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2020 Hyundai Elantra Review

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra finishes in the middle of our compact car rankings. It has a lot of positive traits, including a comfortable ride and excellent fuel economy. Still, many rivals are more athletic, and some are also more upscale.

Pros & Cons

  • Good predicted reliability rating
  • Comfortable ride
  • Lots of tech features
  • Great fuel economy
  • Dull driving experience
  • Cabin materials not as nice as in some rivals

New for 2020

  • CVT now standard with base engine
  • Manual transmission discontinued in sedan models
  • More standard features

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra's #6 ranking is based on its score within the Compact Cars category. Currently the Hyundai Elantra has a score of 8.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 40 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Hyundai Elantra?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Hyundai Elantra a Good Car?

Yes, the 2020 Hyundai Elantra is a good compact car. You have the option to choose between hatchback and sedan body styles, both of which have ample cargo space and deliver a smooth ride. The cabin is well-built, and the seats are comfortable. The Elantra also gets a good predicted reliability rating. The main knocks against this Hyundai are that it delivers a mundane driving experience and that even in some of its strong areas, it trails the competition.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Elantra?

The Elantra has a lot going for it, as we detail above. Combined with its below-average base price, the Elantra is a solid value in this competitive class. Still, there are plenty of other enticing compact cars. For example, the Honda Civic is a livelier performer than the Elantra, with more energetic engines, while the Toyota Corolla has a lot of standard safety features and a perfect predicted reliability rating.

Compare the Elantra, Civic, and Corolla »

Should I Buy a New or Used Hyundai Elantra?

Hyundai last redesigned the Elantra sedan for the 2017 model year. The GT hatchback was redesigned for 2018. For 2019, the Elantra underwent a refresh, gaining new exterior and interior styling and more standard features, such as a 5-inch display and a rearview camera.

For 2020, Hyundai makes a handful of changes to the Elantra. A new continuously variable automatic transmission is standard with the base engine in sedan models, which are no longer offered with a manual transmission. The hatchback models did not receive the new transmission. The new Elantra also has greater fuel economy by 4 mpg for both city and highway driving. Dual-zone automatic climate control is now standard, along with forward collision warning with brake assist, and a driver attention monitor, though these enhancements were available in older models. Aside from the new transmission and fuel economy boost, you may be able to get a similarly equipped used Elantra, which likely costs less.

Be sure to read our 2017, 2018, and 2019 Elantra reviews to help make your decision. You can check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Elantra »

We Did the Research for You: 31 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about the Hyundai Elantra in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates and cargo space dimensions with professional evaluations from 31 automotive sources. This Hyundai Elantra review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for the 2017 model year.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Hyundai Elantra Cost?

The 2020 Elantra has a base MSRP of $18,950, which is slightly lower than the starting prices of many rivals. The sedan’s high-end Sport model starts at $23,800, which is one of the most affordable top-level trims in the class. At the time of writing, pricing information for the Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback has not been released.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

Hyundai Elantra Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Hyundai Elantra or Honda Civic?

The Honda Civic is one of the best new compact cars you can buy. It comes in three body styles: sedan, coupe, and hatchback. Regardless of configuration, this Honda’s peppy range of engines and energetic handling make it fun to drive, and it has similar fuel economy to the Hyundai. The Civic has more standard safety features and a nicer cabin. It’s the superior choice.

Which Is Better: Hyundai Elantra or Hyundai Veloster?

The Hyundai Veloster is another good choice. This hatchback has a somewhat unusual three-door setup, with one door on the driver’s side and two doors on the passenger side, including a rear-hinged door that provides access to the back seats. Additionally, this hatchback only seats four people compared to the Elantra’s five, but the Veloster has more standard features and nimbler handling. The Veloster comes with the same engine options as the Elantra, but a more potent turbocharged 275-horsepower engine is available. These cars are likely to be priced similarly. Choosing one is a matter of preference.

Compare the Elantra, Civic, and Veloster »

Elantra Interior

How Many People Does the Elantra Seat?

Regardless of body style, this vehicle seats five people. Cloth upholstery is standard, and leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are available.

The seats are comfortable, and legroom is generous in both rows, but headroom up front can feel slightly restrictive for taller occupants.

Elantra and Child Car Seats

This vehicle has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the setup the second-best rating of Acceptable for ease of use.

Elantra Interior Quality

While this Hyundai has a handsome cabin, material quality doesn’t feel as luxurious as what you'll find in some rivals.

Elantra Cargo Space

With 14.4 cubic feet of trunk space, the Elantra sedan has a large trunk for the compact car class, though the Nissan Sentra has even more room. The GT hatchback has 24.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 55.1 cubic feet with them folded down.

Elantra Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Elantra include a 5-inch display, a USB port, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system. A 7-inch and an 8-inch touch screen are available, as are Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, wireless device charging, Clari-Fi music restoration technology, an eight-speaker Infinity premium stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio, and the Blue Link telematics system.

It’s easy to use the infotainment system, thanks to its straightforward physical controls and responsive touch screen.

Read more about interior »

Elantra Performance

Elantra Engine: Capable but not thrilling

The Elantra sedan comes standard with a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission. The six-speed manual transmission from older models has been discontinued. The Elantra GT hatchback uses the same engine, but it squeezes out 161 horsepower. It comes with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Elantra Eco has a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 128 horsepower. It comes with a seven-speed automatic.

The Sport sedan and N-Line hatchback come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine making 201 horsepower. The Elantra Sport comes with a seven-speed automatic transmission, while the N-Line can be had with the seven-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. Each engine is capable but not thrilling. Even the peppier turbocharged models don’t feel as energetic as the engines in some rivals.

