ECO model.
Test Drive Notes Library
- Engine noise. Nothing horrible, but the smaller engine did need to rev (duh!) when really needed to accelerate. There are quieter compact cars out there. We did not test the 2.0 liter engine. It could be better or worse.
- The soft, comfortable ride comes at the expense of crisp handling. While handling for urban and suburban driving is more than adequate, this is not a car for people who want to film car commercial selfies on twisty roads. It’s not a Ford Focus, VW Jetta, or even Honda Civic. It’s a well thought out, spacious small car that errs towards softness.
- We wish the safety features were available on lower trim models, like the ECO. Just because you’re interested in better mileage doesn’t mean you enjoy crashing.
- While the ECO trim model has lots of modern conveniences — keyless entry and ignition, blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert, automatic headlight control, Bluetooth, heated seats and dual temperature controls — there are very few additional options for those who do want them. In addition to the safety features we’d love to have, you also can’t get, for example, leather seats, which might prove more supportive than the standard cloth seats.
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