Hyundai Elantra

The 2016 Elantra offers premium style and features at an economy car price point. It is available in two models -- sedan or 5-door GT, which is about nine inches shorter than the sedan. The sedan offers SE, Value Edition, Sport and Limited trims, while the GT is a single-trim model. No matter the body style, the Elantra packs a lot of car into a relatively small package. The base SE, Value Edition, and top Limited models are powered by a 145-horsepower 1.8L engine, while Sport sedans and GTs feature a 2.0L 4-cylinder putting out a healthy 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. This configuration is rated at 24 mpg in the city. SE, Value Edition, and Sport sedans feature a standard 6-speed manual transmission and optional 6-speed automatic, while the Limited is standard with the automatic. The GT offers buyers the choice of manual or automatic.

The SE comes equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, power locks and power windows with driver's side auto-down, as well as an AM/FM 6-speaker stereo with CD and MP3 compatibility. A 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback is also standard. The Elantra Value Edition rides on 16-inch alloy wheels and bundles pleasantries from the previous SE Popular Equipment Package into standard features, including a power sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, proximity key with push-button start, heated front seats, integrated turn signals and chrome and aluminum accents.

In addition to the bigger engine, the Elantra Sport includes 17-inch alloys, a sport-tuned suspension, projector headlights with LED accents and LED taillights, integrated turn signals in the side mirrors and many more exterior cues. Inside there is heated cloth front seating, a 4.3-inch touchscreen audio display with rearview camera, aluminum pedals, and steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls.

The Limited sedan adds Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, which combines infotainment features, smart-phone connectivity and safety services. Front and rear heated seats are also included, as are push-button start and automatic dual climate control. Adding the Ultimate Package to the Limited adds a 7-inch screen housing a navigation system, a power sunroof and an upgraded 360-watt stereo system.

Finally, the practical five-door GT features 16-inch alloys. Fog lights, daytime running lights, remote entry, cloth seating with heated front seats, tilt/telescoping steering with cruise and audio controls, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and a 60/40 fold-flat rear seatback are all standard. It also features a 3-position (comfort/sport/normal) Driver Selectable Steering Mode -- a segment first -- and a driver's side knee airbag, which is a Hyundai first. A Style Package adds larger alloys and the sport-tuned suspension, along with aluminum pedals, Blue Link telematics, LED taillights and more.

Editors' Review

Everyone likes an affordable car with some underhood chutzpah and striking design -- and such is the case with the new Hyundai Elantra N Line. No, this isn't the full-bore Elantra N we recently tested, but the N Line strikes a great balance between that ultra-hot compact and Hyundai's run-of-the-mill Elantra sedan.

Visually, there isn't too much to distinguish the N Line from the standard Elantra, save for tweaked bumpers, red accents and 18-inch wheels. The look is definitely more refined and toned down than the crazy Elantra N, nicely wearing Hyundai's new "parametric dynamics" design language -- even if black doesn't really show it off.

While the standard Elantra's 2.0-liter engine packs a modest 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, the N Line has a 1.6-liter turbo I4 that makes a healthy 201 hp and 195 lb-ft. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but my test car has the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. When we first tested the N Line last year, we weren't too impressed with the manual transmission. Meanwhile, the DCT does a fine job managing power delivery.

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The Good ~ Zippy powertrain ~ Unique design ~ Affordable price

The Bad ~ Needs a limited-slip diff ~ Missing some tech features

The Bottom Line The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line is the car for those who want extra fun without a big price hike.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 8
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 8

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