$12,551 - $16,423

2017 Hyundai Elantra Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Hyundai Elantra was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.8

The redesigned 2017 Hyundai Elantra performs adequately but is not that fun to drive, according to test drivers. The four-cylinder engine delivers generally sufficient power, but acceleration is unimpressive. Though not overly agile, the Elantra remains planted and has little body roll when cornering. The ride is firm, but not to the point of discomfort.

  • We found the Elantra to be competent and capable, if never truly outright fun to drive." -- Left Lane News
  • "But how's it drive? Very good. In fact, better than you'd expect given the Elantra's not exactly mind-blowing power output." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The old 1.8-liter four-cylinder didn't seem particularly loud or coarse until we drove the new Elantra. The new 2.0-liter is not only quieter but sounds sweeter. Plus, it generates peak power and torque lower in the rev range than the old engine, so this larger 2.0-liter is never working quite as hard to move the Elantra. Still, with roughly the same power ratings, transmission gears and similar weight to shuttle around, the 2017 Elantra seems no quicker then (sic) the old model." -- AutoWeek

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 Elantra sedan features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 147 horsepower. The Elantra GT hatchback comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower. With either model, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is available. The Elantra sedan gets an EPA-estimated 26/36 mpg city/highway with a manual transmission, which is good for the class. With the automatic transmission, the fuel economy jumps to 28/37 mpg.

Though some test drivers are pleased with the sedan's engine potency, most agree that it is merely passable and provides unimpressive acceleration. A few critics also think the car can struggle to get out of corners with any real determination. The automatic transmission is reliable and delivers smooth shifts.

  • "Speaking of uphill hustling, the Elantra's weakest spot may now be its powertrain. While the 2.0L does a more than adequate job of moving the little sedan's ~2,900lb mass around in most normal situations, it took quite a bit of winding out to get it out of tighter corners." -- Left Lane News
  • "In real-world driving this engine feels more powerful than its numbers suggest. Linked to a 6-speed automatic (standard in all trims except the most basic Elantra SE), the powertrain eagerly pleased." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "When you dip into the throttle of the 2.0-liter engine, it provides acceptable if not slightly buzzy motivation at the top end of the rpm range. The six-speed transmission shifts smooth and quickly, and even if it doesn't match engine rpm on downshifts, we like the way it moves predictably through the gears." -- Edmunds
  • You have to poke the 2.0 deeply to get any real thrust, but the torque band is acceptably broad and it serves its duties with a muted and dispassionate growl. Three driving modes-Eco, Sport, and Normal-fiddle with the shift timing, throttle response, and steering effort, with the mild Sport mode being none too sporty (this is not a criticism; it matches the car's personality)." -- Car and Driver
  • [W]ith fully loaded Elantras weighing about 2,976 pounds, the car is not numbingly slow. We won't call it peppy or enthusiastic, but it won't leave you hanging out to dry with nonexistent response." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard on the Elantra. The ride is somewhat firm; the car handles most road imperfections with ease, but it is noticeable when you drive over them. The Elantra tackles corners effectively, exhibiting firm road grip and little body lean. However, class rivals like the Mazda3 are still more athletic. The Elantra's steering is responsive, though it provides little feedback.

  • "The new car's controls are well weighted and responsive, and the Elantra can hustle when it needs to, the suspension digesting the road and not easily thrown off its path by rough pavement. It's no Mazda 3, but at least it's a stiff platform on which to base sportier models such as the aforementioned Elantra Sport, as well as maybe a coupe and a small crossover. Every step Hyundai takes toward dynamic refinement is to be cheered, as this one should be." -- Car and Driver
  • "[T]oss the Elantra into a bend, and after a small amount of body roll, the car hooks up and remains planted. It's no performance chariot, but the chassis provides excellent stability when needed, such as when you're trying to avoid an accident. Additionally, the suspension deals well with bumps, potholes, and manholes, making comfort and stability some of the Elantra's key selling points." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Similarly, the ride is again on the firm side; bumps rarely unsettle it, but even small ones register." -- Cars.com
  • "The steering in particular is vastly improved. While feedback is still lacking, the wheel is far more trustworthy than it was previously. It was easy to catch the car washing out when being hustled up tighter uphill sections, the understeer coming on predictably and reliably. Lift would prompt the appropriate correction, inspiring confidence and encouraging us to push the Elantra harder than we've felt comfortable in the past." -- Left Lane News

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