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2023 Hyundai Elantra is a compact sedan with bold looks, top tech Featured

Posted On Saturday, 01 April 2023 00:52 Written by
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The 2023 Hyundai Elantra is one of the best-looking compact sedans available today. The 2023 Hyundai Elantra is one of the best-looking compact sedans available today. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

While the market for compact cars continues to shrink, there remains a dedicated fan base who keeps resisting the move toward SUVs as the default vehicle option.

Part of the reason they can remain so loyal to their vehicle of choice is because of the strong new options that continue to be pushed out each year by the manufacturers still working in this segment.

Take for example the Hyundai Elantra, a compact ride that’s been in the U.S. market for more than 30 years, and is now on its seventh generation.

I recently spent some time testing the 2023 Hyundai Elantra, which stands out in the segment due its bold design, including distinct creasing and angles, that make it stand out among compact sedans, along with some of the best technology in the segment.

Competing with popular vehicles such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Volkswagen Jetta and Nissan Sentra is no picnic, but the Elantra does a strong job of holding up as an overall package — even if it may not lead the segment in all categories.

Read on for a full breakdown on this standout sedan that gives you a lot for a reasonable price.

LOOKS

With jaunty angles that slice in directions you wouldn’t expect, unique lighting and grille designs, and a sharp silhouette, the exterior design on the 2023 Elantra has an argument for best-looking vehicle in its segment. 

Hyundai has made bold choices that many of its rivals wouldn’t dare to consider, and the result is a positive one. You won’t blend in with all the lookalikes on the roadways with the Elantra.

Exterior features include 17-Inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, automatic LED headlights, and heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators.

My test vehicle also featured a bold and attractive Calypso Red paint scheme.

Moving inside, the Elantra features a comfortable interior with relatively high-quality materials, especially considering the price point. The biggest downside is the limited space in the back seat, but this is a common issue across the segment (they don’t call it compact for nothing), and the Elantra actually offers more space than some rivals.

The heated seats in my test vehicle (a Limited trim level) worked very well and quickly, and the seating was leather-trimmed. Controls for climate were also well-designed and easy to master.

Cargo space is about average for the compact segment, at 14.2 cubic feet.

HOW’S THE RIDE?  

There are several powerplant options in the 2023 Hyundai Elantra, which only comes in front-wheel drive.

Most trim levels will feature the base engine, a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that outputs 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. To put it kindly, this is not a powerful motor. Getting from 0 to 60 will take north of 8 seconds, so if you’re looking for power it’s best to steer clear of this motor option.

Other choices for those seeking more power include the N Line trim level — with its turbocharged, 1.6-liter engine and 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. Those seeking the most powerful option should choose the performance-focused Elantra N, with 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet.

The N Line boasts sport-tuned springs and shock absorbers and an upgraded rear suspension design. For manual aficionados, the Elantra N is available in a six-speed manual in addition to the eight-speed automatic, and features bigger brakes, variable sport exhaust, adaptive dampers, plus an electronically controlled limited-slip differential to maximize traction during acceleration.

I tested the Elantra’s base engine, so driving thrills were at a minimum during my test drive. But it still handles quite well and will be just fine for daily family driving and getting you where you need to go, as long as your expectations are realistic.


TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

The forward-looking exterior design of the Elantra is echoed in the excellent tech offering inside the vehicle.

The command center in the 2023 Elantra is the large and bright 10.25 inch high-resolution touchscreen, which serves as a user-friendly hub for all the driver’s needs. Keeping with the theme, the Elantra’s gauge display is also a 10.25-inch digital screen.

The system featured excellent responses to voice commands for audio, navigation, climate and more. And if you prefer a hands-on approach, it offers an intuitive, well-designed system for touch controls, full of easy-to-comprehend menus that are not convoluted.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are also included, along with the option for an in-vehicle Wi-Fi connection.

My test vehicle also featured a quality Bose premium audio system, a trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, push-button start, a 12V outlet, multiple USB ports, wireless phone charging and Hyundai Digital Key.

All in all, it’s a solid tech package that’s among the best in the segment.

Moving on to the safety features, the Elantra offers a wide variety of helpful driving aids that are not overly sensitive like some vehicles can be, and also scored very well on government safety ratings.

Among the systems included to boost driver safety are:
— Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (will automatically brake to avoid collision)
— Parking Distance Warning - Reverse 
— Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist - Reverse 
— Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (puts eyes where you might not be able to see and prevents collisions)
— Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist 
— Smart Cruise Control w/ Stop & Go (this system worked very well, even in busy traffic)
— Lane Following Assist & Lane Keeping Assist (steers vehicle back into your proper lane)
— Highway Drive Assist (a basic self-driving feature that proved quite reliable in my testing)
— Rearview Camera w/ Dynamic Guidelines (this was a big help in parking situations)
— Driver attention warning (alerts you if driver seems to be inattentive)


MPG

The official fuel mileage listed on the 2023 Hyundai Elantra is 30 city/40 highway/34 combined. Compared to rivals, these numbers are excellent and close to the best in class.

In my testing, I averaged 25 mpg, which is lower than I expected. But it was winter driving with the heat cranked, and in mostly city conditions, so it’s understandable.

If you opt for the hybrid version of the Elantra, you can expect fuel mileage north of 50 mpg, which is quite impressive and competes with the best hybrid fuel economy available.

So to sum it up, if you’re looking for strong fuel economy in your compact ride, the Elantra is right up your alley.


PRICE

The 2023 Hyundai Elantra I tested was priced just over $28,000.

Trim levels include SE, SEL, Blue Hybrid, Limited, N Line and Limited Hybrid, and starting prices range from around $22K to $30K. The higher performance Elantra N starts around $33K if you want some extra power and sportiness.

In today’s auto market, this is one of the most affordable vehicles you’re going to find, period. And it offers significant quality for the amount you’re paying.

Making the value even better are the excellent warranties offered by Hyundai on the Elantra, which blow away much of the competition.

They include a five-year/60,000 mile new vehicle warranty, and an excellent 10-year/100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain. You also get three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary maintenance, and five years/unlimited miles of roadside assistance.

BOTTOM LINE

With a standout exterior design, solid fuel mileage, and top-level technology, the 2023 Hyundai Elantra is easily one of the best compact sedans available today.

And if the regular trim levels don’t meet your need for power and speed, the Elantra N is there for you to consider.

Anyone looking to purchase a vehicle this size would be wise to include the Elantra in their list of test drives.

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.



Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2023 Hyundai Elantra  
  • Price as tested: $28.055 (starts around $22K)
  • Best feature: Daring design, fuel economy, user-friendly tech   
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Compact car buyers looking for one of the more complete options available in today’s market
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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