OK… I know it’s 2018, but I still have one leftover from 2017 I need to mention. So I’ll make this brief. Besides, the 2018 is nearly identical to the 2017 model.
I spent a week with the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition. While Hyundai doesn’t sell nearly as many Elantras as Honda sells Civics or Toyota sells Corollas, it’s still a very worthy competitor.
If you compare specs to those other cars, they are very similar. Wheelbase is nearly identical and the legroom inside the cabin are close (although the Corolla definitely gets kudos for having a few more inches for the rear passengers).
The Elantra has a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine that’s good for 147 horsepower. That’s not as good as the Civic, but better than the Corolla. The mileage is listed at 28 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway and 32 mpg combined. Interestingly, I’ve always thought that Hyundai mileage was a weak point, but the Elantra turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I did a road trip to California and found the mileage was much better than expected. Before I hit the mountains outside of San Diego I was averaging 43 mpg (meaning folks in Kansas should do great). My final average was 39 mpg. Throw in the fact that I was always running 5 miles an hour over the speed limit and that’s a strong number.
The base Elantra is the SE and starts at $16,950 (for the 2018 model). The Value Edition starts at $19,850. My test car stickered at $21,350. The idea behind the Value Edition is that they give you a collection of popular options. By choosing the package, Hyundai says you save about $1300 over adding those to the base model. Most people don’t really buy the absolute cheapest version. You want a few of the modern niceties so the Value Edition delivers there. One of the add-ons is a blind spot warning system. It’s nice to see safety tech like this in a car in this price range. It also has heated seats which is nice on a cold winter day (even here in Phoenix).
Styling is solid. Nothing over the top, but it definitely fits in with other cars in this class. The interior is comfortable. It’s not trying to pretend its luxurious, but it doesn’t feel cheap.
Throw in Hyundai’s 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty with a 10 year/100,000 warranty and the Elantra just screams value. It’s not going to blow you away in any particular category, but you’ll end up with a solid car at a reasonable price.