The compact Hyundai Elantra has been a star in the Korean company’s line up winning a bagful of accolades, including an AJAC Canadian Car of the Year award. It has even given the formidable Honda Civic a run for the money in the sales charts; not surprising as the Elantra looks good, offer incredible value for money and comes fully equipped with high-cost creature comforts as standard and other attributes.
For 2017, the Elantra line up gains a new model called the Elantra Sport that offers more performance and excitement for drivers. Standard, base model Elantra’s for 2017 already offer such goodies as: heated seats, two USB ports, keyless entry, traction control and stability control, while the GL trim line throws in a big- car style 7” inch touchscreen display and Android Auto capability. The base powertrain on the Elantra is a 147 horsepower two liter four- cylinder teamed with either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Elantra is not exactly flush with power, but the new Elantra Sport ($24,999) addresses that with hotter turbocharged 1.6-litre engine with a much-improved 201 horsepower, and 95 lb-ft of torque. The Sport arrives with a six-speed manual transmission as on our tester for the week, or the optional automatic with a paddle-shift seven-speed DCT (Double Clutch transmission) on the Elantra Sport Tech version. Other changes include a specialized rear suspension comprising of a multi-link arrangement. The Sport’s retuned suspension is also teamed up with a larger front brake rotors, a revised steering ratio, and bigger 18-inch wheels.
Meanwhile interior and exterior upgrades on the Sport makes for a slightly aggressive, more defined sculpted looking Elantra. The looks are set off by the cool wheels, an attractive dark chrome grille, HID headlamps, deeper rocker side sill extensions, front splitter, a rear under body diffuser, trunk mounted rear spoiler, LED tail-lights and twin chrome exhaust tips. The cabin meanwhile is highlighted by red stitching detail on the fabrics, a cool race-style a flat-bottomed steering wheel (heated), sport instrument cluster, and sports-style high bolstered seats. Safety features include blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert.
Step up the slightly pricier Sport Tech model and one gains: dual-zone climate control, leather steering wheel, upgraded audio, rear parking sensors and navigation for $27,495. The seven-speed DCT auto is an extra cost option.
The Elantra Sports cabin has an inviting sporty air, with its comfortable sports seats up front, and a roomy bench out back. Interior fabrics and materials are good quality and the cabin has an air of refinement and class that hardtop believe at the price. On the road, the Sports recalibrated suspension, revised steering ration and bigger brakes seriously put the “sport” into the sport. Winding curves, quick lane changes and highways passing can all be executed without drama and with excellent control. Our six-speed manual transmission equipped car proved to be a fun to drive entertaining car. The uprated engine s 201 horsepower is still modest in comparison with other hot compact cars, but proved to be more than willing. The six-speed transmission is also well matched to the responsive engines rev range. The bigger brakes also impress for this class of car. Once again it hard to figure out how Hyundai offer such a great sports performance package for the price. But they have done it again. For a shade under $25,000 for a decently equipped performance sedan you can’t go wrong. Highly recommended as wonderfully exciting car.
2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport priced from $24,990 – $28,999