There's plenty of new stuff crammed into Hyundai's newest sedan.
The Kia Forte was revealed two years ago to critical acclaim. Now, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra and first-ever 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid have arrived to steal back some of the spotlight hogged by its sister car. The seventh-generation of the Elantra comes at a time when SUVs and crossovers are dominating sales charts but Hyundai believes this all-new model can help turn the tide back in favor of sedans. Hyundai has seemingly thrown everything into this new Elantra, hoping to take the lead in the compact sedan segment. Here are five things you need to know about the 2021 Elantra.
Hyundai uses the term "Parametric dynamics" to describe the new Elantra's appearance. Luc Donckerwolke, the company's chief design officer, says he wanted this new car to have a bold, four-door-coupe look. "The fresh aesthetic was completed through unconventional lines and a face that broke a taboo in automotive design," he says. "The new Elantra is highlighted by its stance that looks like geometric crystals and divided body surfaces to get a strong emotional response from the customers."
To create this new look, Hyundai had to adjust the Elantra's proportions. This new model is 2.2 inches longer, an inch wider, and 0.8 inches lower than the car it replaces. The result is a much more aggressive design than the outgoing Elanta.
The standard Elantra is powered by a 2.0-liter MPI Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. This is routed out to the front wheels through what Hyundai calls its Intelligent Variable Transmission, essentially a CVT. Fuel economy is estimated to be class-leading but if you want the most efficient Elantra, it will be the hybrid.
The Elantra Hybrid uses a smaller 1.6-liter engine paired with an electric motor to produce 139 hp and up to 195 lb-ft of torque. Rather than using the IVT, the hybrid uses a six-speed dual-clutch to deliver a more engaging driving experience. Hyundai predicts the Elantra Hybrid will be rated at over 50 mpg combined.
Hyundai calls this interior design an "immersive cocoon" with lower, wider structures from the door to the center console. The cabin is filled with unique touches including slim air vents, 64-color mood lighting, a driver-oriented layout, and a high center console. At the center is a massive, class-leading 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system paired with a similarly sized drive information display in the gauge cluster.
The massive screens aren't the only pieces of new technology in the Elantra. Hyundai has filled this car with advanced features including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Qi wireless charging, Bose Premium Audio, voice recognition, and digital key. SmartSense Safety comes standard with features such as forward collision avoidance, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, high beam assist, and driver attention warning. Optional safety equipment is also available including blind-spot monitoring, smart cruise control, and highway driving assistant.
All of the changes to the exterior haven't drastically impacted interior volume. The car now offers more headroom up front and the same amount of headroom in the back. Legroom in the front row is nearly identical but in the back seat, passengers have class-leading 38 inches of legroom (2.3 inches more than before). Shoulder room has also been increased with the clever packaging of the interior. Even trunk space has improved to 14.2 cubic feet, giving it an eight percent advantage over the Toyota Corolla.