2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport review with video


The basics:

Base price: $24,999 + taxes
Fully loaded: $28,999 + taxes
Average fuel economy during our road test: 7.4 L/100 kms (32 US MPG)
Competition: Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic SI, Subaru WRX, etc

New for 2017, the Elantra Sport offers the most power ever in an Elantra. This car is an indication that Hyundai is starting to take “fun-to-drive” seriously, too. The brand is actually taking a page from its competitors and launching its N Performance division. None of those products have been announced for the Canadian market yet but the Elantra Sport is kind of heading in that direction. Interestingly though, it’s not meant to be as nuts or harsh as the Honda Civic Type R or the Ford Focus RS. Instead, the Elantra Sport inhabits that middle ground for buyers who still want great value but just that little bit of extra performance. That means the Civic SI and the Focus ST are likely its closest competitors. But this isn’t just a gussied up Elantra, either. It’s been given a different engine, transmission, body work, and its suspension and steering have been sport-tuned. It’s also loaded to the gills with standard features. For a full review of the Elantra Sport, watch our video above and then scroll through our report card below.


Pros:

– GREAT standard equipment – I thought I was in the top of the line trim when I first picked it up (more details in the video)
– Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard
– The standard leather sport seats are firm but supportive
– When we tested the regular Elantra last year, we found it rather bland to drive. And while the Elantra Sport is not as lively as something like the Subaru WRX, the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine is smooth and the impressive torque (195 ft lbs) out of this little engine offers a steady, confident pull with very little turbo-lag like we see in many other some four cylinder turbos
– In the corners, this car is really snappy. Unlike the regular Elantra, the Sport edition has totally different multi-link independent rear suspension which really helps with the handling feel
– Believe it or not, we actually managed to get better fuel economy out of the Elantra Sport than the regular Elantra! Our tester, which came with a 6 speed manual (there’s also a 7 speed dual clutch automatic transmission available) saw an impressive average of 7.4 L/100 kms over our week of testing – despite still driving it hard off-the-line now and then
– The back seat deals with front and rear facing car seats surprisingly well
– And for a compact sedan, its 407 litres of trunk space is also rather respectable

Cons:

– Nice shifts out of the 6 speed manual transmission but the clutch is quite stiff
– While meanwhile, the steering feel is too light for a sport-minded car
– This touch steering exaggerates a bit of torque steer you’ll get under heavy acceleration – but that’s hard to avoid in a front wheel drive sport-tuned car
– The interior has been nicely executed with carbon fibre accents, a D-cut sport steering wheel and an anolog sporty instrument cluster. But the cheap plastics we often see in Hyundai interiors persist and drag the overall quality feel of the car down
– It’s also a fairly noisy interior. Our decibel reader hit 66 dB at 100 kms/hour
– The front bucket seats don’t offer adjustable lumbar support
– No adaptive cruise control or Lane Keep Assist – even as an option on the highest trims
– While we were treated to a couple more inches of second row leg room in the latest generation of the Elantra, head room is tight for taller adults

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 2.5/5 (66 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 4/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels trunk score: 4/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 4.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 37.5/50= 75%

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