Hyundai redesigned the Elantra this year and added a new Value Edition ($20,250) between the SE and the Eco, for a total of five trims.
Elantra has a fresh new look, three new engines, a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and lots of impressive technology. The redesigned Elantra has a classier exterior, a more refined interior, and better ride quality, for a more livable daily drive.
The five models are priced for 2017 from $17,150 for the base SE with a manual transmission to $22,350 for the Limited with an automatic transmission. The SE and Sport ($21,650, manual) can add an automatic transmission for $1,000.
The new Value Edition, which we tested, comes with a long list of features, then adds a sunroof, power driver’s seat with lumbar support, and auto-dimming mirror with Homelink and compass, and Lane Change Assist, which would otherwise be added individually, for a saving of $1,215.
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The Value Edition does not offer any options; it simply comes as is, with safety features not typically found on a car of Elantra’s status -- such as Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, and Lane Change Assist, luxuries such as heated front seats, and super luxuries such as a hands-free trunk release.
Elantra SE with manual transmission is the base trim, with a new 2.0-liter 147-horsepower four-cylinder engine (EPA rated for 28 mpg city/37 highway/32 combined and six-speaker audio with satellite radio and CD player.
The SE with the six-speed automatic adds Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity with voice control, and steering-wheel-mounted Bluetooth, audio, and cruise controls, and offers a Popular Equipment package ($800) with a seven-inch display audio touch screen without CD player, plus Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, automatic headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated exterior mirrors, and hood insulator.
Value Edition builds on the SE with the Popular Equipment package adding a few more features, including the contents of a $1,300 Tech package (keyless enter/start, Blind Spot Detection. Adding the power sunroof, Lane Change Assist, power driver’s seat, and auto-dimming rearview mirror at no added charge results in the “Value.”
Elantra’s interior is well-built, attractive, and spacious, with well-placed controls. The infotainment system with smartphone integration had AM/FM/HD radio, SiriusXM radio, and six speakers. Although no navigation is available, the smartphone app feature can be used for directions and much more.
Rear seat passengers had plenty of legroom at 35.7 inches, with the middle passenger only slightly less. Rear headroom was 37.3 inches, just shy of front headroom at 38.8 inches. Front legroom was more than adequate at 42.2 inches.
The rear seatback folded 60/40 to haul longer items, although wide items would be limited by the intrusion of the seat braces on each side. We did manage to haul a chicken crate along with a mid-century two-level end table from an antique fair.
Cargo area in the trunk is 14.4 cubic feet, near the top of its class, leaving room on each side for smaller bags of treasures. Elantra is the only vehicle in its class to offer a hands-free smart trunk, and the low liftover height contributes to easier loading with hands full.
The Value Edition’s cabin was quiet and comfortable, with lots of technology and safety features, and well laid-out controls and appointments. Some might find acceleration lacking, with one of the slowest zero-to-60 mph times of its class. But I found acceleration adequate for my purposes – pulling out into traffic, and overtaking and passing.
My tester had Carpeted Floor Mats for $125, a Cargo Net for $50. and a Cargo Tray for $100. Adding $835 destination charges, subtracting $1,215 for the additional “Value” equipment and technology, the total delivered price for this charming, well-equipped, affordable Elantra was $21,360.
The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.