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The Hyundai Elantra strikes a cord

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Tony C. Lesesne

The Elantra concept (seen above) set the tone for the dynamic design upgrades seen in the 2019 models. With those new design upgrades come a several interior and technical additions that add to the car’s competitive in the segment.

The 2019 Elantra sedan conveys emotion with a new exterior design, while delivering a sophisticated driving experience through Hyundai SmartSense safety and convenience technologies. The high-volume Elantra SEL is priced at $19,400.


Now in its sixth generation, the Elantra has sold more than 3 million units since its launch in the U.S. in 1991. Elantra has received numerous accolades including the most recent IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus for model year 2018. In addition to quality, reliability, and being backed by America’s Best Warranty, the JD Power IQS recently awarded Hyundai third place overall in the highly-regarded industry quality study.

Solid in the city; the Elantra fits in tight spaces

Hyundai is quick to move from ideas we see in their concepts to real vehicles hitting the showrooms. Midway through its sixth generation, the Elantra is clearly aligned with Hyundai’s stylish HDC-1 concept car. It a competitive entry because it offers new safety features and a new infotainment system with revised center-stack controls and it affordable as well as attractive.


Much more sophisticated and elegant than before with wider grille with horizontal slats giving it a more refined look. The lower spoiler and bottom edges accent the new hood and front fenders. the wedge-shaped headlamps with LED running lamps compliment the upper corners of the grille. The rear design is one of the most stylish upgrades in the class, featuring a trunk lid and neat lines for a more athletic appearance.


The Elantra Sport trim level power comes from the same turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four with 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque and a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions. The Eco model has a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 128 horsepower and 156 lb-ft and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Other Elantras feature Hyundai’s naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter inline-four with 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft, with base SE models offering a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

Hyundai’s SmartSense features include forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and driver-attention alert. Limited models with the Ultimate package also include Safe Exit Assist, which warns passengers exiting the car if another vehicle is approaching from behind, as well as pedestrian-detection functionality for the forward-collision-warning system.

A clean easy to operate dash keeps Elantra simple and functional


A new instrument binnacle, center screen, air vents, and different HVAC controls reflect upgrades on the interior. Trim levels include SE, SEL, Value Edition, Limited, Eco, and Sport, with base models have a 5.0-inch color audio-system display, with the SE models now offering steering-wheel audio controls and Bluetooth, and Limited models adding wireless charging. There are better consumer tech enhancements too. An uplevel audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, navigation, and an 8.0-inch screen is available but with a faster processor. Hyundai says all 2019 Elantra's also will benefit from additional sound-absorbing material and a standard rearview camera with dynamic guidelines.

a 5.0-inch color audio-system display, with the SE models now offering steering-wheel audio controls and Bluetooth, and Limited models adding wireless charging.


So yes, the design is one of the dominant upgrade for the Elantra, but I cannot stress the fact that this is a solid car in a competitive segment that continues to improve on a god product. Scott Margason of Hyundai says “refinements to both the interior and exterior were initiated on the 2019 Elantra to maintain its emotional design character and include affordable and desired features,” That clearly shows and the director, product planning for Hyundai adds “the hood, front fenders, fascia, grille and headlights, as well as the rear fascia, trunk, and taillights each have been redesigned to convey a catchy and confident image. On the rear of the vehicle, the license plate has been relocated to the lower fascia to further enhance the new body sculpture.”

Pricing only rises slightly, with the base manual-transmission SE starting at $17,985 ($150 more than before), the top-trim Limited at $23,485 ($860 more than before), and the Sport at $23,285 ($600 more than before), to list a few examples.

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