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Auto review: Enhanced Hyundai Elantra for 2019

With improved tech and safety features, the sixth-generation sedan excels in a competitive class.

The sixth-generation Hyundai Elantra got a makeover for

The sixth-generation Hyundai Elantra got a makeover for 2019. Photo Credit: Hyundai Motor America

The compact Hyundai Elantra sedan, now in its sixth generation, gets a thorough redesign for 2019, inside and out, including more standard technology features, along with a new infotainment system and additional active safety features standard on more trims.

Exterior styling is upgraded with a wider grille featuring horizontal slats, and deep-set vertical outboard turn signals with enclosures that allow air to pass through.

New wedge-shaped headlights with LED running lights seem to pierce the upper grille corners. The hood is also new, along with the front fascia and front fenders. The trunk lid and taillights are new, as is the rear fascia.

Trim levels include the 2.0 SE ($17,100, with six-speed manual gearbox; $18,100 with six-speed automatic); 2.0 SEL ($19,000); 2.0 Value Edition ($20,400); 2.0 Limited ($22,600); 1.4 Eco ($19,950); and 1.6 Sport (six-speed manual/seven-speed automatic, price not available).

The Eco trim gets new 15-inch alloy wheels with covers. Limited and Sport trims now have LED headlights. Inside, the instrument panel and housing, center console, climate controls, air vents, and storage tray are new.

Elantra now has a standard rearview camera with guidelines, a larger infotainment display, and Bluetooth connectivity on base models. Driver assistance on all but the base model includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning/lane-keep assist, and Driver Attention Alert. It detects tired driving patterns and alerts the driver with audible and visual warnings on the instrument cluster.

Under the hood is a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with dual continuous variable valve timing, connected to a six-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic (manual shifting), and 17-inch five V-spoke (lots of angles) bi-color (silver with gray pockets) alloy wheels. Smart Shift Drive Mode is now standard on SEL models and above.

For 2019, the Limited now has standard Infinity premium audio with eight speakers, including a center channel and subwoofer, HD radio, and Clari-Fi music restoration technology for clear, realistic sound. SiriusXM is included for three months.

Blue Link Connected Services is standard for three years, with features such as SOS Emergency Assistance (live agent trained to help), Enhanced Roadside Assistance (out of gas, flat tire, need a tow), Automatic Collision Notification (notify first responders even without input from driver or passengers), Monthly Vehicle Report (assist in timely maintenance), and more.

My Elantra Limited had four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist; electronic stability control with traction control; leather seating with heated front seats, and power driver’s with lumbar support; dual automatic temperature control with auto defogger; hands-free smart trunk (cavernous 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space); a compact spare under the cargo floor; and Blue Link remote start. Auto defogger and remote start came in handy on frosty mornings, clearing the windows and warming the interior.

With additional sound-absorbing material, my Elantra was quiet, even at highway speeds. The seats were comfortable, even in the rear, with 35.7 inches of legroom. Driver and front passenger had 42.2 inches of legroom.

Charging ports were limited to two 12-volt outlets (one in the center console armrest bin) and one USB port.

Elantra was an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus for 2018 and offers one of the best warranties in the segment.

2019 Hyundai Elantra

Base price: $17,100

Price as tested: $22,600

EPA fuel economy: 28 mpg city, 37 highway

Engine: 2.0-liter four cylinder

Power: 147 hp.

Length: 181.9 inches

Width: 70.9 inches

Competitors: Chevrolet Cruz, Ford EcoSport, Kia Forte, Volkswagen Jetta

Bottom line: Good option in a competitive class

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