Author: Gretchen Newcomb - www.pcmag.com
THE BOTTOM LINE
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid combines solid performance with excellent fuel economy, cutting-edge tech, and sharp styling, for a compact sedan that's easy to recommend.
Excellent fuel economy
Loads of standard features
No wireless Android Auto or CarPlay on top trim
Hard plastic downgrades interior
Hyundai has been on a hybrid tear over the past few years, adding a fuel-saving powertrain to the Sonata sedan and Tucson and Santa Fe crossovers, and offering the Ioniq in a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric trifecta. Now the all-new 2021 Hyundai Elantra gets a hybrid variant that goes up against more established cars in the compact sedan segment, including the Honda Insight and Toyota Corolla hybrids. With striking styling, an upscale interior, and tech including wireless Android Auto and AppleCarPlay and an NFC smartphone key, the Elantra Hybrid is a formidable competitor to these vehicles, and our new Editors' Choice winner.
2021 Elantra Hybrid Pricing and Design
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid comes in two trim levels—SEL and Limited—both with a 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder engine and electric motor powered by a 1.32-kWh lithium-ion battery. The hybrid powertrain produces 139 horsepower, a bit more than the Corolla Hybrid, but a bit less than the Honda Insight Hybrid. A 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission drives the front wheels.
The SEL trim starts at $23,550 and includes such standard exterior amenities as 16-inch alloy wheels, halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, partial LED taillights, heated and body-colored mirrors, a chrome grille, and black side door moldings. The interior gets heated cloth front seats, a six-way power driver seat and four-way power front passenger seat, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The SEL's standard tech amenities include a hands-free trunk release, Qi smartphone charging, Bluetooth for hands-free phone use and wireless streaming, the Blue Link telematics system, and Hyundai's Digital Key that allows unlocking, starting, and driving using a smartphone or NFC card.
The standard infotainment system includes an 8-inch touch screen with a rearview camera, voice recognition, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, dual USB ports (one to connect a smartphone and one for charging), and a four-speaker audio system with AM/FM HD Radio. Standard driver assists include cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert, and auto high beams.
The Limited trim we tested starts at $28,100 and adds 17-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a dark chrome grille, chrome side body moldings, integrated side mirror turn signals, a sunroof, a leather shift knob and seating, driver seat lumbar support and memory functions, and ventilated front seats. Tech includes dual 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and infotainment screens, navigation, an eight-speaker Bose sound system with SiriusXM satellite radio, dynamic voice recognition, front and rear parking sensors, lane centering, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with cyclist detection, and safe exit warning that alerts passengers when a vehicle is approaching from behind. After tacking on the premium package, the final sticker price comes to $30,200.
The exterior design Hyundai describes as having "parametric dynamics" gives the new Elantra a flowing, four-door-coupe look. The snazzy jewel pattern grille with integrated turn signals and sharply creased sheet metal undeniably make the Elantra Hybrid the most attractive vehicle in the segment.
Continue reading about the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid HERE!
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