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Expert's Rating

3.4Good | Details

MPG

27 City / 36 Highway
Automotive Editor -

In a sea of compact sedans, the 2018 Hyundai Elantra floats above most competitors. Available in six trim levels and starting at $17,835 (including an $885 destination charge), the 2018 Hyundai Elantra sedan is loaded with standard technology features, has a fun sporty variant, and returns rather impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings. The Elantra is best suited for small families or singles looking for a reliable, comfortable daily driver.

What's New for 2018

In 2017 the Hyundai Elantra underwent a needed wholesale exterior redesign. As the calendar turns, the 2018 edition focuses on improving standard safety systems for each of the six trims. The SEL trim adds blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a seven-inch touchscreen audio system, a rearview camera, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Sport trim now comes standard with a power sunroof and added safety systems.

Hyundai Elantra

Choosing Your Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai makes selecting the perfect Elantra rather easy for consumers by creating six distinct trim levels. For example, the SE, SEL, and Value trims are well-equipped with popular technology and safety features. You'll get a perfectly fine 2.0-liter, four-cylinder with 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque that can return 26 miles per gallon city, 36 mpg highway, and 29 combined with the SE's standard manual transmission or 28 city, 37 highway, and 32 with the six-speed auto on the SEL, Value, and Limited trims.

The Eco trim returns an EPA-estimated 32 mpg city and 40 mpg highway for 35 mpg combined, which is perfect for those who commute daily. The improvement is thanks to the standard 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Look for a modest 128 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque.

Grab the Elantra Sport for its 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder, 201 hp, and 195 lb-ft of torque. Available with a standard six-speed manual or an optional seven-speed dual-clutch, it's inarguably the most entertaining and least efficient Elantra, returning 26 city, 33 highway, and 29 combined.

SE

With a standard six-speed manual, the $17,835 (including $885 destination charge) the Elantra SE is a solid base offering. A six-speed auto is a $1,000 option. The SE’s rear seating is a 60/40-split folding configuration, which features all cloth interior. A tilt and telescoping steering wheel, six-way adjustable driver seat, power windows and door locks, and cruise control are also standard features. A six-speaker audio system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity are also included in the Hyundai base.

Standard safety features include electronic stability control, a traction control system, electronic brake assist, and standard antilock brakes. There are no additional packages available in the SE, but several dealer accessories can be added.

SEL

The SEL trim starts at $19,735 and offers the same engine as the base SE but is standard with the six-speed automatic. 16-inch alloy wheels replace the base car's 15-inch wheel covers.

A blind spot detection system with rear cross-traffic alert arrive at this price point, while a rearview camera works through a seven-inch center display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are rear center armrests with cupholders. Hyundai offers SEL trim buyers a complimentary SiriusXM activation with a three-month trial.There are no additional packages available for the SEL.

Value Edition

The Value Edition has a beginning price of $20,735 and adds multiple upgrades from the SEL all focused on adding, um, value. A power sunroof, heated exterior mirrors, LED running lights, a pair of heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a proximity key with push-button start are easily justify the Value Edition's premium. In fact, getting all this equipment for just $1,000 is an absurdly good deal, making the Elantra Value Edition the smartest buy in this lineup.

As with the SEL, there are no optional extras

Eco

If fuel economy is the top priority, the Eco Elantra trim is the only trim to consider. Starting at $21,435, the main distinction between the Eco and the Value Edition – aside from its thrifty turbocharged engine – are its 15-inch wheels on low-rolling-resistance tires. Otherwise, the equipment list is virtually identical to the Elantra Value Edition.

Sport

The Sport is the peppy trim of the bunch and starts at $22,685. It gets flashy 18-inch wheels, a unique multi-link rear suspension that's been firmed up for increased agility and feedback, sporty exterior touches, and more heavily bolstered seats. HID headlights provide better illumination and a more premium look.

The Sport trim can be upgraded with a Premium Package that will add $2,250 to the price. This package comes with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that features navigation, an Infinity audio system with eight speakers, a Blue Link telematics system, dual automatic temperature control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Limited

The premium trim for the 2018 Hyundai Elantra is the Limited. Starting at $22,985, the Limited features LED interior and exterior lights, rides on 17-inch wheels, includes a power driver seat with lumbar support, gloss black interior accents, and leather heated front seats.

The Limited also includes a 3.5-inch dash display, dual charging USB ports, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Like the Sport, the Limited is upgradable when consumers add the Ultimate Package for an additional $4,350. This package includes an eight-inch touchscreen that comes with a navigation system, an Infinity premium audio system, a 4.2-inch color instrument cluster, a power sunroof, heated rear seats, along with a plethora of safety systems such as automatic emergency braking, a smart cruise control system, and a lane keep assist system.

CarsDirect Tip

With so many different trims, Hyundai provides a lot of different characters for the Elantra. The Value Edition offers the best bang for the buck, coming in just north of $20,000. Consumers who drive 100 miles per day or more should carefully consider the Eco as a viable option, as a combined 35 mpg can save a bunch on fuel bills while still enjoying the Value Edition's healthy feature list.

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Best Hyundai Deals & Lease Offers: January 2019

Deals for buying & leasing a Hyundai are unimpressive in January. Nearly every 2018 model has sold out and deals on 2019 stock haven't ramped-up. For example, last month's... View All Hyundai Lease Deals »

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