The Hyundai Elantra is a reliable and affordable choice for anyone looking for a sedan. Its competitive fuel economy, abundance of standard safety features, and available creature comforts make it an attractive option for many drivers. Additionally, the exterior design of the Elantra is something to behold, and there are plenty of different models to choose from.
Hyundai offers six various models of their Elantra, all with different mechanics-- four-cylinder engines, turbochargers, electric motors, dual-clutch transmissions and CVTs. These model range from the entry-level SE to the limited Hybrid,. It also includes the sporty N Line trim; but don't mistake it for Hyundai's other powerful model -the N. We cover that one separately. Even though it is well equipped and relatively pleasing, The Elantra doesn't match up to it's competition like Honda Civic and Mazda 3 when speaking about driving experience..
Hyundai has made several small changes to the Elantra for 2023, and one bigger revision: deleting the manual transmission option for the N Line model. Now, the only available options are a DCT (dual-clutch transmission). Both SELs equipped with/including Convenience Packages come with standard 10.3-inch digital gauge clusters as well as an infotainment display of equal size. In addition, models of the SEL gotten through/with the Convenience Package have 17-inch wheels instead of 16s--and though it was offered before,The Premium Package is no longer being offered.
The midrange SEL model provides the perfect compromise between budget and features. With content including a hands-free trunk release, SiriusXM radio, opting for the SEL over the SE opens up more desirous options; such as choosing the SEL Convenience package. This adds extras like a 10.3-inch digital cluster display,Adaptive Cruise Control , leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, wireless smartphone charging pad,, heated front seats and mirrors, to name only a few!
The regular Elantra engines available are a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque for the SE and SEL models, or you could go for the more powerful N Line model with a 1.6 liter turbocharged engine which has 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.
The hybrid models also have a 1.6-liter four-pot, but it is joined with an electric motor instead of a turbo. This gives slightly less horsepower at 139hp, but more torque at 195 pound-feet–equal to the N Line. The SE and SEL’s base 2.0-liter engine uses a CVT (continuously variable transmission) while the N Line, Blue Hybrid, and Limited Hybrid models get a DCT (dual-clutch transmission). Notably, the N Line gets a seven-speed DCT whereas hybrids only have six speeds.
The N Line model is a great option for those who want a performance-oriented car but can't stomach the price tag of the N. We were impressed with the N Line's perkier acceleration and its adept handling after a brief test drive. The N Line ups the athleticism without compromising ride quality, making it a great choice for enthusiasts on a budget.
The EPA estimates that the 2023 Elantra with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder will earn up to 33 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway, while models with the turbocharged 1.6-liter four have estimates as high as 28 mpg city and 36 highway. The most fuel efficient hybrid Elantra is rated at 53 mpg city and 56 highway.
Our fuel-economy route, on a highway where the speed limit is 75 mph, resulted in a 48 mpg reading for the Elantra hybrid. For perspective, the Corolla hybrid hit 56 mpg during our testing while the nonhybrid Limited with its base engine managed 38mpg. If you want to learn more about how fuel-efficient the Elantra is EPA's website will have that information readily available.
The exterior of the Elantra is very eye-catching, so the inside matches its level of drama and looks like it came out of a futuristic movie. The dashboard and center console curve around the driver while the passenger's side has a much simpler design. There is one long LED light strip that goes from one side of the car to the other, following along with the air vent that stretches across the dashboard.
Although the Elantra looks small from the outside, it actually has a pretty spacious interior. The back seat is especially roomy, which puts it on par with other sedans in its class like the Sentra and Jetta. However, don't expect too much luxury; there's quite a bit of hard plastic inside (which is to be expected at this price point). We were able to fit 6 carry-on suitcases in the trunk during our tests.
2023 ELANTRA SE: 33 City/42 Hwy/37 Combined MPG. 2023 ELANTRA SEL/Limited: 30 City/40 Hwy/34 Combined MPG. 2023 ELANTRA N Line 7-speed DCT: 28 City/36 Hwy/31 Combined MPG.
Though the Hyundai Elantra is generally reliable, the 2013 model year is the one to avoid, due to engine issues, premature tire wear, and grinding brakes. According to J.D. Power's 100-point ratings for reliability, the Hyundai Elantra's score falls between the high-70s to high-80s, depending on the model year.
Here's the short answer to what the Best and Worst Years for the Hyundai Elantra are: The best Hyundai Elantra model years are from 2019 onwards, 2004-2006, 2015, 2016, and 1998. On the other hand, the worst Hyundai Elantra model years are the 2017, 2010-2012, 2013, and the 2001-2002 model years.