2023 Hyundai Elantra

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2023 Hyundai Elantra Review: Same Recipe, Fewer Ingredients

The 2023 Hyundai Elantra returns to battle it out in the USA's slowly dying subcompact sedan segment as it fends off the likes of the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. This time around, however, the Hyundai Elantra faces its competitors without a manual transmission as this is now reserved for the N performance model only. It's a compelling offering but as the demand for this segment shrinks, manufacturers have to work harder to make these viable business decisions. The question is whether the Elantra is good enough to tackle the existing stalwarts of the segment, especially with formidable rivals such as the evergreen Corolla and a brand-new version of the class-leading and top-selling Civic available now. Something that counts in the Elantra's favor is its lower starting price, now that Honda has dropped its cheapest baseline Civic. Will this be enough to entice buyers?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 10 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2023 Hyundai Elantra Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Elantra?

The new 2023 Hyundai Elantra sedan is no longer offered with the manual transmission, which used to be available on the N Line trim. The manual is now reserved exclusively for the Elantra N performance model. Hyundai USA has also decided to scrap the SEL Premium package on the SEL. The equipment included in the SEL Convenience package is expanded and now includes 17-inch alloy wheels, navigation, and a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster. The navigation and digital gauge cluster are also added as standard to the N Line trim.

Pros and Cons

  • Safety ratings are impressive
  • N-Line makes for a great light performance car
  • Hybrid returns great mpg figures
  • Generously standard features throughout the range
  • A lot of interior space
  • No available AWD
  • Dull and stodgy CVT
  • 2.0-liter engine doesn't have enough grunt
  • Cheap cabin plastics, especially in the rear

What's the Price of the 2022 Hyundai Elantra?

The highly affordable Elantra starts things off at $20,500 for the entry-level SE, while the SEL knocks things up to $21,750. The N Line asks for quite a bit extra for the added horsepower and fun at $27,050. At the top of the gasoline lineup in terms of luxury is the Limited, still well below $30k at $26,350. The hybrid lineup starts with the highly affordable and frugal Blue at $24,400, and the Hybrid Limited tops things out at $29,000. These are the Hyundai Elantra's MSRP prices and do not include registration, licensing, and the $1,045 destination charge.

Best Deals on 2023 Hyundai Elantra

2023 Hyundai Elantra Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Hybrid Blue
1.6L Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
N Line
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Hyundai Elantra Trims and Specs

2023 Hyundai Elantra Handling And Driving Impressions

The SE and SEL have torsion-beam rear suspension and, along with the 147-hp naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine, softer suspension settings, and that CVT, they are built for comfort, not speed, even if they won't fall over their own feet around bends. Responses are sharpened up somewhat in the Sport driving mode. The Limited has independent multi-link rear suspension that adds a sporty dynamic, but only the 201-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged N Line takes full advantage of this with its sharp, hot-hatch-like handling. You'll enjoy its quick turn-in, little roll, strong grip without much of a compromise on ride quality, and the dual-clutch transmission's snappy gear changes. The gas-electric hybrid, available in Blue and Limited trims, features a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor to deliver 139 hp and 195 lb-ft. The hybrid also has a dual-clutch, so there is a bit of a spring in its step, but it is clearly focused on frugality and doesn't feel like much fun when put under strain. Driving dynamics are, therefore, very much dependent upon the model. Torsion-beam models are reasonably fun and ride plushly, but they're not on the same level as the higher-tier models.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Hyundai Elantra A Good Car?

The small sedan segment is slowly shrinking but we'd say the Hyundai Elantra certainly helps make a case for its existence as it is an excellent effort. It still offers great value compared to its rivals and despite its attractive starting price, it doesn't compromise on safety or convenience features. The great thing about the range is that there is something for everyone. The base models cater to those who just need a casual commuter, the hybrid appeals to mpg hypermilers, and the N-Line has enough attitude and performance to place a grin on the faces of driving enthusiasts, even if the removal of the manual transmission is unfortunate for those wanting a more engaging experience. Overall, these attributes don't quite make it a class leader. The Elantra's competitors include the superb new Honda Civic, while the Toyota Corolla and VW Jetta are also compelling alternatives. Still, you should review the Hyundai Elantra should if you are shopping in the small sedan segment.

What Hyundai Elantra Model Should I Buy?

While it isn't where the sedan excels, if you want a bit more enjoyment from the driving experience, the N Line is the only way to go. However, it isn't where the best value lies. That would arguably be the Hybrid Blue. The powertrain is easily the most frugal of the lot, and it's not an unpleasant drive, either. It gets a few nice-to-have features over the base SE like heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and SiriusXM. With all that said, though, even the Limited is remarkably affordable, especially with the gas engine, and considering how much you get for your money, you can't really go wrong.

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