Hyundai’s Elantra isn’t known for being anything more than a competent commuter car. The Korean automaker wants to change that. Enter the completely redesigned 2021 Hyundai Elantra. It’s dynamic, fuel-efficient, and takes the connectivity to a new level.
The seventh-generation Elantra is built on a new vehicle platform with a longer wheelbase, wider stance, and lower roofline than the sixth-generation model. It’s the second Hyundai model that features the company’s Sensuous Sportiness design identity – the first was the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.
Designers have make the Elantra look like a fastback car.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
The Elantra slots between the larger Sonata and smaller Accent in Hyundai’s lineup. It sees direct competition from the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
It’s a sedan with a fastback-like roofline, holding true to modern design trends. It has a cascading, jewel-patterned grille; bold fascia; gem-like shapes on the side panels; and available 15-, 16-, and 17-inch wheels.
At the rear, there’s a wide horizontal line that goes the width of the car. Its “H-Tail Lamp” design creates a Hyundai lying H logo-like shape, which should make the model instantly recognizable at night. Black accents edge the rear glass while the lower bumper has gotten a wing-type treatment.
Hyundai’s PR team is using the words “nimble” and “respond quickly” to describe the Elantra’s driving dynamics and powertrain. Those aren’t two words that would have been associated with the Elantra in the past so it’s a clear push in a more engaging direction.
The car has a wing-like rear.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
However, the model comes with the same engine as the last generation and it has the same output. Buyers of the Elantra SE, SEL, and Limited get a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with Hyundai’s version of a continuously variable transmission.
Hyundai has added an Elantra Hybrid to its lineup for the 2021 model year. It has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an electric motor and a 32 kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery to generate 139 horsepower and up to 195 pound-feet of torque. That engine is paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. All in all, that model may be the most efficient and most fun to drive of the lot and Hyundai says that it will get over 50 mpg.
Designers have made the new Elantra what they’re calling an “immersive cocoon”. It’s made to have an airline cockpit-like aesthetic with low, wide structures that span the width of the car and give the feeling of spaciousness.
The design of the car’s cabin emphasizes its width.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
The tech innovations start right up front where a single interface houses two 10.25-inch screens, one for driver information and the other for traditional infotainment functionality in higher trim levels. Standard equipment includes an 8.0-inch infotainment display, HD radio, and Bluetooth. Drivers can opt for 64 mood lighting color options, a sunroof, Blue Link connected services, wireless charging, voice recognition services, and an eight-speaker Bose sound system.
There’s also smartphone as a key functionality, something the Sonata has and one of the features that shown off during the company’s Super Bowl “Smaht Pahk” commercial. It does not have the vehicle movability (sans driver) that the Sonata does. Users are able to remote start, unlock, lock, and find their car using the Blue Link app.
The cloud-based navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get connected routing. Connected routing provides multiple navigation options and real-time route updates. Server-based routing makes the onboard navigation experience similar to current smartphone navigation apps. Three years of navigation system updates are included.
Hyundai has made the Elantra available with twin screens that are over 10 inches corner-to-corner.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available through wireless connectivity. Dual Bluetooth support is also available, so two devices can be paired at the same time.
Buyers will get the Elantra with a good list of standard safety technologies including forward collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, and rearview camera with guidelines.
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra is slated to begin production in Ulsan, Korea and at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama this autumn. Sales will begin in the fourth quarter. Pricing will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date.