The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is already arriving at dealerships so our opportunity to drive the all-new car came not a second too soon. We recently took the redesigned car on a short drive through the hills east of San Diego to Ramona. Initial impressions of the car tell us Hyundai has big plans for its next-gen volume leader. The interior of the top-of-the-line Limited Ultimate we drove had well-bolstered leather sets, a thick steering wheel, and a well-integrated dash and center stack with an 8-inch touch screen. Everything you need, nothing you don’t. The use of hard plastics on the door panels was a let down, though, given that the particular car we drove had a price north of $27,500.
With curb weight between 2,800 – 3,000 pounds, acceleration is what you might expect from a 4-cylinder engine producing only 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. We’d recommend keeping the car in sport mode all of the time, or opting for the manual… or both. Better yet, we’d recommend a turbo. If the company could put about 50 additional horsepower into this car it’d make a world of difference. But alas, Hyundai representatives were mum regarding any plans of that sort. We did find out, though, that the GT hatchback variant will come later. There will be no coupe moving forward.
The new Elantra feels solid, almost hefty, with heavy steering that is well suited for spirited drives through winding roads. At low speeds, however, the steering weight might be considered too heavy for some. Hyundai reps spoke readily of the vehicle’s increased structural strength, which comes thanks to the use of more high strength steel in the body (53% vs. the outgoing model’s 21%). The company claims torsional rigidity is up almost 30% compared to the previous Elantra. During our run through the hills, the stiffer structure and redesigned suspension gave the car a planted feel while it absorbed the road imperfections, although there were few of those to be found. NVH levels have also been improved. Hyundai says its new car bests the Civic, Mazda3, and Focus in wind noise, engine noise (from 2,000 – 6,000 rpm), and idle volume levels. All we can say is, we have no reason not believe those claims based on our time with the vehicle.
For those looking at new compacts or midsizes (this car is actually classified as a midsize by the EPA), the new Elantra warrants a test drive… just remember to put it in sport mode first.
Until we can bring you a full review of the new Elantra, check out the Everything You Ever Wanted to Know video from our recent trip.
2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited Ultimate
- M.S.R.P. (including freight): $27,585
- Engine: 2.0L I-4 MPI Atkinson
- Power: 147 hp @ 6,200 rpm
- Torque: 132 @ 4,500 rpm
- Transmission: 6-speed automatic
- Curb weight: 2,811 – 2,976 lbs (AT)
- EPA-estimated MPG (city/hwy/combined): 28/37/32
- Fuel tank capacity: 14.0 gal
- Cd: 0.27
- Passenger Volume: 95.8 cu-ft
- Cargo Volume: 14.4 cu-ft