WHAT IT IS: The Elantra is Hyundai’s compact sedan, and the new Sport trim may be my new favorite bang for the buck of any sedan. The last time I wrote about the Elantra, it was a fully loaded Limited trim that tipped the scales at just under $30,000 and I mused that the world didn’t need an Elantra that expensive. The new Sport trim is a much easier on the wallet $21,650 and provides some serious upgrades and creature comforts.
The first and most important upgrade is the engine, which is offered as a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that pumps out 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. This is quite a perk up from the 2.0-liter’s 147 horsepower. The turbocharged engine is paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission (the dual clutch is an extra $1,100).
The exterior is significantly different from the regular Elantra, with the front and rear fascias replaced with sportier replacements. New sport side sill extensions and 18-inch alloy wheels round out the revised bodywork. You also get HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights and larger 4-wheel disc brakes. Inside the car, you get special Sport trim front seats that are heated, Sport trim steering wheel, and a revised gauge cluster. All of the Elantras get an 8-inch infotainment system that features both Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility.
The one option available for the Sport is the Premium Package ($2,400) which gives you built-in navigation, Infinity-branded premium audio, a power sunroof, dual-zone temperature control, blind spot detection, and a few other minor niceties. Not a bad value at all.
MPG: 22 city/30 highway/25 combined
Price: $21,650 base price.
Upsides: Immense bang for your buck.
Wrap-up: It’s hard not to compare the Elantra against it’s bigger brother, the Sonata, but the Sport trim finally gives you a great reason to skip the bigger car: a manual transmission with premium accouterments. It’s becoming more and more rare to have the option of a manual and an upgraded stereo or navigation, but Hyundai has delivered here. You get an incredible, well-rounded sports sedan, a premium-feeling interior, the fun of a turbocharged engine, a great infotainment experience, and the best warranty in America for the low $20s. That is the making of a great deal.
Before you go …
… we’ve got a small favor to ask. More people are reading The Tribune than ever. Advertising revenues across the media spectrum are falling fast. And unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Tribune's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. Support the only locally owned, locally produced news product in the Lake Houston area. And thank you!