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  • 2017 Hyundai Elantra

    Posted on October 10th, 2017 ninarussin

    Sixth-generation sedan offers more value

    By Nina Russin

    2017 Hyundai Elantra

    2017 Hyundai Elantra

    The Hyundai Elantra has evolved from humble beginnings competing against the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla in the early 1990s to one of the most popular sedans in the US market.

    There is some debate as to the current model’s size classification. Its compact exterior puts the Elantra alongside the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus, but its larger interior makes it a midsize passenger car according-to the EPA. Either way, the Elantra offers customers looking for a bargain exactly that, thanks to a 2017 Value Edition priced at $21,360 including destination.

    Power comes from a two-liter engine producing 147-horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, mated to a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. Standard convenience features include keyless entry and start, satellite radio, Android auto and Apple CarPlay, dual-zone temperature control, Bluetooth interface, heated front seats, automatic headlamps and a 3.5-inch thin film transistor information display in the gauge cluster.

    Test drive in Phoenix, Arizona

    2017 Hyundai Elantra

    2017 Hyundai Elantra

    Over the past week I drove the Elantra around Phoenix, Arizona’s east valley including sections of Tempe, Scottsdale and Chandler as well as the foothills of the Superstition Mountains to the east. The sixth-generation Elantra has raised the bar over the model it replaced in some important ways: it’s peppier and quieter with no sacrifice in terms of fuel economy.

    A high compression ratio gives the engine excellent throttle response off the line and in the 20-to-50 mile-per-hour range drivers use merging into highway traffic. The six-speed automatic transmission on the test car delivers smooth, linear shifts with no shift shock under normal driving conditions.

    A rearview camera is standard, making it easy to back out of parking spots when higher profile vehicles block the view to either side. Weaving through rush-hour traffic is relatively stress-free thanks to blind spot monitoring that illuminates LED signals in the side mirrors when vehicles in adjacent lanes pass through the driver’s blind spots. The Elantra’s quiet interior enables occupants to enjoy the audio system or converse with ease on the highway.

    2017 Hyundai Elantra

    2017 Hyundai Elantra

    An electric power steering system delivers plenty of assist for low-speed maneuverability with solid on-center response on the highway. The sedan’s 34.78-foot steering circle makes it easy to slide into small spaces on the street in urban areas.

    The suspension consists of an independent MacPherson strut setup in front and solid torsion beam rear axle. The compact torsion beam enabled Hyundai engineers to maximize space in the second row and in the trunk. Since most of the front-wheel drive sedan’s weight is over the front transaxle, the setup works well.

    2017 Hyundai Elantra

    2017 Hyundai Elantra

    Ventilated front disc brakes and solid rotors in the rear stop the sedan in firm, linear fashion. The test car rides on 16-inch alloy wheels and all-season tires: an upgrade from the 15-inch steel wheels on the base model.

    Visibility around the perimeter is good. I was-able-to adjust the driver’s seat for a clear forward view, and had no problems monitoring vehicles in the adjacent lanes on the highway.

    Spacious interior

    2017 Hyundai Elantra Interior

    2017 Hyundai Elantra Interior

    The Elantra’s spacious interior is one of its biggest selling points compared to compact competitors, giving second-row passengers more hip and legroom. I found the power driver’s seat easy to adjust, with plenty of lower lumbar support. My six-foot tall husband rode shotgun during part of the test drive and found the front passenger seat quite comfortable. Cloth upholstery on the test car is attractive and more practical in Arizona’s extreme summer heat.

    Climate and infotainment controls are easy to reach from either front seating position and intuitive to operate. Designers did a good job of adding storage throughout the interior, including a center console bin large enough for small electronic devices and a spacious glovebox.

    A cargo net in the trunk keeps plastic grocery bags from sliding around, while a cargo tray is easy to remove and clean.

    Standard safety

    The Hyundai Elantra comes with seven airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, hill start assist and tire pressure monitoring.

    A ten year/100,000-mile warranty includes five years of roadside assistance with unlimited mileage.

    Hyundai builds the Elantra at its Montgomery, Alabama assembly plant.

    Like: A compact sedan offering tremendous value with satisfying performance.

    Dislikes: None

    Make: Hyundai
    Model: Elantra sedan
    Year: 2017
    Base price: $21,465
    As tested (after Value Edition discount): $21,360
    Horsepower: 147 HP @ 6200 rpm
    Torque: 132 lbs.-ft. @ 4500 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: No
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 28/37 mpg city/highway

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