- The redesigned 2021 Hyundai Elantra sedan is here with bold styling and a new hybrid variant.
- A 2.0-liter inline-four engine with 147 hp is standard, while the Elantra hybrid promises 50 mpg combined.
- The 2021 Elantra sedan will go on sale in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Hyundai’s redesigned 2021 Elantra sedan is trying to make a big splash in the compact-sedan segment, just as its Sonata sibling did recently in the mid-size sedan segment. The new Elantra boasts a striking design, an advanced assortment of tech features, and a new hybrid model that promises 50 mpg combined.
With a more rakish overall shape, aggressively angular side surfacing, and modern-looking headlights and taillights, the new Elantra looks compelling. It’s now one of the largest sedans in the compact segment, as it’s 2.2 inches longer, 1 inch wider, and has an 0.8 inch longer wheelbase compared with its predecessor. This benefits legroom in the rear seat, while headroom back there remains the same as before despite the swoopier roofline.
The Elantra’s base powertrain doesn’t quite live up to the exciting design, as a carryover 2.0-liter inline-four paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard equipment. It makes 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, relatively low figures for the class. We hope that Hyundai will continue to offer an Elantra Sport variant with a more powerful turbocharged engine and a manual transmission, but there’s no information about that model quite yet.
An Elantra hybrid is a new addition and not a surprising one given that the Toyota Corolla now offers a hybrid variant and the Honda Insight is essentially a Civic hybrid. The Elantra hybrid pairs a 1.6-liter inline-four gas engine with a 43-horsepower electric motor for a combined 139 horsepower. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission should make for a fairly different driving experience than those Toyota and Honda hybrids, which don’t use transmissions with fixed gears. Hyundai promises a combined EPA rating of “more than” 50 mpg; the Corolla hybrid and Insight are rated at up to 52 mpg combined.
While we haven’t had the chance to sit inside the new Elantra, its cabin is making a big step up both in terms of design and available technology. There’s an option for a two-screen display layout that’s Mercedes-like in that it incorporates two huge 10.25-inch screens under a single continuous piece of glass. One screen is a digital gauge cluster in front of the driver and the other is an infotainment touchscreen in the center stack.
The Elantra has an impressive offering of class-above technology features. Several driver-assistance features are standard including forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beams. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, too, but the kicker is that your smartphone can pair wirelessly—even with the Elantra’s standard 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. There’s also an available smartphone-based digital key system.
Despite all of these significant upgrades, we don’t anticipate the 2021 Elantra to be much more expensive than its predecessor. It will continue to offer SE, SEL, and Limited trim levels and we’d anticipate prices ranging from around $20,000 up to around $28,000. The 2021 Elantra will go on sale in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2020.