Mar
23
2020 Hyundai Elantra

2020 Hyundai Elantra Limited in Fluid Metal (dark silver/gray metallic)

Quick Spin2020 Hyundai Elantra Limited

Class: Compact Car

Miles driven: 602

Fuel used: 18.0 gallons

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB-
Power and PerformanceC+
Fit and FinishB-
Fuel EconomyB+
ValueB
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB-
Tall GuyB-
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs147-hp 2.0-liter
Engine Type4-cylinder
Transmission CVT automatic
Drive Wheelsfront

Real-world fuel economy: 33.4 mpg

Driving mix: 35% city, 65% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 30/40/34 (city/highway/combined)

Fuel type: Regular gas

Base price: $22,800 (not including $930 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Ultimate Package ($3350), carpeted floor mats ($135)

Price as tested: $27,215

 

Quick Hits

The great: Features for the money, real-world fuel economy

The good: Simple control layout, outward visibility, ride quality

The not so good: Engine noise under acceleration, some interior materials not up to top-trim norm for the class

More Elantra price and availability information

 

CG Says:

Aside from getting a new transmission for 2020, the Elantra Limited we tested this year was much like the Elantra Limited we tested last year, so we invite you to read that report for more details. In the Elantra line as a whole, 2020 sees the addition of some standard safety features, which now include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and driver attention monitor.

But that transmission seemed to make a notable difference — and not just to us.

2020 Hyundai Elantra

Partly due to its fastback roofline, rear-seat headroom may get tight for taller folks, but overall passenger space should be adequate for most. The tested Limited comes with dressy 17-inch alloy wheels and a host of features for the price.

According to the EPA, a 2020 Elantra with the base 147-horsepower 2.0-liter engine and new CVT automatic transmission scores a 30 city/40 highway/34 combined mpg rating vs. 28/37/32 with last year’s conventional 6-speed automatic. That’s a 2-3 mpg jump. And our tests support those figures; this year we averaged 33.4 mpg in 65 percent highway driving, while last year’s car averaged 31.1 in 50 percent highway driving.

In other ways, however, most people probably wouldn’t notice the change. Many current CVTs are programmed to mimic the “feel” of a conventional automatic’s gear shifts, and this is one of them; it exhibits little of the rubber-banding effect some found annoying in early CVTs. While the car doesn’t leap off the line if you nail the throttle from a stop, it moves off quite well — maybe even better than average for the class — and the transmission kicks down very quickly when the throttle is pressed at speed. The only downside here is that the engine gets somewhat loud under throttle. So there’s little sacrifice for the fuel-economy benefit, including in price: Our 2020 tester started at just $200 more than the 2019 version.

Our overall impression of the Elantra still holds: That of a car that doesn’t excel in many areas, but doesn’t lag in any, either. It just seems … friendly.

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2020 Hyundai Elantra

Although lacking some padded surfaces (like door tops) that some rivals “cushion,” the Elantra Limited’s two-tone interior looks very nice, with metal-look trim adding some pizazz. Most appreciated, however, are the easy-to-use infotainment and climate controls, along with good visibility and fine storage space.

And that’s more of a compliment that it might appear. You get into the Elantra, and things just feel “right.” The seats are comfortable (the driver seat on the Limited adding power adjustment including lumbar support), there’s good visibility all around, and controls fall readily to hand and are easily deciphered. There’s good passenger space front and rear, though headroom might get tight for taller folks in back. There’s also good cabin storage space highlighted by a large glovebox and a forward console bin next to handy Aux/USB/12-volt plugs, and — on our Limited — a Qi wireless charging pad. Our tester’s two-tone interior with metal-look trim gave it a dressy look, with the only drawback being that some surfaces — like the door tops — were hard plastic where some competitors have padding. Even the ride impresses: The suspension is tuned more toward ride quality than sportiness, which is really in keeping with the car’s nature.

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2020 Hyundai Elantra

Cabin-storage highlights include a forward console bin flanked by Aux/USB/12-volt plugs, and on the Limited, a Qi wireless charging pad.

Also included on the Limited are LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability, satellite radio, leather upholstery, power driver seat with power lumbar support, Hyundai’s Blue Link connected services with remote start, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink transmitter, dual automatic climate controls, and keyless access and starting with automatic trunk release. On the safety front, there’s forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot and rear cross traffic alert. The bottom line here is that there’s a terrific list of equipment included in the Limited’s $23,730 bottom line (and that includes the $930 destination charge).

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2020 Hyundai Elantra

The trunk is wide at the rear and fairly spacious, though sickle-shaped hinges dip into the load area, there’s scant underfloor storage, and folded rear seat backs (the releases are in the trunk) rest about five inches above the level of the cargo floor.

Added in our tester’s $3350 Ultimate Package are Safe Exit Assist (sounds a warning if you open a door when traffic is coming up from behind), adaptive cruise control, and the addition of pedestrian detection to the forward collision warning system. Other items include an 8-inch touchscreen to replace a 7-incher, a navigation system, a 4.2-inch center instrument-panel display (which displays some handy information right in front of the driver), a sunroof, and a memory for the driver seat and mirrors.

Since its introduction, the Elantra has made its mark by offering a lot of value for the money. And it continues to do so. The fact some might not find it the most exciting or modern car in the class really doesn’t diminish its appeal, and in some ways, actually adds to it.

NEWS FLASH! Hyundai unveils the redesigned 2021 Elantra

2020 Hyundai Elantra, 2020 Hyundai Elantra Limited

It may not look as up-to-date as some rivals, but the Elantra boasts clean lines, good visibility, decent passenger and cargo space, handy controls, and a truly impressive list of features for the money.

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2020 Hyundai Elantra Limited