2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited Road Test

12.4.14


You’ve got $25,000 to spend, you want a sedan, you want good solid technology, your kids aren’t short so that back seat has to be a real one and you won’t get in anything that has less than a four star safety rating. So obviously you find yourself in the Hyundai Elantra.

It’s an unfussy car. The lines are elegant, a European look if you will.

2014 Hyundai Elantra

Midsize cars are weird. They’re not big, they’re not small, they’re called midsize for a reason and every so often I sort of visualize them as white cars with a blue stripe and lettering that says CAR across the side of it, like a beer can from the old Roseanne show. Because of this I end up not particularly excited about midsize sedans and that’s not wise because the Elantra has a lot of excitement built into it. Don’t mistake it for ordinary.

2014 Hyundai Elantra silver

First of all Hyundai always delights with their technology. I cannot emphasize enough how intuitive Hyundai tech is. I drive a lot of different cars each year and the single most important thing about the technology in the car is that it should be intuitive and the Elantra Limited is. You don’t need to look at a manual, you just sort of sit yourself down in the driver’s seat, take a look at the panel and get about the business of connecting your phone to the bluetooth, programming in your favorite stations and saving your house and office (or school) in the navigation system. Everything works well and it’s simple. It’s like the iPod of car tech, just a couple of buttons and they do everything you’d think they do.

Elantra panel

Elantra tech

Intuitive technology in cars matters to me. Tech should be minimally distracting with no frustration.

The Elantra has a modest engine. It’s a 4 cylinder 143 hp motor on a vehicle that’s near 2,900 pounds (curb weight is between 2,818-2,943 lbs. depending on equipment) so you won’t be racing off the blocks but you also won’t go broke at the pump. The average MPG is 27 city, 37 highway and 31 combined).

Interestingly Edmunds.com gave the Elantra a B but owners have given it 4.5 stars in their ratings. I think I’d trust the vehicle owners on this one.

There’s a bit of road noise on the Elantra but at this pricepoint I’ve not driven anything quieter. There’s plenty of legroom, lots of glass and I’d be very happy taking the Elantra and it’s oversized trunk for a road trip with a family of four.

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