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LOS ANGELES -- Over the course of five generations, Hyundai's compact Elantra has grown from a cheap upstart to a serious contender in its segment.
The sixth-generation Elantra burst onto the scene at the 2015 LA Auto Show, continuing the evolution of the model.
The 2017 Elantra is about an inch wider and longer than before. Overall height and wheelbase haven't changed.
The new headlamps are narrower and stretch horizontally, which enhances the low and wide look.
One of the most dramatic changes is to the roofline; its extended and gentle slope now stretches nearly to the end of the trunklid.
17-inch wheels fill the arches of this Limited trim model.
The Elantra will be offered with two engine options. There's a 2.0-liter base engine and a 1.4-liter turbocharged Eco option coming in spring 2016.
That Atkinson cycle engine is rated at 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque.
A six-speed manual transmission is available on the base SE model, but most Elantras will use a revised six-speed automatic.
However, the Eco model will feature a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which will help it exceed 40 highway mpg.
The more grown-up Elantra will feature a more grown-up selection of driver aid technologies and premium amenities.
Drivers will have a choice between a 7-inch display audio system and an 8-inch navigation system.
Hyundai's BlueLink infotainment system features dual USB connectivity, Pandora connectivity and Siri Eyes-free functionality.
Dual-zone climate controls are another premium feature we're surprised to see offered on the Elantra.
Drivers will be able to beam destinations for navigation to the dashboard via Google Maps and control certain vehicle functions with an Apple Watch or Android Wear device.
The Elantra's cabin has increased in volume so much that the compact sedan is technically now classified as a midsize vehicle.
A color information display is flanked by a pair of crisp analog gauges.
Hyundai teases that we'll see a new Elantra Sport model sometime in 2016 and that it will be the most powerful version yet.
With about 10 million vehicles sold, the Elantra is the sixth-best-selling car in the world.
The Hyundai is more aerodynamic than the previous model and much of its competition.
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra goes on sale in early 2016.
LED-illuminated door handle approach lights add a premium feel to the budget sedan.
Hyundai's smart hands-free trunk release will also be available for the Elantra. That feature is most commonly found on hatchbacks and crossovers and is a first for this segment.
The list of active safety features has grown exponentially for this generation. The sedan now boasts lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, active emergency braking and more.
Vertical LED daytime running lights flank an enlarged and sharpened grille opening. I think I see hints of the Veloster's wild design in there.
Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 LA Auto Show.