• The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport First Drive: It Only Gets Better

    2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport
    2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport

    Hyundai surpassed my expectations with the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport. I was expecting something else, something simple. The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport is a comprehensive, complex upgrade in nearly every measurable way. Lots of automakers have C-segment vehicles that get the “Sport” treatment. Usually, they get nice wheels, some graphics and badges… sometimes an upgraded suspension and interior – but little else.

    Starting with the engine, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport has a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that makes 201 horsepower (at 6,000 rpm) and 195 lb-ft of torque (at 1,500 rpm). This power is channeled to the front wheels via a smooth 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Combined EPA figures for the 6-speed equipped 2017 Hyundai Elantra is 25 mpg and 29 mpg with the dual-clutch transmission.

    While there are quite a few exterior upgrades, (nose, LED headlights, exhaust and LED taillights to mention a few) it’s the rear suspension that is one of the most noteworthy upgrades on this vehicle. Removing the torsion rear beam suspension, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport has a multi-link, independent rear suspension. Not only that, it’s a beautifully tuned rear suspension too. It completely changes the character of the car, giving it an almost European feel to it.

    The interior has standard leather and raised red stitching. While the dashboard is nice, the hard plastics used in the door panels was a bit of a letdown. Fortunately, the flat-bottom, sporty steering wheel is an outstanding design that could easily find its way into a German car. The seats are comfy and, as long as you like black, you’ll find that black is the only color the interior and headliner come in.

    While not quite as sporty as the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen GTI, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport competes directly with vehicles like the Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

    Driving the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport is a hoot. Acceleration is excellent as is passing power. The torque seems to be ever-present when you downshift and punch it. The engine revs nicely, although, not quite as rev-happy as a 1.8 VW turbo. Hyundai actually worked on the air intake and exhaust to get a more spirited growl. The engine does sound a bit beefier than a regular Elantra, but it’s no bulldog. Flying through corners and powering out of the bend is what this vehicle loves. With the larger brakes and excellent balance, control was easily managed. This baby likes to hunker down and get to business.

    2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport
    2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport

    Were the issues? My only real issue was the sound deadening material (or lack thereof) as road noise was fairly noticeable. It could have used cooled seats as an option too. Otherwise, there is very little to dislike with this car.

    The prices are good too: a base model with the 6-speed manual starts at $21,650 with the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport with the 7-speed DCT starting at $22,750. Both excellent prices considering what you get for the money.

    I can’t wait to get this sporty sedan up to Colorado where its turbocharged engine will shine!

    Speaking of the Hyundai Elantra – here is the regular one.

    Nathan Adlen
    Nathan Adlen
    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.

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    13 thoughts on “The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport First Drive: It Only Gets Better

    1. Quality over quantity, although it has a lot when have ever been known for quality put that together with the fact they just started messing with turbos good luck to those owners. Turbo cars with pedigree srt4 Evo Sti Ptgt and for the girls gti’s

      1. Hyundai was one of the first to replace the V6 in their mid-size with a turbo 4. They have some experience with turbos. They also consistently run in the top tier in quality rankings.

        1. This means what for the past 20 years of crap you can paint over crap it’s still crap and all while Chrysler provided the tdo4 turbo , you can’t erase 20 years of crap replacing their v6 that’s because it was bad on gas bad reliability bad over all you buy your Korean crap car and at 150k we’ll see if you feel the same way you won’t enjoy

      2. Just started with turbos?? Pedigree? I have a Veloster Turbo. I have had it for almost 4 years. I haven’t had a SINGLE thing wrong with it. I have owned two WRX’s, two MazdaSpeed 3’s. The MazdaSpeed was the least reliable of all 5 turbos I’ve had. My Hyundai? The most reliable. Have you ever heard of Hyundai’s WRC cars? Been in WRC for more than 15 years. Right there with WRX. So, yeah HYUNDAI HAS TURBO PEDIGREE AS MUCH AS STI. Oh and pretty sure you cant afford any of this stuff, so stop talking.

    2. While Hyundai has had excellent quality for around 16 years (our first was a 2000 Elantra which gave incredible service to several family members), I know the tuners will say, “Thanks, I’ll wait for the 2.0L turbo.”

      1. Excellent quality from the early 90’s to early to mid 2000’s they were the worst car you could buy next to Kia as they are essentially the same company and product I’m glad your car didn’t fall apart but many others didn’t have that luck I owned a dodge neon srt4 I love the car dearly but quality was bad interior on all neons if you see my point to each their own

    3. I’ll be sure not to buy a mid 1990’s Hyundai. Not only did that car not fall apart, neither did either of our 2004 Elantras, nor my 2009 Sonata with 127,000 miles on it, nor my wife’s Soul. I’m sure you only drive cars that were high-quality from day one. Although I can’t imagine what that would be. Rolls? Bentley?
      Even the vaunted Germans have had quality issues in the past.
      Look at the present; what happened 15 years ago is two generations for a car.

      1. Actually two srt4’s one with 285,000 miles and a award from Chrysler for reaching the 300k mark I still dyno at 267hp no issues. any car can go 140k any also yeah one issue is if you look at quality most almost all American auto makers use bolts to hold on bumpers dash peices and so on Kia and Hyundai use plastic clips which will break because it’s fn plastic now if they do this with bumpers then I assume the hole Korean crap car is made the same enjoy your Korean fried roach car I’ll enjoy my American mickey dees lol to each their own

    4. Sold. Going out tomorrow to test drive an Elantra Sport. After looking at GTI’s, WRX, Mustang Eco, Fiesta ST, Focus ST, the “El Sport” beats the #$%$# out of all of them for price to performance. The only question in my mind is not whether I should go with the Hyundai or the competition, ot’s more ofshould I wait for the Hatch Elantra GT Sport, or just go buy this sedan sport for 18,500 new at my local dealer. Oh yeah, no brainer for 18,5, I’ll be getting the sedan. Oh, And I make 6 figures, so its not like I can’t afford something more đŸ˜‰ I’m just cheap with cars! And this one rocks.

    5. Almost none of the cars you mentioned directly compete but it does appear to be good value. although like the ecoboost I’ve heard both with exhaust and sounds like crap but good value on the Korean end lol

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