It’s no secret the Elantra has been a top player in the compact sedan segment. The amazing sporty looks of the car and the ability for Hyundai to fill its cars with premium features even on the lower end models has gotten our attention for a while. What has not be discussed in the past, whether it’s due to the lack of longevity, or it simply hasn’t come up is the reliability of this car. The Elantra is showing resale figures that easily rival the Civic and Corolla, making it one of the more reliable cars on the road today.

The new Elantra shows up with a ton of interior space and power to go along with the fuel economy you need in a compact sedan. And by the way, the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty which is a standard feature on all Elantra models makes this car an easy choice, especially when you get a look at it. Adding a bolder front end and continuing to carry the rising protruding beltline that runs right across the door handles, the Elantra has looks and style that attract a large crowd that once inside will be pleasantly surprised by features such as ventilated front seats.

Because the Elantra is thought of as a sports sedan, many wonder what’s under the hood. As a car that is in the right price range and class, the Elantra makes a great daily driver and shows off an excitement while driving that can only be had from a car with a great engine. Hyundai kept in mind this would be a commuter vehicle and gave it two engines that can handle the job while still offering plenty of fuel efficiency.

First is the 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine that comes on the SE and Limited Sedan models. This engine offers 145 horsepower and 130 lb.-ft. of torque. When attached to the six-speed manual transmission with an automatic as an option, this powertrain offers fuel numbers that give nearly 27 city/38 hwy mpg across the spectrum.

The second engine is the 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that is offered on the Sport sedan and GT hatchbacks. The power for this motor is 173 horsepower and 154 lb.-ft. of torque and when attached to the transmissions shows up with nearly 24 city/35 hwy mpg, making it still a fuel efficient model to drive.

Even though the power numbers aren’t huge, there is more than enough to get this little car moving and make it become a great performer in this class. The Elantra offers a new Value Edition on the SE trim and the Sport trim now has lost its leather upholstery and sunroof. The Limited and Sport trims added the proximity key while the Limited adds dual climate controls as a standard offering. The GT brings in newly styled front end and even more features.

Speaking of features, let’s take a look at what the feature laden Elantra has to offer. The base model (SE) offers standard features that include air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, a telescoping steering wheel, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, aluminum-alloy wheels, and a 172-watt six-speaker audio system. The Sport trim adds headed seats, a proximity key push button start, a power driver’s seat and 17-inch wheels. At the Limited trim level leather seats, heated rear seats and dual zone climate control are all included as standard features. All models have six airbags with the GT adding a seventh at the driver’s knees.

If the standard offerings are not your style, the optional features list is one that will entice you. The Value Edition gives the SE a sunroof, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats a proximity key and many other features to make it feel more like a Sport or Limited model. The navigation system, a 360-watt audio system and a power sunroof are all options for the Sport and Limited versions. The tech package for the GT brings in navigation, an upgraded audio system, ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, leather seating and a rearview camera to give this sporty edition some fun features to enjoy.

To fit everything in a compact sedan you might think the Elantra has no room for people to sit and enjoy the ride. The interior room is actually very surprising and gives the feeling of a car one size up, which the Elantra even gets classified as from the EPA. When you sit in the Elantra you might quickly jump out to check the sticker price, feeling there is no way a car this roomy and intuitive on the inside is the price of the Elantra, but it certainly is, and is built for your enjoyment when driving.

As discussed briefly, the Elantra offers a new “Fluidic Sculpture” design. This means the car is meant to flow from one angle to another and the awesome looks of this car give you the feeling that it is more than capable of doing just that. The front sweeps back from the headlights all the way through the taillights to give a feeling of motion even when the Elantra is at rest. When the hatchback is chosen, the grill is upgraded with a trapezoidal shape and new front end treatments add a look that feels upscale beyond the class of this car, which is exactly what Hyundai is looking to achieve.

Whether you choose the sedan or the hatchback, one thing is for certain, the Elantra continues to be a car that is getting a lot of attention in this segment and offers plenty of awesome features and two engines that are more than capable of carrying this light load down the road, giving you a fun and engaging drive. Whether you are looking for a new car to add to your driveway or you need to trade in an older model for an upgrade, the Hyundai Elantra makes a great choice as a car that can handle all the daily driving challenges and still be ready for some weekend fun.

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