The 2016 Elantra offers premium style and features at an economy car price point. It is available in two models -- sedan or 5-door GT, which is about nine inches shorter than the sedan. The sedan offers SE, Value Edition, Sport and Limited trims, while the GT is a single-trim model. No matter the body style, the Elantra packs a lot of car into a relatively small package. The base SE, Value Edition, and top Limited models are powered by a 145-horsepower 1.8L engine, while Sport sedans and GTs feature a 2.0L 4-cylinder putting out a healthy 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. This configuration is rated at 24 mpg in the city. SE, Value Edition, and Sport sedans feature a standard 6-speed manual transmission and optional 6-speed automatic, while the Limited is standard with the automatic. The GT offers buyers the choice of manual or automatic.
The SE comes equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, power locks and power windows with driver's side auto-down, as well as an AM/FM 6-speaker stereo with CD and MP3 compatibility. A 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback is also standard. The Elantra Value Edition rides on 16-inch alloy wheels and bundles pleasantries from the previous SE Popular Equipment Package into standard features, including a power sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, proximity key with push-button start, heated front seats, integrated turn signals and chrome and aluminum accents.
In addition to the bigger engine, the Elantra Sport includes 17-inch alloys, a sport-tuned suspension, projector headlights with LED accents and LED taillights, integrated turn signals in the side mirrors and many more exterior cues. Inside there is heated cloth front seating, a 4.3-inch touchscreen audio display with rearview camera, aluminum pedals, and steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls.
The Limited sedan adds Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, which combines infotainment features, smart-phone connectivity and safety services. Front and rear heated seats are also included, as are push-button start and automatic dual climate control. Adding the Ultimate Package to the Limited adds a 7-inch screen housing a navigation system, a power sunroof and an upgraded 360-watt stereo system.
Finally, the practical five-door GT features 16-inch alloys. Fog lights, daytime running lights, remote entry, cloth seating with heated front seats, tilt/telescoping steering with cruise and audio controls, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and a 60/40 fold-flat rear seatback are all standard. It also features a 3-position (comfort/sport/normal) Driver Selectable Steering Mode -- a segment first -- and a driver's side knee airbag, which is a Hyundai first. A Style Package adds larger alloys and the sport-tuned suspension, along with aluminum pedals, Blue Link telematics, LED taillights and more.
Well-equipped, With Sophisticated Infotainment Features And Options
Available In A Variety Of Body Styles
For 2016, Hyundai has added a Value Edition trim to the Elantra lineup. The new trim slots in just above the base SE and Hyundai claims it adds $1,000 in standard features for just $550 more than an SE equipped with the Popular Equipment Package. Elsewhere, the Elantra Limited now has push-button start and automatic dual climate control, while the Elantra Sport loses previously standard features, like leather seating (replaced by cloth) and a power sunroof. As a result, the Sport is now $1,350 less than its 2015 predecessor. Finally, the 5-door GT benefits from a subtle exterior upgrade, including a revised grille and new 17-inch wheels.
The Elantra is Hyundai's entry into the compact car market, battling against household names such as the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, as well as hatchbacks like the Ford Focus and MAZDA3. It is a competitive segment, but the Elantra stands out with its bold styling, roomy five-door GT, high level of equipment and outstanding warranty. Starting at $17,250, the Elantra has plenty of standard features and even manages to top 38 mpg on the highway with its 1.8L engine. A 2.0L offers a big boost in power while sacrificing little in the way of economy.