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.

Downsides: None.

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. 

 

 

 

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Wilson Calvert
Author: Wilson CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist / Director of Operations
I am a long-time Houstonian and am obsessed with cars, soccer, traveling, bourbon and airplanes. I write a regular car review column for The Tribune and travel articles a few times per year.