2019 Hyundai Elantra Performance

$17,200 - $23,700
Price Range (MSRP)

The Hyundai Elantra has one of the broadest ranges of drivetrains available in segments with three engines and three gearboxes paired to front-wheel drive. A base 2.0-liter naturally aspirated motor does duty in four of the six available trims with a six-speed manual available on the base SE and a six-speed automatic standard on the rest. A 1.4-liter turbocharged motor does duty in the efficient Eco model, while the Sport trim gets a 1.6-liter turbo performance-orientated motor along with independent rear suspension giving it a sportier edge than the comfort-biased suspension on the other models. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard on the Eco and optional on the Sport model, while a sweet-shifting manual is standard on that sportier offering.

2019 Hyundai Elantra Engine and Transmission

Three engines are available in various trims across the range of the 2019 Hyundai Elantra. A base engine does duty across four of the six models available and is a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder developing 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. This lackluster engine is paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission in the base SE model, with a six-speed automatic optional on the SE and standard on the SEL, Value Edition, and Limited trims. The manual gearbox gets the most out of the engine, but it’s ultimately underpowered for the Elantra and doesn’t enjoy being worked to get peak performance, with a glacial 0-60 mph sprint of 10 seconds.

The Elantra Eco gets a low-displacement 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s less powerful than the base 2-liter with just 128 hp, but torque increases to 156 lb-ft which makes it punchier and more usable around town and when overtaking. The 1.4-liter turbocharged motor is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission which aids efficiency with its quick-shifting nature and additional gear ratio. It’s the only transmission choice and is largely impressive, but at low speeds it becomes clunky and makes traffic tricky to navigate comfortably.

The final engine choice is exclusive to the Sport trim and is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder developing 201 hp and 195 lb-ft. By default, a six-speed manual gearbox is equipped which is a joy to row, but an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is also available. The 1.6 suffers from pronounced lag but offers spritely performance. It’s not exactly a performance motor - more of a quicker alternative to the dull base 2.0.

Hyundai Elantra
2.0-liter Gas Engine
Honda Civic Sedan
2.0-liter Gas Engine
Toyota Corolla Sedan
1.8-liter Gas Engine
Horsepower 147 @ 6200 158 @ 6500 132 @ 6000
Torque 132 @ 4500 138 @ 4200 128 @ 4400
Transmission 6-Speed Manual (M6CF3-1) 6-Speed Manual Continuously Variable (CVTi-S)

Drivetrain

There is just one drivetrain regardless of engine and gearbox combination, with all 2019 Hyundai Elantras being driven by the front wheels. Not many non-premium offerings in the segment provide alternative drivetrains and the front-wheel drivetrain is one that caters well to most environments while being efficient from a packaging and economy point of view. Handling isn’t the Elantra’s forte as it focuses on comfort, which means it doesn’t lose anything by being front-wheel driven.

MPG

The base 2.0-liter engine equipped to four trims may be dull to drive but provides decent economy claims. With the manual-equipped on the base SE model, it achieves estimates of 26/36/29 mpg city/highway/combined, while the automatic-equipped SE achieves 29/38/33 mpg on the same cycles. With differing equipment, the SEL, Value Edition, and Limited models achieve 28/37/32 mpg.

The economy-focused Elantra Eco, with the 1.4-liter turbo motor and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, achieves impressive economy figures of 32/40/35 mpg, aided by low drag wheels and narrow tires. The Eco offers better efficiency than most rivals, with easier drivability thanks to a punchy motor.

Meanwhile, the 1.6-liter turbo engine focuses less on economy and more on performance. With the six-speed manual transmission economy figures are estimated at 22/30/25 mpg, while the seven-speed dual-clutch adjusts figures to 26/33/29 mpg.

Hyundai Elantra
2.0-liter Gas Engine
Honda Civic Sedan
2.0-liter Gas Engine
Toyota Corolla Sedan
1.8-liter Gas Engine
Combined 29 mpg 29 mpg 32 mpg
City 26 mpg 25 mpg 28 mpg
Highway 36 mpg 36 mpg 36 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity 14 gallons 12 gallons 13 gallons