Although the Hyundai Elantra just saw a minor refresh in 2019, the 2021 model introduces a full redesign for the compact sedan. Much like what we saw for the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, the Elantra gains aggressive and edgy style changes. In addition, the Elantra will see its first hybrid model.
In terms of exterior styling, the 2021 Elantra takes many cues from the larger Sonata. Upfront, it showcases a large jewel patterned front grille and sleek headlights. Along the side are two aggressive body lines that create a triangular shape across the front and rear doors. Around back, the sharp, rather pointy taillights mirror the headlights. A light strip runs the width of the trunk connecting the two taillights and keeping the aggressive lines continuous around the body of the car.
On the inside, the new Elantra also sees major upgrades. Many elements have carried over from the initial images, with a clean look oriented around the driver. The dash carries a seamless design with air vents running from door to door. The gauge cluster and the infotainment screen grow to 10.25 inches each, with both becoming integrated behind one piece of glass. Technology upgrades include segment-first wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with Hyundai Digital Key which allows drivers to use their smartphone to unlock doors and start the engine.
Under the hood, the 2021 Elantra does not see any major changes. The regular gasoline model will carry on with its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that is capable of 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. The new hybrid model will come with a 1.6-liter engine combined with an electric motor which is good for 139 horsepower and up to 195 lb-ft of torque.
Although it's too early for IIHS testing, we expect good things from the 2021 Elantra given its suite of standard safety features and Top Safety Pick Award for the 2020 model. Hyundai's SmartSense suite will come standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, high beam assist, and driver attention warning. Optional features will include blindspot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and more.