Home » AUTO REVIEW | Excessive-tech, high-style Hyundai Elantra is a $21K cut price

AUTO REVIEW | Excessive-tech, high-style Hyundai Elantra is a $21K cut price

NAPLES, Florida — The annual Automobiles on fifth auto present weekend on Naples’ swank fifth Avenue essential thoroughfare is a feast for the eyes. Automobile house owners roll via the streets displaying off their fancy Aston Martins, Mercedes, Audis and Lamborghinis.

My $20,995 Hyundai Elantra would not look misplaced.

Daring black fascia with built-in, swept headlights like a Merc EQS. Swept tail like an Audi A7. Slashed physique stampings like a Lambo Aventador. If Lamborghini made compact automobiles, they might be known as Elantra. At a time when Detroit automakers are exiting the enjoyable, inexpensive automotive house (I mourn the passing of the Ford Focus and Chevy Spark), their international friends have stepped up with a Whitman’s Sampler sweet assortment of scrumptious morsels. Take a look at the techy Honda Civic, roomy VW Jetta, salacious Mazda3.

With its daring styling and beneficiant suite of ordinary options, the 2022 Elantra is a bone normal compact that house owners can proudly parade via any American neighborhood.

My trip tester wore a hip premium wardrobe: black grille, black window trim, black wheels set in opposition to a darkish grey physique. Dude, is that the Batmobile? My former Detroit Information colleague Pam Shermeyer was all the time looking out for cool base wheel covers in a sea of dreadful, silver plastic designs. Pam, you want these.

The Elantra’s normal black, 17-inch rims match its physique stampings — triangular shards rotating across the five-wheel lugs. Strolling down fifth Avenue, I discovered myself stopping and circling mid-engine Corvettes littered alongside the curbs, marveling on the method designers built-in its a number of surfaces.

I discovered myself doing the identical with the Elantra. With extra sharp edges than a drawer-full of knives, its surfaces in some way work in concord. I pulled up subsequent to an Audi RS5, sporting an enormous black grille and 20-inch shard-spoked wheels. However subsequent to Elantra, the RS5 appeared tame. Take a look at the minute element on the Elantra’s grille, every section a triangle. Or the decrease spoiler, the Hyundai a plateful of triangular quesadilla slices.

The Elantra isn’t a hatchback just like the RS5 — hatches are costly to do — but it surely seems like one. The roofline meets the C-pillar in a protracted arc that tapers to a sublime swan’s tail.

The outside hints on the consideration to element inside. I marvel today on the democratization of autos — with luxurious chariots boasting of digital gizmos now routine in mainstream automobiles like Elantra costing tens of 1000’s much less. My $21,000 had every little thing I wanted.

Strolling as much as the Hyundai, it acknowledged the important thing in my pocket with NFC (Close to Area Communication) — Elantra comes normal with key fob and push-button begin — lighting up the door deal with so I might discover it even at nighttime. I compressed the wee door-handle button and the door unlocked.

I slipped into snug material seats that by no means chafed regardless of every week of fixed driving. It is consolation that may be loved by 4 passengers as Elantra options beneficiant backseat house. I simply sat behind myself with my lanky 6’5″ body. Farther again, the truck swallowed two baggage, a tennis bag, briefcase and a seashore chair with room to spare.

Like these plastic wheel covers, the usual inside is stuffed with premium touches. Instrument and console shows are built-in, Mercedes-like, into one panel throughout the sprint. The console takes a web page from Corvette with a flying buttress separating driver from passenger — doubling as an Oh, Crap! deal with for Mrs. Payne if wanted.

My spouse is used to my sudden Hyde-like transformations after I see twisty roads, and she or he’ll instinctively seize for a deal with. Like its front-wheel-drive compact class brethren, enjoyable comes normal within the Elantra with its low heart of gravity and quick wheelbase. Although missing the Civic’s razor-sharp dynamics, it’s enjoyable to drive quick.

Which, as in southeast Michigan, is not typically in Naples with its flat panorama and gridded roads. The usual options most drivers will discover helpful are digital.

Push the beginning button and Elantra involves life. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal, so I by no means needed to take away my cellphone from my pocket. The system does require persistence as well up — the eight-inch display screen slowly recognizing “Henry’s Smartphone G70” after which Android Auto for navigation, Spotify, and so on.

Smartphone apps are method forward of even the very best luxurious navi methods. Lounging on the seashore, my spouse and I had searched locations from eating places to retail shops. After we transitioned to the automotive, they immediately got here up on Android Auto. I chosen a close-by “Haagen-Dazs” and we have been off. Once I wanted so as to add a vacation spot mid-trip, I merely barked at Android Auto — its voice recognition higher than any luxe automobile at Automobiles on fifth — and it modified my route.

Cruising Tamiami Path, my Elantra bristled with security options to maintain my distance from the six-figure chariots round me. Ahead collision-avoidance help with pedestrian detection is normal, as is auto braking when in reverse. Backing out of a parking spot, the Hyundai detected a passing automotive — WUNK! — the automotive immediately utilized brakes to forestall contact.

Producers differ on whether or not blind-spot-assist or adaptive cruise management is the extra vital security characteristic. Hyundai gives BLIS normal — Honda and Toyota ACC. I missed the power of ACC to navigate Naples site visitors, however BLIS not solely makes lane adjustments protected, it additionally saved my having to crane my neck to test blindspots (which my chronically stiff neck appreciated).

Solely at Naples stoplights did the Elantra betray its, um, lower-price standing. Whereas luxe chariots round me have been powered by boosted, turbocharged-or-supercharged mega-mills, my Hyundai had a mere 147-horsepower four-banger powered by a repeatedly variable transmission.

Oh, it was painful.

Rolling out of a stoplight subsequent to a BMW 3 Sequence, I flattened the throttle and the engine screamed — hamsters peddling the hamster wheel for all they have been value. To no avail. The 255-horse Bimmer disappeared into the gap. Sigh. Elantra drivers can take solace that their hamsters sip gasoline at 37 mpg, making it simple within the pockets, if not the ego.

Save their pennies, and Elantra patrons can commerce up for the $32,945, turbo-goosed N mannequin to go BMW looking with 267 horsepower, limited-slip differential, 19-inch wheels and correct engine growl — nonetheless for $12K lower than a comparable Bimmer.

And like the bottom Elantra, it can hand over nothing to the German in wi-fi tech, inside display screen dimension and exterior cool once you cruise down fifth Avenue.

2022 Hyundai Elantra

Automobile kind: Entrance-engine, front-wheel-drive, five-passenger compact sedan

Worth: $20,995, together with $1,045 vacation spot charge (base SE as examined)

Powerplant: 2.0-liter 4 cylinder

Energy: 147 horsepower, 132 pound-feet of torque

Transmission: Repeatedly variable

Efficiency: 0-60 mph, 9.0 seconds (Motor Development est.); High velocity, 124 mph

Weight: 2,725 kilos

Gas financial system: EPA, 33 mpg metropolis/43 freeway/37 mixed

Report card

Highs: Sizzling bod; normal options galore

Lows: Gerbil energy

Total: 4 stars

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit Information. Discover him at hpaynedetroitnews.com or Twitter HenryEPayne.

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The 2022 Hyundai Elantra has an 8-inch show, HD radio and wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. (Drew Phillips/Hyundai/TNS)


The 2022 Hyundai Elantra comes normal with a repeatedly variable transmission. (Hyundai/TNS)