Hyundai arrived at the Los Angeles Auto Show with the new 2017 Hyundai Elantra 4-door sedan in tow, and what we saw was a car that was markedly different from the outgoing model.
Similar to the larger Sonata sedan, the all-new Elantra is a little less stylized this time around, whilst also delivering upgrades in fuel efficiency, comfort, safety, and more.
This is a grown-up version of the Elantra, and it goes on sale next January (2016).
Updated: Hyundai Elantra 2017 MSRP
2017 Elantra commercial
Exterior design: less curves, cleaner look
The previous generation Hyundai Elantra featured a ton of curves and detailed design elements, but this version is a little more subdued.
The lines have been smoothed out to deliver a cleaner, calmer look than before, which is pretty much the same steps Hyundai took with the Sonata midsize sedan.
The new look really pays off in the front end, as the wider, deeper Hyundai signature grille gives the face more expression. The LED lights up front now adopt a boomerang shape.
The side profile is now a whole lot simpler with the removal of all those curves.
The rear of the vehicle no longer has a pulled forward look, and the side doors now have a cut that is more vertical. The roofline has also been changed, and the rear of the Elantra now features LED taillights.
Lots of changes inside the Elantra
On the inside, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra is essentially identical to the Sonata in every way.
Horizontal themes can be seen throughout, with ample space under the dashboard reserved for a touchscreen that is now angled more in the direction of the driver.
A separate 4.2-inch screen is used for other functions such as the navigation and audio controls.
All of the other cabin features – climate control, etc. – are controlled by knobs and keys hat are finished in a soft-touch plastic with metallic finishes that are easy on the eyes and on the fingers.
It’s a look which, like the exterior, is a lot less subdued than before, but also a class above what we have become used to!
2017 Hyundai Elantra dimensions
The interior space of the outgoing Elantra was impressive, but more length and width on the 2017 model should make it even more so.
This vehicle has always straddled the line between compact and midsize, but these additions to length and width certainly nudge it more into the midsize side of things.
The overall length of the 2017 Elantra has been increased by 0.8 inches to 179.9 inches, while the width is 1.0 inch more at 70.9 inches.
The wheelbase and height are the same at 106.3 inches and 56.5 inches, respectively.
Hyundai wanted to give the vehicle a more substantial appearance, which is why they made the changes.
With over 110 cubic feet of cargo space, the Elantra is on a par with the Honda Civic and ahead of the Ford Focus and Mazda 3.
Hyundai refines Elantra’s ride and handling
Hyundai also worked hard to reduce cabin noise in the Elantra redesign, which they did by adding more insulation materials and adding thicker glass.
When it comes to NVH levels, the Elantra is now likely in the same league as more expensive sedans from a segment above.
The use of high-strength steel means a stiffer body for the new model, which helps with handling and noise levels.
Ride quality was also a focus for Hyundai engineers, which is why they updated the suspension with relocated shocks and springs.
Steering, which has been a little bit of an issue with older models, is expected to improve because of the changes made to the bodywork of the Elantra.
Engines, fuel economy
Fuel economy should also be better, as Hyundai have delivered a pair of new powertrains for this model. A 2.0-liter 4 cylinder that generates 147-hp and 132-lb.-ft. of torque is found in the standard Elantra models.
Hyundai expects that engine to generate fuel economy ratings of 29/38/33 mpg city/highway/combined when the FWD model is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco will also feature a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine under the hood, with an output of 128-hp and 156-lb.-ft. of torque.
That engine will be mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, and is expected to have an EPA rating of around 35 mpg combined.
While the new powertrains are certainly huge factors in the improved fuel ratings, some of the credit also has to go to better aerodynamics.
Large air inlets allow for better flow around and under the car.
The Elantra also comes with driver selectable modes – Eco, Normal, and Sport – to provide the driver with different driving experiences.
Top safety ratings expected @ crash tests
Hyundai is expecting big things from the 2017 Elantra in terms of safety, as they believe it will get a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), not to mention a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
There are a host of safety features that help make all of this possible, including 7 airbags and an available rearview camera.
The vehicle also employs camera and radar to deliver adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts.
The features list is long, and includes automatic climate control, memory seats, heated and ventilated front seats, hands free trunk release, Android Auto, USB ports, split/fold rear seats, Bluetooth, satellite radio, premium audio system, and smartphone connectivity.
The BlueLink telematics system can also be synced with a smartphone to enable features like remote start and remote door unlock.
Production on the 2017 Hyundai Elantra sedan will take place in both South Korea, and Montgomery, Alabama.
Pricing will be announced closer to the release date.