KBB Editors' Overview
By Matt Degen
- Updated Date: 1/6/2014
Given a slight facelift this year, the 2014 Hyundai Elantra continues to wow consumers and critics alike, providing a nearly unbeatable combination of power, fuel economy, interior room, features, and warranty. Long gone are the days when Hyundai cars were seen as cheap, disposable transportation. With quality ratings and resale values good enough to rival the best competitors, the Elantra is a real threat to compacts like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus. Although Hyundai did have to walk back its 40-mpg claim from last year, 38 mpg is still nothing to sneeze at, and none of the Elantra's rivals can match its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a compact car with character and comfort, but you don't want to pay an arm and a leg, check out the 2014 Hyundai Elantra. An extensive standard features list and interior volume on par with some midsize sedans make the Elantra a great bargain.
You May Not Like This Car If...
As good as the Elantra is, it still doesn't have the same sporty feel as the Mazda Mazda3, and some of its interior bits and pieces still feel inexpensive. Those seeking a premium name brand audio system from manufacturers such as Sony or Bose won't find it offered in the Elantra.
What's New for 2014
The Elantra sedan gets a slight exterior makeover and a new Sport trim. A new 2.0-liter engine replaces the 1.8-liter in the GT, Elantra Coupe and Sport sedan. Other changes include revised wheels, updated navigation radio with Pandora app, Hill Start Assist and Driver Selectable Steering made standard on some trims. The GLS sedan trim is renamed SE, while the Coupe is reduced to a single trim.
The 2014 Hyundai Elantra comfortably resides in a territory between the performance-oriented Mazda3 and Ford Focus, and the softer-sprung Chevrolet Cruze and Nissan Sentra. A standard 6-speed manual and available 6-speed automatic do their best to make the most of the 1.8-liter's 148 horsepower, but with a new 173-horsepower 2.0-liter now offered in some trims, the Elantra doesn't have to remain at the back of the performance pack any longer. The 3-mode driver-selectable steering, standard in the GT, SE and Limited, greatly improves feedback, while the GT and Elantra Coupe benefit from tighter suspension settings that allow the car to move aggressively over twisting roads. In everyday driving, the cabin is well-insulated from wind and road noise, and the front seats are comfortable for this class of car.
DRIVER SELECTABLE STEERING MODE
Hyundai's first application of a variable steering setup, the Driver Selectable Steering Mode (DSSM) allows the driver to choose from three settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport. DSSM is available on the GT hatchback and the SE and Limited sedans, but, oddly, not the Sport.
HEATED REAR SEATS
Standard on the Limited sedan, the Elantra's rear-seat heating is the kind of creature comfort that would cost extra even in a luxury car. It is almost unheard of in this segment, and just one more way Hyundai is turning up the heat on the competition.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…