Reviews

2017 Hyundai Elantra Driving Impressions


If 0-to-60 mph is one of your top priorities, brisk 0-60, that is, this may not be the right compact sedan for you. The basic 2.0-liter ranks near the tepid end of the compact sedan standard engine spectrum, and reaching the mile-a-minute mark is likely to consume about 8 seconds, regardless of transmission choice. And we note once again that only the Elantra SE, the entry end of the lineup, offers this choice. Higher trim levels are automatic only.

While brisk acceleration is the antithesis of economical driving, it’s a plus in the cut and thrust of commute motoring, as well as passing exposure on two-lane highways. Getting around a slower car on a winding back road with the Elantra requires patience and planning.

Other sectors of the Elantra’s dynamic scorecard grade out better. The electric power steering system has been improved, though there are others in the compact sedan category, the Honda Civic, for example, that are distinctly more tactile.

Similarly, while its suspension tuning is conducive to smooth ride rather than eager responses, the Elantra’s stiffened structure has a reassuringly solid feel that inspires confidence at the wheel. It’s not the kind of setup that’s likely to challenge a Honda Civic or Mazda 3 in a slalom contest or double lane change test.

But the more robust structure, as well as wide-ranging attention to noise suppression, contribute to a commendably quiet cabin at all speeds. That’s a key factor in the comfort equation, and that’s the Elantra’s strong suit.

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