Elantra Gas Mileage: Elating

With its base engine, this Hyundai gets 31 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. The Elantra Eco does even better in the city, earning 33 mpg. Those are great figures for a nonhybrid, though classmates like the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid earn even better estimates. Sport models earn 26/33 mpg.

Elantra Ride and Handling: Comfortable and Playful

The Elantra’s suspension soaks up most road flaws to provide a gentle ride. With responsive steering and strong brakes, handling is composed, though the Elantra is not as athletic as a Mazda3. Front-wheel drive comes standard.

Read more about performance »

Elantra Reliability

Is the Hyundai Elantra Reliable?

The 2020 Elantra has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Hyundai Elantra Warranty

The Elantra is covered by a basic warranty lasting five years or 60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty lasting 10 years or 100,000 miles.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Hyundai Elantra?

The cost of insuring a Hyundai Elantra will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Elantra Safety

Elantra Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Elantra an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. It received four stars in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested this vehicle.

Elantra Safety Features

The entry-level SE trim has forward collision warning with brake assist, lane keep assist, a driver attention monitor, and a rearview camera.

Available driver aids include lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot warning and detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and pedestrian detection.

Read more about safety »

Hyundai Elantra Dimensions and Weight

The 2020 Elantra sedan is about 15.2 feet long. The hatchback comes in at around 14.2 feet. It has a curb weight ranging from 2,844 to 3,155 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Hyundai Elantra Built?

Hyundai builds the Elantra in Alabama, alongside the Sonata, and in South Korea.

Which Hyundai Elantra Model Is Right for Me?

Hyundai offers the Elantra sedan in six trims: SE, SEL, Value Edition, Limited, Eco, and Sport. The GT hatchback is expected to be largely unchanged from the 2019 model, meaning it will likely come in two trim levels: base and N Line.

The SE, SEL, Value Edition, and Limited come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 147 horsepower, as well as a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The Eco trim swaps that powertrain for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 128 horsepower. Elantra Sport models also have a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, but it’s paired with a 1.6-liter turbo-four that makes 201 horsepower.

The Elantra GT hatchback has a six-speed automatic transmission and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 161 horsepower, while N-Line models have the same engine as the Elantra Sport. The N-Line comes with a six-speed manual transmission, and a seven-speed automatic is available.

The well-equipped base model is a good choice, though shoppers after more safety features should look to the SEL trim. Those seeking more power may want to consider the Sport trim.

Hyundai Elantra SE

The base Elantra SE starts at $18,950. It comes with a 5-inch display, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, cloth upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a driver attention monitor, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warning.

Hyundai Elantra SEL

With an MSRP of $19,700, the SEL trim adds a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, blind spot warning and detection, rear cross traffic alert, and lane departure warning.

Hyundai Elantra Value Edition

The Elantra Value Edition has a starting MSRP of $20,600. It gains a sunroof, proximity keyless entry, heated front seats, rear-seat cupholders, and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system.

Hyundai Elantra Eco

The Hyundai Elantra Eco retails for $21,250. It features most of the same equipment as the Value Edition and also comes with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and low-rolling resistance tires. All of these are designed to boost fuel economy. The Eco trim loses the sunroof, but it gains a second USB port.

Hyundai Elantra Limited

Retailing for $22,800, the Limited features the 2.0-liter engine and the CVT. It gains wireless device charging, an eight-speaker Infinity sound system, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Otherwise, it has the same options as the Sport (listed below), as well as pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.

Hyundai Elantra Sport

The Elantra Sport has a base MSRP of $23,800. In addition to the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, it features a sunroof, automatic high-beam headlights, and leather upholstery. The Blue Link telematics system is available, as are an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, and an eight-speaker Infinity stereo. The Sport does not have the features gained by the Limited.

Hyundai Elantra GT

At the time of writing, pricing has not been officially released for the GT or N-Line hatchbacks. The GT trim will likely have a similar equipment list to the base SE, but with an 8-inch touch screen instead of the 5-inch display. It's also likely that the N-Line will be equipped similarly to the Elantra Sport.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

See 2020 Hyundai Elantra specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra makes a great daily commuter car. Its seats are roomy and comfortable, and it has a smooth ride. There's plenty of cargo space, and the Elantra earns a good predicted reliability rating.

Despite those plaudits, the Elantra only finishes in the middle of our rankings because many rivals are more exciting to drive and more refined overall. We think that shoppers should check out this Hyundai, but it's also worth seeing how it compares to the competition.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "There’s no dispute, the 2020 Hyundai Elantra is really impressive. After a substantial makeover last year, Hyundai has made even more improvements this year. The bigger takeaway from these developments is that the compact-sedan scene is alive, well and thriving. Otherwise why would major manufacturers make such an effort? The Elantra competes with superb cars like the Honda Civic and Mazda3. It does so by emphasizing luxury and safety aspects, generous standard equipment, styling influenced by upscale cars, plus an unbeatable 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. For those seeking something sporty, there’s the hatchback Elantra GT N Line (taking over from the GT Sport)." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Ultimately, the Elantra's value isn't enough to vault it to a podium finish in its class. Alternatives such as the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf simply drive better and offer nice interiors. But the Elantra remains a solid pick behind the front-runners, offering a lot of features for less money. If you're open to getting a hatchback, the Elantra GT … is worth consideration." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "… the GT and rival hatchbacks offer value against comparably equipped small SUVs that cost more to buy and drive. They can satisfy a lot of buyers' actual needs, while adding a healthy dollop of extra driving fun." -- Cars.com (2018)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 8, 2020

Falling Sales: While the Elantra is among the top three sellers in the compact car segment, demand has taken a big hit in 2020; dealerships have sold 40.1 percent fewer Elantra models to date this year relative to the same period in 2019. Compact car segment sales leaders, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, are both outselling the Elantra by more than 2 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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2020 Hyundai Elantra

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