Will the new Elantra be another hit?
The 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show has been full of reveals and debuts. Fiat showed off its 124 Spider, Mazda brought out its gorgeous CX-9 SUV and Hyundai showed off the new 2017 Elantra. If the Elantra seems like an outlier on that list, well, it shouldn’t. We don’t write much about the Korean automaker’s entry-level four-door but that doesn’t mean we’re not a fan of it. The Elantra is a pretty good value and doesn’t look so bad either. So, what’s new?
For starters, the engine options have been overhauled. There’s now a 2.0-liter Atkinson four-cylinder engine making 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft. of torque. Hyundai says Atkinson “reduces pumping loss by delaying the close timing of the intake valve in the compression stroke, therefore maximizing the expansion ratio.” The more you know. A six-speed manual is standard on the SE trim, with a six-speed automatic offered as optional; that order is flipped for the Limited. Expected mpg ratings for the automatic are 29 city/38 highway/33 combined. Yeah, these numbers won't blow away other drivers at stoplights but then again you aren't really in the market to race if you're seriously considering buying an Elantra. It's about the mpgs!
Speaking of mpgs, there’s also a direct-injected 1.4-liter turbo-four good for 128 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque on offer. It's mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and is expected to get 35 mpg combined. There’s more space inside, a total of 110.2 cu. ft., which Hyundai notes is better than the Mazda3 and Ford Focus. The seats are also made of an eco-friendly material called SoyFoam, which swaps petroleum based polyol with hydroxyl-functionalized soybean oil. Yeah, we don’t get it either buy yay, green things! There are a bunch of safety features available as well, such as Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and a nifty sounding driver’s knee airbag.
You can also open the trunk just by walking up to it with your key fob in your pocket—it beeps thrice and then opens—which is damn cool. So, would you rather win the Super Bowl and drive off in this Hyundai or is the Mazda3/Ford Foucs/Honda Civic still your mid-size four-door of choice? Check out these live shots and let us know in the comments. Live shots courtesy of Alden Tatum.