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2017 Hyundai Elantra Preview

2017 Hyundai Elantra Preview

By Christian Wardlaw, November 18, 2015
  • Larger inside and out
  • Improved aerodynamics
  • New, more efficient engines
  • Enhanced ride and handling
  • Upgraded interior materials and seat comfort
  • New safety and infotainment technologies
  • Offered in SE, Eco, and Limited trim levels
  • Built in Alabama; on sale in January 2016

Introduction
Technically a midsize car by official EPA standards, the Hyundai Elantra gets even bigger with a redesign for the 2017 model year. The company showed off its new 2017 Hyundai Elantra at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

When the new Elantra goes on sale in January 2016 it will be available in SE and Limited trim levels. A new Eco version will follow shortly thereafter, built for people who want to maximize fuel economy.

Exterior Features
Longer and wider by 1 in., the 2017 Elantra matches the outgoing model in terms of height and wheelbase.

New bodywork combines with front air curtain design, underbody covers, extended trunk lid, and a special spoiler at the bottom of the rear bumper to make the new Elantra more aerodynamic and, therefore, more fuel-efficient. Hyundai reports that the car’s coefficient of drag measures 0.27 cd.

Eight paint colors are available for the 2017 Elantra, five of which are new.

Interior Features
Improved aerodynamics, coupled with measures to reduce engine, road, and wind noise, give the redesigned 2017 Elantra a quieter interior, Hyundai says. Headroom and legroom are also improved, though the new Elantra is not quite as big inside as the redesigned 2016 Honda Civic.

According to Hyundai, the Elantra’s interior materials are improved, and the company employs a greater use of soft-touch surfaces for common touch points. New seat frames provide greater performance in collisions, the automaker says, and multi-firmness cushions filled with environmentally friendly SoyFoam are designed to reduce driver fatigue on longer drives.

The new Elantra’s dashboard design takes after the larger Sonata sedan, emphasizing width through a horizontal control layout and a center control panel canted slightly toward the driver. Hyundai says the controls are logically grouped by function to make the car easier to drive.

Measuring 14.4 cu. ft., the Elantra’s trunk is sizable for what is considered to be a small car. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat expands utility.

Optional Features
Though Hyundai did not announce trim level details, the majority of the features listed here are standard or optional for the more expensive Elantra Limited.

Available upgrades for the 2017 Elantra include 17-in. aluminum wheels, adaptive HID headlights that help the driver to see around corners and curves, LED taillights, and LED door handle approach lighting.

Leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front and rear seats, and heated side mirrors are also planned for the car, as well as a new memory feature to remember the driver’s preferred settings. Keyless entry with push-button engine starting is also available, along with a power sunroof and a hands-free trunk that pops open when it detects the presence of the key fob for more than a few seconds.

Under the Hood
A new Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is installed in the Elantra SE and Elantra Limited, making 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque.
In the SE, a 6-speed manual gearbox is standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission optional. The automatic is included for the Elantra Limited. Hyundai estimates that the automatic will return 33 mpg in combined driving, once the EPA officially rates the car.

The new Elantra Eco is equipped with a turbocharged, 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Hyundai provides no further details, as this version of the car is planned for a later debut than the SE and Limited.

All three versions of the Elantra will offer Drive Mode Select with Eco, Normal, and Sport driving modes. They adjust the powertrain response and steering effort levels in accordance with the driver’s mode selection. Hyundai says it has improved the Elantra’s electric steering for 2017, aiming to deliver better feel and feedback at highway speeds.

Hyundai continues to employ a MacPherson strut front and torsion-beam rear axle suspension, though tuning changes combined with a much stiffer and lighter vehicle structure are expected to improve the Elantra’s overall ride and handling characteristics, the automaker says.

Safety
Hyundai reports that it has increased the use of advanced high-strength steel in the Elantra’s structure from 21% to 53%, and that it has engineered the new car to get the highest crash-protection ratings from the federal government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Standard equipment includes 7 air bags. A reversing camera with new dynamic guidelines is an option, along with automatic high-beam headlights, blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist, and a lane-departure warning system with lane-keeping assist.

Importantly, the new 2017 Elantra is also available with a new automatic emergency braking system that includes pedestrian-detection capability.

Technology
The Elantra SE’s standard radio includes a USB port and satellite radio. For Bluetooth connectivity, a reversing camera, and a quick-charge USB port, upgrade to the optional 7-in. touch-screen infotainment system. When the Elantra goes on sale, this system will support Android Auto, with Apple CarPlay planned to roll out sometime after the car’s arrival in showrooms.

A navigation system is available for the 2017 Elantra, paired with a larger 8-in. touch screen with split-screen display capability. This system includes HD Radio, voice-recognition technology, Siri Eyes Free, Pandora, Tune Start technology, and SiriusXM subscription services including traffic and weather reports.

Hyundai’s Blue Link subscription service technology is also available for the new Elantra. Depending on the package the owner subscribes to, Blue Link supplies remote engine starting, remote interior heating and cooling, remote access to the door locks, a car finder, and a stolen-vehicle recovery service. Important safety-related features offered through Blue Link include automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, speed alert, curfew alert, and boundary alert, each of which can provide parents with peace-of-mind when a teenaged driver is behind the wheel.

Adaptive cruise control is also new for the 2017 Elantra, and buyers can upgrade to an available Infinity premium sound system with Clari-Fi music-restoration technology.

Additional Research:

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