Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

Editors' Review

As the old saying goes, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Whatever vitriol the person that coined this adage had against felines is unknown, but their logic is sound, especially if you're looking to save money at the pump. There are plenty of super-thrifty cars to choose from and you don't even have to get a plug-in model or something that's fully electric. You could grab a Toyota Corolla Hybrid or even Honda's economical Insight. And then there's the Prius, a household name and a proven performer. But have you considered the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid? If not, you absolutely should.

In Blue trim, its most efficient form, this small sedan returns some whopping fuel-economy figures. Expect around 53 mpg city, 56 mpg highway and 54 mpg combined. The top-shelf Limited model I'm evaluating here, however, is 4 mpg less efficient in each driving cycle. That sounds like a big hit, but on a percentage basis it really isn't, plus in real-world driving I'm averaging about 48 mpg, which is still phenomenal. Those remarkable figures are strong enough to make the Elantra Hybrid more miserly than some of its competitors, but penny-pinching parsimony isn't the only reason to consider one of these Hyundais.

What really sets this car apart from the pack is its avant-garde design. With its intricate front end that recalls a multifaceted gemstone to its crisply creased flanks to that angular rump, this sedan has some serious style. No, its looks won't be for everyone, but the Elantra stands out from practically everything else on the road today. The only potential problem is longevity. This car looks great in the moment, but I question whether it will remain as attractive a few years down the road or if it will age like unrefrigerated milk.

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The Good ~ Roomy, well-made interior ~ Unexpectedly performant ~ Superb fuel efficiency ~ Distinctive styling

The Bad ~ Occasional transmission clunks ~ Eco-friendly tires are noisy ~ Distinctive styling

The Bottom Line The Elantra Hybrid is as stylish as it is economical.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 9
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 9

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