The Elantra is undeniably popular; not much less common than Honda's all-conquering Civic, the best-selling car in Canada in each of the last 16 years. Nevertheless, Hyundai has realized that if the current Elantra is to take on the Civic on a continual basis, and if it will be tasked with fending off newer challengers, the company couldn't allow the Elantra to grow stale by waiting until a completely all-new Elantra arrives.
Still a style leader
So many toys
30 city mpg in winter with fresh engine?
Big back seat; big trunk
Intuitive control layout
|THE BAD |
Too much in-cabin vibration
Not a huge fan of cornering
Everybody's got one
Doesn't feel like a big power increase
The new norm: $27K compacts
The front and rear styling has been tinkered with, new alloy wheel designs have been added, LEDs make frequent appearances, and Hyundai says they went to work on reducing noise, vibration, and harshness.
But this 2014 model looks to be virtually identical to the handsome 2013 Elantra. The exterior and interior changes aren't significant. Equipment alterations aren't life-altering
The availability of a 173-horsepower 2.0L four-cylinder engine, on the other hand, is noteworthy.
Our tester, which at $27,199 (including destination) is the most expensive Elantra sedan, came equipped with the Elantra Limited's sunroof and rearview camera, but the Tech package increased the size of the touch screen from 4.3 inches to 7 while also adding navigation and proximity entry, removing the need to use an old-fashioned key.
$27K is a lot to pay for a compact car, even one that looks as good as this Elantra. But there's no dearth of space for occupants or cargo and the equipment load is heavy, a combination which generates something of a midsize impression. In addition to all that, the Elantra Limited has heated front and rear seats, a power driver's seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and leather seating.
Yet toys and horsepower does not a great car make. (It doesn't?) No, it doesn't. Consumers expect a lot from compact cars from these days. If the 2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited wants to price itself like a decently-equipped midsize car, it must do more than equip itself with extra heating elements and more motor.