Hyundai unveiled the new, redesigned version of its Elantra on March 17, 2020 in West Hollywood, California. Later that year, the sedan went on sale to the general public with four different trim levels, with differing powertrains as well as a range of tech and safety features.
For years, the Elantra has been ranked at the top of its class by pundits, being closely matched with the likes of the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. Gone are the days of the boring compact sedans simply transporting drivers from point to point with little attention to the true driving experience. It’s clear Hyundai has made an effort to make this version of the Elantra the best one yet with an all-new cabin, improved tech features, and an incredible exterior design.
In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the all-new generation of the Hyundai Elantra and how we think it matches up with the fierce competition in its class.
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra marks the beginning of the fully redesigned seventh generation of the automaker’s popular compact sedan. For the first time, the Elantra features a hybrid model with an EPA rating of 56 mpg highway and 49 mpg in the city. Hyundai also released the N-Line, a performance variant of the sedan that’s set to match up with the well-reviewed Honda Civic Si, as well as the Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
Hyundai carries the powertrain from last year’s Elantra into 2021. The Elantra comes standard with a 147-hp, 2.0L four cylinder engine with 132 lb-ft of torque that is slightly tweaked for fuel efficiency over last year’s model. You can only purchase it in front-wheel drive, with a continuously variable transmission sending power to the wheels. Those looking for a bit more power can opt for the N Line, delivering 201-hp and 195 lb-ft of torque with a 1.6L turbo I-4 engine. Auto enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the N Line comes standard with a six-speed manual. Those who aren’t so keen to shift their own gears can take on the seven speed dual clutch transmission, designed to shift faster, more smoothly, and with greater efficiency than conventional automatic transmissions.
The Elantra has always ranked at the top of it’s class for trunk capacity. At 14.2 cubic feet, this year proves to be no different. However, space conscious consumers will be a little disappointed to discover that a hatchback option is not available like previous generations of the sedan.
The cabin is quite attractive and spacious for a vehicle at first glance, but contains quite a bit of low-quality plastics throughout the interior. Rough plastics in the door panel and dashboard are certainly inferior compared to other vehicles within its class. It’s design, while simple, doesn’t feature as much style or significance as other compact cars like the Mazda3.
Where Hyundai lacks in style, it makes up for in space. The interior cabin of the 2021 Elantra is immensely spacious and can fit five adults very comfortably, due to increased dimensions over last year’s edition. Taller passengers will love the additional headroom provided, despite the vehicle’s exterior roofline. There are also two LATCH connectors suitable to fit two child car seats behind the driver and front passenger seats.
Like competitors in its class, Hyundai is working hard to bring premium tech features to the previously budget compact sedan class. The new Hyundai Elanta’s tech features improve tremendously over last year, providing drivers with an 8-inch touchscreen that comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – available wirelessly for the first time. A remote keyless system as well as a colorful 4.2 inch gauge cluster also comes standard in all trims of the Elantra.
Many consumers will opt for the SEL trim, as it comes with a few more features out of the factory, but also allows for a few extra upgrades with Hyundai’s convenience and premium packages. For just $950, customers can fit their vehicle with heated front seats and mirrors, smart cruise control, forward collision assist, and more. A 10.25 inch digital gauge cluster is almost included – almost double the size of the standard cluster. At double the price, about $2100, the premium package offers even more goodies. Power sunroofs, side mirror turn signal, and a Hyundai digital key are all features that you’ll get with this package. The premium package also includes a plethora of exterior styling features that may be of interest to those looking to make their Elantra stand out from the crowd. The Hyundai Elantra Limited comes standard with both the convenience and premium packages, as well as a few extra tech features only available in this trim.
Overall, the seventh generation of the Hyundai Elantra is a formidable competitor in the shrinking compact sedan class. It offers a nice smooth ride with ample horsepower to match. Interior room has improved dramatically over last generation, an upgrade that will be well received by your rear seat passengers. At the SEL trim level, the Elantra comes with a number of standard tech and safety features that keeps you safe and makes the vehicle a joy to drive. With Hyundai’s outstanding 10-year, 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty, the Elantra is sure to last all drivers quite some time.