Modern, innovative, aggressive. These adjectives are not typically used when describing a Hyundai…except in the case of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra. The well-loved compact sedan is back in a bold new design and with some jaw-dropping technology normally saved for the big boys (or girls) of the car world. I was able to try it out first-hand during a press event in Imperial Beach, CA near San Diego.
Way More Than Your Average Compact Sedan
Though there are plenty of practical reasons to buy Hyundai, that’s not enough for the Korean car manufacturer. Hyundai knows that consumers are looking for more and is ready to appeal to the (driver’s) heart with a slick style, improved driver dynamics, and advanced safety. What does that mean though? That means the new Elantra was designed to knock your socks off!
As for the style, you can see that the body is now more striking. Before, I thought the sedan style was a bit boring and preferred the hatchback version. Now it’s a toss-up for me. The inside of the vehicle is spacious and the (darker) interior is finished nicely.
I drove two cars—one with black interior and one with a combination of tan and black. The tan/black interior felt busy and had too many contrasting surfaces. The matte gray around the climate controls aged the area a couple of decades. Accent pieces on the door clashed with those used on the dash. Plus, the blue from my jeans rubbed off on the light leather seat (whoops). When deciding on an interior color, I would definitely go for the gray or black option.
2017 Hyundai Elantra Technology
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra will offer a 7” touchscreen that automatically detects your smartphone (via cable) to start up either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. I found this to be fast and responsive. The icons are HUGE so it should be easier to select the app you need while driving. Of course, making use of the hands-free voice commands is better for preventing distracted driving. I love that the screen is set at a 7% tilt for a better viewing angle for the driver.
The new Elantra also has a hands-free smart trunk, blind spot detection, driver seat position memory, rear traffic alert, can connect to your Apple watch via Hyundai’s Blue Link, has Clari-Fi audio, smart cruise control, lane change active assist, HID bending headlights, and more. How awesome is the High Beam Assist that will detect oncoming traffic and temporarily dim your headlights for you?! During our event, Hyundai staff stated that the Elantra is packed with more tech than any other vehicle in its segment. I believe it — this car is loaded!
All of that technology is for naught if the vehicle cannot keep the driver and passengers safe. The previous Hyundai Elantra used 10 feet of structural adhesive (used at key points to bind the steel) in the frame. The 2017 model now uses 394 feet of this material, improving the car’s structural strength by 40 times. It also keeps out dust and reduces the possibility of corrosion.
2017 Hyundai Elantra Review
During our road test, I found the Elantra to be comfortable, quiet, and solid. The rear seats have an “okay” amount of leg room but those with long legs will be happy to know that the front seats move back A LOT. My driving partner, Henry of The Korean Car Blog, had plenty of room to stretch out while I drove. Oh, and there’s plenty of trunk space too.
I usually like the tighter handling and suspension in “sport” mode but the Elantra tends to lean on the heavier side. Eco mode was fine for city and highway driving while Normal handled curves well. Sport mode was almost too hard for me to steer but those that prefer stronger hands-on feedback may like it. Each drive mode feels drastically different so each person can find the mode that best suits their driving style.
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra’s Wide Appeal
As to the versatility of the Elantra in our modern world, check out this Hyundai Super Bowl commercial with Kevin Hart. My whole family (including my teen daughter) think it’s hilarious!
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra will have a 2.0L Turbo engine (increasing “oomph” power) and a Sport model will be coming later in the year. With a starting price of $17,150 and the top Limited trim costing about $22,350, buyers will get plenty of bang for their buck. This Elantra will appeal to most audiences but is particularly suited to teens, young adults, and for commuters.
I was invited on a media event for which the lodging, travel, and food was provided. All opinions are my own.