Thursday, April 14, 2016

Looking ahead: 2017 Elantra is a compact gem

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California ­– Want a glimpse at the compact car future?

Hyundai is offering it up right now with the significantly reworked 2017 Elantra, a serious contender in the diverse and wildly popular compact segment.


This Elantra has a lot for relatively little money.

My tester was the comparatively loaded version – a 2017 Elantra Limited  – but its starting price was a most reasonable $22,350.  That included a lengthy list of standard amenities, including blind-spot detection, rearview camera, rear cross-traffic alert, leather seating surfaces, a hands-free smart trunk and the usual array of high-tech hook-up portals.

The tester was opulently dressed up with extras that pushed the bottom line to $27,710.  The lineup of pay-extra perks included a navigation system, a premium audio system, a power sunroof, heated seats front and back and smart cruise control.

You get the idea: You can have the Elantra pretty much any way you want it, and still be well under $30,000.

I’ll say this: It's easy on the eyes.

The sedan has a sporty wedge shape in profile with some nice, eye-catching angular sculpting cuts on the side.  Those 17-inch alloy wheels looked fine as well.

This Elantra is not a rubber-burning transporter with a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine making a max 147 horsepower.  Yet my ride powered through most of what I had to offer.  And the good news payoff: a healthy 28 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.
The 2017 Elantra's interior is thoroughly modern-looking, with easy to reach and use controls.

Hyundai’s generous warranties also make the Elantra an alluring compact entry.

The South Korean automaker reports that the latest Elantra grew slightly, but frankly, the interior space looked much more generous than a I remember from years past.  Volunteer passengers were happy with their seats, and they volunteered that the Elantra operated quietly for a compact.  I agreed.

As possible first-car offerings go – ditto as a second household car to handle the comparatively short-drive chores – this Elantra more than makes the grade.

It’s a little early to be talking about 2017, but this Elantra is a strong automotive offering for the year yet to come.

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