Hyundai has a lot to brag about with its 2019 Hyundai Elantra sedan. With this latest update, the brand’s compact offering has a lot more going for it. The Elantra is Hyundai’s top-selling vehicle, although it sells some fairly popular SUVs and many automakers are dropping sedans in favor of SUVs. Now in its sixth generation, the Elantra has sold more than 3 million units since its launch in the U.S. in 1991.
For one thing, the 2019 Elantra has a new hood, front fenders, front fascia, grille and headlights. There are changes around the back as well, with new rear fascia with new taillights, and Hyundai added new 16- and 17-inch wheel designs and LED headlights on some models. Even the license plates been relocated to the lower fascia to further enhance the new exterior design.
Hyundai didn’t stop with the outside styling. The quieter interior has changes that give it a more upscale look. There’s a new center cluster with easily read gauges, air vents and temperature controls. There’s also a standard 5-inch color audio system, steering wheel audio controls, wireless charging, available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a rearview camera with “dynamic” guidelines.
Despite the technology on offer, no Elantra trim level will break the bank. Prices range from approximately $16,950 for the base SE to $24,620 or so for the top-end Limited.
Comfort and Convenience
Features available in the 2019 Hyundai Elantra include a push-button start, easily read gauges, heated leather seats, power driver’s seat, dual automatic temperature control, wireless charging pad, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, an Infinity premium audio system with 8 speakers and an 8.0-inch touchscreen display on higher trims, and a fair amount of storage areas.
There’s good interior room, although the rear seats could use more thigh support, and the center of the rear seat is stiff. It’s best to use the fold-down rear center armrest with its dual cupholders.
The trunk is acceptably large and has a power lid that works efficiently. The cargo area doesn’t call for you to crawl over the bumper to reach the far end of it. Rear seat backs have trunk releases and flip forward easily and sit flat to significantly increase the cargo area.
The Elantra Limited’s safety features included forward collision avoidance assist, lane keep assist, blind spot collision warning, rear cross traffic collision warning, front, front side impact, side curtain and driver knee airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist.
The four-door front-drive Elantra sedan comes in variety of trim levels: SE, SEL, Value Edition, Limited, Sport.and economy-minded Eco. The Eco has only 128 horsepower four-cylinder but good torque, while most others have a 2.0-liter dual-overhead-camshaft 147-horsepower four-cylinder engine with dual continuous variable valve timing. A turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with 201 horsepower also is offered on the Sport model.
These are carryover engines, and it’s mystery to me why Hyundai doesn’t bump the horsepower rating from 147 to at least 150 horsepower. It wouldn’t make much difference in performance but the higher figure just looks better.
Base SE models get a 6-speed manual as standard equipment. SEL, Value Edition and Limited Models get a 6-speed automatic. Eco and Sport models get a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The 147-horsepower inline-four provides decent performance in town and during passing on highways. The car only weighs approximately 2,800 pounds and delivers an estimated 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on highways with 87-octane fuel.
The ride in the 2019 Hyundai Elantra is supple, although some sharp bumps can be felt. This is a good long-distance car. The steering is precise, but should provide more road feel. Handling of my test car was composed in curves, thanks partly to a nicely designed suspension and low-profile 45-series tires on 17-inch alloy wheels. The brake pedal had a nice linear action, and stopping distances with the anti-lock brakes were short. The Elantra is no super sedan, but always feels as if its on your side.
I tested the 147-horsepower Elantra Limited with a 6-speed automatic. It price sticker showed it listed at $22,600. However, after some options, the bottom line of my test car was $26,960. It had the $3,350 Ultimate Package that contains a power sunroof, navigation system, 8.0-inch easily used touchscreen, power collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, smart cruise control, 4.2-inch color TFT color instrument cluster display and an $885 freight charge.
Overall, the 2019 Hyundai Elantra is stylish, refined, and roomy, with a supple ride. It handles well, is thrifty on fuel and packs a good amount of features for the money. It’s not hugely exciting, and the rear seats could be more supportive. Still, it’s a solid buy in most respects. That’s remarkable, considering the Elantra competes against heavyweights like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
One of Hyundai’s smartest moves came when it began offering its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty some years ago. Entering spring, the nicely built, solid-feeling 2019 Hyundai Elantra remains the brand’s top seller despite increasing popularity of its Santa Fe and Tucson SUVs.