2018 Hyundai Elantra Expert Review
Hyundai’s 6th-generation Elantra compact sedan and hatchback add more available safety and technology features for 2018, continuing its move to conquest best-selling rivals like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra. The Elantra boasts stylish looks, premium amenities and a class-leading warranty that includes 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain. The standard 2018 Hyundai Elantra continues with a blend of refinement, eager driving manners, and efficiency. The Eco sedan achieves noticeable fuel economy of EPA ratings of 35 mpg combined, outfitted with a compact 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. At the other end of the spectrum, the Elantra Sport model, outfitted with a 201 horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, puts a bit more zip into driving, as does the new Elantra GT which adds the driving dynamics and features of a compact hatchback.
You’ll Like This Car If…
If you’re looking for a stylish, value-oriented compact car with an excellent warranty, you’ll find it in the Elantra. The 2018 Elantra covers buyer’s needs from value sedan to luxury features and sporty attributes to hatchback versatility.
You May Not Like This Car If…
The Elantra can’t match the roominess or resale value of a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, nor can it match the pure, fun-to-drive feel of a Mazda3.
What’s New for 2018
The Hyundai Elantra saw a redesign for 2017, yet sees added features to keep it contemporary for 2018. The SEL Elantra receives popular equipment which includes Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist, a 7-inch in-dash display, and heated outside mirrors. The Eco model concentrates on value and efficiency, while the Sport and GT hatchback models aim at active and enthusiast drivers.
… automatic transmission with Drive Mode Select is a willing partner. Whether romping around mountain 2-lanes enjoying the Sport mode’s responsive steering and sportier shift patterns, or darting through city avenues where Normal mode provides smooth shifts and throttle response, we were impressed with Elantra. For Green Party members, the Elantra Eco’s gas-sipping 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder achieves a combined city/highway EPA figure of 35 mpg. And for party animals, the Elantra Sport rocks a 1.6-liter turbo delivering 201 horsepower and mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. While the Elantra sedan and GT hatchback continue to use a torsion beam rear suspension the Elantra Sport and GT Sport models raise the sport coefficient thanks in part to a multi-link rear suspension.
POWER TRUNK, WITH A TRICK
The 2018 Elantra offers a power-operated trunk, a feature made even more convenient thanks to its hands-free operation. With the key fob in your pocket or purse, all you have to do is walk behind the car, wait a few seconds, and the trunk will open.
With the Elantra Sport and GT Sport offering a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, it injects a whole new driving dynamic to the Elantra lineup. And on the gas-saving side of the ledger, the Elantra Eco model uses that dual-clutch transmission for improved fuel economy.
Hyundai is proud to point out that the Elantra’s interior is a size higher than its class. So while this is a compact car, its 110.2 cubic feet of interior room qualifies it as a midsize vehicle, according to the EPA. It may not be quite as roomy as the Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra, but it’s still a testament to modern engineering that no longer means a small car has to be a “penalty box.” We especially appreciate the driver-centric dash layout, and the fact that controls for audio, climate and the like are actually buttons and knobs vs. multi-step touch-based systems.
Hyundai’s emphasis on design is just as important as its fantastic warranty. The Elantra looks more sophisticated than its price tag suggests. It’s not gaudy, either, though we admit the large hexagonal grille is borderline gaping. The Elantra further stands out with an athletic stance, front-wheel air curtains, and an integrated rear spoiler built into the trunk lid. The Elantra feels larger from the passenger compartment, yet is easy to navigate in tight spaces at just 179.9 inches long and 70.9 inches wide.
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