Jul
12
2019 Hyundai Elantra Limited

2019 Hyundai Elantra Limited in Scarlet Red

2015 Audi Q52019 Hyundai Elantra Limited

Class: Compact Car

Miles driven: 615

Fuel used: 19.8 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 2.0L
Engine Type4-cylinder
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Drive WheelsFront-wheel drive

Real-world fuel economy: 31.1 mpg

Driving mix: 50% city, 50% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 28/37/32 (city/highway combined)

Fuel type: Regular gas

Base price: $22,600 (not including $885 destination charge)

Options on test car: Ultimate Package ($3350), carpeted mats ($125)

Price as tested: $26,960

 

Quick Hits

The great: Generous level of features for the money; trunk space

The good: Simple control layout; decent ride quality

The not so good: Some middling interior materials

More Elantra price and availability information

 

John Biel

The third model year for the current Hyundai Elantra compact sedan is the time for a freshening, according to the manufacturer’s calculus. Peruse a 2019 Elantra and you’ll find modifications to the exterior and interior. Availability of Hyundai SmartSense safety features has been expanded as well.

Red 2019 Hyundai Elantra Limited

The Elantra’s styling refresh for 2019 includes a new trunk, taillights, and rear fascia, as well as a new hood, front fenders, front fascia, grille, and headlights. The overall look is sharped-edged and more angular than before.

Consumer Guide sampled the 2019 Limited, the price and prestige leader of the Elantra sedan line. It starts at $23,485 with delivery. With the Ultimate Package option and carpeted floor mats added, the Scarlet Red test car topped out at $26,960.

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2019 Elantra Cabin

The Elantra’s cabin undergoes a minor freshening as well for 2019. There are still some budget-grade interior materials present, but the Limited gets some satin-finish trim embellishments that make for a better ambiance. Passenger room is competitive in both the front and rear seats, but extra-tall occupants might complain of limited head room.

The cabin shows the most change since the last time CGers drove an Elantra Limited in 2017. There’s a redesigned leather-wrapped steering wheel, a new—but still easily operable—control panel for the dual-zone automatic climate system, reshaped ventilation vents in the dashboard, a unified enclosure for driving gauges and the in-dash touchscreen, and a wireless-charging pad ahead of the shifter in the console.

Elantra Trunk

The Elantra offers 14.4 cubic feet of trunk space–among the best in the class for a mainstream-brand compact 4-door sedan.

The $3350 Ultimate Package for the Limited includes Safe Exit Assist, a new feature that detects vehicles approaching from the rear and warns occupants that it may not be safe to open a door. Additional package features are adaptive cruise control, a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen, Blue Link multimedia and map updating, 4.2-inch color thin-film-transistor vehicle-information display, power sunroof, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and memory settings for the driver’s seat and exterior mirrors.

Other standard equipment for the Limited consists of 17-inch alloy wheels; LED headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights; hands-free “smart” trunk; side-mirror turn-signal indicators; door-handle approach lights; 8-speaker audio system with HD and satellite radio; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity; Blue Link telematics; auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink universal remote; two charging USB ports; leather seating surfaces; leather-wrapped shift knob; power driver’s seat with lumbar support; heated front seats; a 60/40 split-folding rear seat back; push-button starting; and remote starting and keyless entry. Safety-oriented electronic driving aids are blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keep assist.

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The Limited uses the “volume” engine found in most Elantras, a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. (A pair of smaller-displacement turbocharged fours are utilized in the 201-horsepower Sport and fuel-conserving 128-horsepower Eco.) A 6-speed automatic is the sole transmission choice for the top-line car. Acceleration is adequate to get around in city driving and maintain some pace on the highway, but the powerplant can be a bit noisy under load, and the transmission seems somewhat slow to kick down. Selectable drive modes are there to modify throttle response (and steering effort), though calling up “Sport” mode delivers just a very slight improvement in acceleration.

Elantra Limited Wheels

Limited models come standard with 17-inch alloy wheels.

Indeed, the 2.0-liter’s valvetrain is designed to favor fuel economy over speed. The EPA projects that the Limited powerteam will return 28 mpg in city driving, 37 mpg in highway use, and 32 combined. In a couple of turns in the test car, this driver recorded 31 and 33.5 mpg, the latter from a 342-mile stint with 38 percent city-type driving. Both were substantially better than what he saw from the 2017 Limited with a solid majority of city miles.

Even if not a paradigm for the class, the Elantra delivers a fairly well composed and comfortable small-car ride. Steering behavior gets marginally firmer—and better—in Sport mode.

Passenger room in front is good, but the rear seat will feel cramped if tall occupants are riding up front. The effective adult seating capacity is four. Headroom is accommodating in either row. The overall look is attractive, with a bit of brushed metal to brighten things, but materials aren’t the plushest everywhere. Cabin storage is handled by a big glove box, a modest covered console box, and a net pouch on the back of the front-passenger seat. All four doors incorporate pockets with bottle holders, and there are paired cup holders in the console and in the rear pull-down center armrest. Driving controls are big and legible, and audio and climate systems are simple to use, thanks to physical control knobs for certain key functions.

The trunk displays good space for a compact. It has a flat floor and a low liftover. Small items might fit under the floor in the well around the standard mini spare. When the rear seats are folded, they rest a few inches above the level of the cargo floor, which might complicate some loading situations. Also, there is a bulkhead behind the seats that cuts down the passage between the trunk and interior.

When the current generation of the Hyundai Elantra arrived two years ago, we felt it became a better compact sedan, albeit maybe not the best one. But it’s still pretty good, especially for the price.

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2019 Hyundai Elantra Limited in Red

There are compact-car rivals that have a sportier feel from behind the wheel (such as the Honda Civic and Mazda 3), but the Hyundai Elantra offers a pleasant driving experience, good value for the money, and, in top-line Limited trim with the Ultimate package, a long list of desirable convenience and safety features.

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