First introduced in 1994, the Elantra is one of Hyundai's longest-running model names. Last year, the seventh generation of Hyundai's compact sedan was introduced, replacing a model that was still quite competitive. Far from giving up on this shrinking segment, Hyundai is instead expanding the Elantra portfolio for 2022. In addition to the Elantra Hybrid, there's a hot Elantra N-Line and an even hotter Elantra N set to debut later this year—both available with a manual transmission. Elantra competitors include the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Volkswagen Jetta.
The Elantra sees no changes for the 2022 model year, except the addition of the Elantra N. Expected to boast more than 275 hp, this sedan will go head-to-head with the Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
In a First Drive of the new Elantra, we found that the chassis dynamics were a marked improvement over the previous generation. This was most noticeable in the N-Line version we drove, which maintained its composure over road imperfections. Also impressive was the increased interior space, offering plenty of room for taller-than-average back-seat passengers. The 147-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder offers acceptable power, and we were impressed by the smart programming of the CVT.
Less impressive was the quality of some of the interior materials. Hard, low-grade plastics cover the dash and door panels and seem out of place in the otherwise well-appointed cabin. It's a rare misstep for Hyundai, particularly in light of the knockout interior found in the admittedly much more expensive Palisade. The lack of rear USB ports also seems like an oversight for a car that's ideal for ride-share drivers.
Despite these small gaffes, the Elantra represents a solid step forward. Value for the money has always been one of Hyundai's strong suits, and with several well-equipped versions starting at less than $26,000, the stylish Elantra is one of the strongest competitors in this segment. We can't wait to drive the potent Elantra N.
Standard on the Elantra SE, SEL, and Limited trims is a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder making 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission is the only gearbox available, delivering power to the front wheels. SE models net 33/43 mpg city/highway, while SEL and Limited models return 31/41 mpg. For even better fuel economy, check out the Elantra Hybrid.
Elantra N-Line versions feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 producing 201 hp and 195 lb-ft. Fuel economy with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is 28/36 mpg, and 25/34 with the six-speed manual.
The high-performance Elantra N will feature a 2.0-liter I-4 expected to make 276 hp and 289 lb-ft, driving the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The IIHS awarded the Elantra with a 2021 Top Safety Pick recommendation for Limited models equipped with LED headlights. The 2021 Elantra received a five-star overall rating from NHTSA, making it one of the safest compact sedans on sale today.
The 2021 Elantra's standard SmartSense safety suite includes forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, front automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist with centering function, driver attention warning, and automatic high beams. Higher trim levels offer blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and highway driving assist.
The Elantra makes the most of its compact sedan designation with clever interior packaging. Legroom in particular is abundant for both front- and rear-seat passengers, and despite the swoopy roofline, there's also decent headroom for taller passengers. Rear trunk space is on the larger side as well for a compact sedan.
Legroom (front/rear seats):
The base 2021 Hyundai Elantra features an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Limited models feature a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen, as well as a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. Curiously, the Limited trim only features wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The digital key feature, which allows you to open the vehicle with your smartphone (Android-only for now) or a near field communications (NFC) key card, will also be available on the 2022 Elantra.
The 2022 Elantra starts at more than $20,600 for the basic SE trim, and goes to almost $26,500 for the high-end Limited trim. Our pick of the range, the SEL trim, is somewhere in between. Starting at under $22,000, the Elantra SEL has attractive, modern seating upholstery textiles and alloy wheels instead of the basic steelies. Tech and convenience features are added, including dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, a six-speaker audio system, and an optional 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster. Choosing the SEL trim reduces fuel efficiency compared to the SE trim, but we think it's worth it—the 2022 Elantra SEL presents a tremendous value.
|$500||Hyundai announces a Bonus Cash offer available to all service branches of the military including National Guard and Reserve branches, veterans and retirees.||01-31-2022|
|$0||2.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Hyundai announces APR rates on select models.||01-31-2022|
|$500||Hyundai announces a Bonus Cash offer for standard rate customers through HMF.||01-31-2022|
|$0||1.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 24, 36, 48, 60 Months - Hyundai announces APR rates on select models.||01-31-2022|