2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited, Phanton Black

2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited in Phantom Black

Quick Spin

2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited

ClassCompact Car

Miles driven: 180

Fuel used: 5.5 gallons

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB
Power and PerformanceC+
Fit and FinishB-
Fuel EconomyB
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 GuyA-
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.
Engine Specs147-hp 2.0L
Engine Type4-cylinder
Transmission CVT
Drive WheelsFront-wheel drive

Real-world fuel economy: 32.7 mpg

Driving mix: 70% city, 30% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 31/41/35 (mpg city, highway, combined)

Fuel typeRegular gas

Base price: $25,450 (not including $995 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Carpeted floor mats ($155)

Price as tested: $26,600


Quick Hits

The great: Spacious interior for the class; comfortable, compliant ride

The good: Generous level of standard features, value pricing

The not so good: Middling acceleration; polarizing styling; so-so interior materials for a top-line model

More Elantra price and availability information


CG Says:

Even if you climb to the top of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra model mountain, your bill for a gas-engine Limited will still fall comfortably short of $27,000. That’s essentially loaded, too—only a dozen individual accessories, with prices ranging from $30 to $295, exist to tease some extra cash out of a buyer’s wallet. But is the Elantra Limited truly a bargain?

2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited

The Elantra’s redesign for 2021 brings provocative new exterior styling and a host of new features.

At $26,445 with delivery, a Limited with the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine starts at a considerable $4550 more than an SEL like the one that Consumer Guide previously tested. But with option packages that filled in more than half of the Limited’s above-and-beyond standard equipment and a set of accessory carpeted floor mats, CG’s SEL came to a final price of $25,100, while its follow-up Limited test car hit $26,600 with only the $155 mats added to it.

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2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited

Even in the topline Limited, the Elantra’s interior wears some noticeably budget-grade materials, but the dramatic design makes for an striking ambiance nonetheless. Highlights include a fully digital gauge cluster, HVAC vents integrated into a full-width trim strip, and a passenger grab handle that cascades down from the center of the dash.

Comparing apples to apples, then, what the extra $1500 bought for the Limited that could not be replicated on the SEL came down to:

  • leather upholstery
  • navigation
  • dynamic voice recognition
  • Hyundai Blue Link guidance package
  • customizable ambient interior lighting
  • chrome window trim
  • LED headlights
  • reverse parking-distance warning and collision-avoidance assist
  • Highway Drive Assist (a lane-centering and vehicle-distancing system for highway use)

Test Drive: 2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL

Elantra Cabin

There’s decent space for adults in both the front and rear seats. Limited models come standard with leather upholstery.

To be sure, there are plenty of other premium goodies built into the Limited. A partial list includes 17-inch alloy wheels, 8-speaker Bose audio system, power sunroof, forward collision-avoidance assist, 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, wireless charging, and Hyundai Digital Key smartphone app. However, aside from the leather seats, there is no great leap of plushness in the fairly utilitarian cabin, and the same 147-horsepower engine and continuously variable transaxle found in the SEL hammer away under the hood. With the Limited’s larger gauge cluster, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality requires a wired connection to a smartphone, whereas lesser models with the base 8-inch infotainment touchscreen actually have more “modern” wireless capability. (Of course, considering that the SEL we sampled was optioned with the 10.25-inch cluster, this was a wash between the two test cars.)

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2021 Elantra Wheels

The Elantra’s base powertrain is a 147-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder paired with a continuously variable transmission. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard on Limited models.

As a reminder, the ’21 Elantra initiates the fully redesigned seventh generation of Hyundai’s compact sedan. It is 2.2 inches longer, one inch wider, and 0.8-inch lower on a 0.8-inch-longer wheelbase compared to the previous model. The suspension is composed of MacPherson struts and a stabilizer bar up front with a torsion-beam axle in the back. Styling is dramatically new if somewhat polarizing for its sharply drawn lines.

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2021 Elantra Design

The Elantra’s front and rear fasciae both wear dramatic design touches; there’s a bold “parametric-jewel-pattern” grille up front, and a full-width taillight at the rear. Crisp body lines and edgy shapes abound.

Powertrain performance, passenger room and comfort, cargo-carrying capability, and control operation in the Limited are effectively identical to what CG experienced in the new Elantra SEL, and we’ll direct readers to that review for the mostly favorable specifics. Overall, it’s car that we like for its interior room, ride comfort, and level of features for the price. To boot, there is the availability of a hybrid in two trim levels (at a $2655 premium). The decision as to whether or not the Limited is a good deal seemingly rests the shopper’s level of love for gadgets. Those who value hanging on to a little more of their money might lean SEL instead.

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2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited

Despite its head-turning styling, the Hyundai Elantra isn’t the most dynamically engaging compact car with its base engine, but even in upscale Limited trim, it’s a good dollar value. And, Hyundai also offers the sportier N-Line model with a 201-hp turbo engine, and, for 2022, an even sportier N model (with 276 hp) is slated to debut.

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2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited Gallery

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