By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 6.8
After a slight facelift for 2014, the 2015 Hyundai Elantra compact gets only a few tweaks this year, mostly rearranging option packages. But that's OK, as its style, fuel economy, interior space, features, and warranty continue to make it a tough act to follow. Both its quality ratings and resale values are as good as the leading compact cars, and the Elantra's full lineup of sedan, coupe and GT hatchback models is a real threat to compact cars like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus. Your practical side will appreciate the 38 mpg on the highway, or you can tickle your inner enthusiast with a sporty 173-horsepower engine. Both camps will appreciate the Elantra's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The 2015 Hyundai Elantra offers up the style and sophistication of a more expensive car, while still remaining a bargain, proving that you don't have to pay an arm and a leg just to have stylish, feature-laden transportation.
While a game changer when it first came on the scene, many manufacturers have caught up to the Elantra's stuff-for-the-price ratio, while also offering a better overall driving experience. The Elantra's interior also has a few cheap feeling bits, and there's no premium audio option.
After a more thorough refresh last year, changes for the 2015 Hyundai Elantra mostly poke around the edges. There are three new option packages, plus a smattering of new colors. Otherwise, the Elantra is the same sharp-looking compact we've come to know and love.
DRIVER SELECTABLE STEERING MODE
The 2015 Elantra's Driver Selectable Steering Mode allows the driver to choose from three settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport, and is available on the GT hatchback and the SE and Limited sedans.
HEATED REAR SEATS
One of the more surprising standard features on the Elantra Limited sedan is the heated rear seats. Usually extra-cost even on luxury cars, it's almost unheard of in this segment, and just one more way Hyundai is turning up the heat on the competition.
Although the 2015 Elantra competes as a compact car, the roomy interior gets it classified as a midsize car by the EPA. The comfortable interior features some higher-end soft-touch materials, but there's also some low-end feeling plastic on the doors and switches. The front seats are properly shaped for leisurely or aggressive driving, and while rear legroom is only adequate for the sedan and Coupe, it's downright generous in the GT. Fold-down seats augment the large trunk in the sedan and Coupe, and if you haul extra gear but don't want an SUV, the hatchback-only GT is a good pick.Exterior
Hyundai says the 2015 Elantra's "Fluidic Sculpture" design evokes water flowing around rocks. Whatever you call it, the curves and swoops combine elegantly with sweeping headlights and taillights, looking upscale without feeling gaudy or over the top. Aside from having only two doors, Coupe versions are distinguished by a large, trapezoidal mouth and twin tailpipes in the rear. The GT hatchback receives a similar treatment up front and a sloping roof that looks rather fashionable.
The base-level Elantra SE sedan comes standard with a manual transmission, air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, and a telescoping steering wheel. Also standard are upscale features like keyless entry, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, aluminum-alloy wheels, and a 172-watt 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/satellite radio with USB/iPod inputs. Coupe and GT models feature heated front seats, and GT models come standard with a glove compartment that can be chilled. Coupe and sedan models have six airbags, while Elantra GT versions add a seventh for the driver's knees.
The 2015 Hyundai Elantra sedan has two upgrade paths from the base SE model. There's the Sport, which gives you the more powerful 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, or the Limited, which adds more luxury, but keeps the less powerful engine. A new Style package for SE models adds a moonroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, projector headlights, and chrome and aluminum accents. The revised Tech package for Elantra Sport models adds navigation and an upgraded audio system, plus Hyundai BlueLink. The Limited gets a new Ultimate package, which adds navigation, a sunroof, upgraded audio, dual zone climate control, and push-button start.
The Elantra SE and Limited sedans both get a 145-horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, while Elantra Sport sedans, the Elantra Coupe, and Elantra GT all get a 173-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. We think the better bet is the 2.0-liter engine. It offers significantly better power, at the expense of only a moderate hit to fuel economy. Transmission choices are between a 6-speed manual available for the sedan and GT hatchback. A 6-speed automatic is available for the sedan and GT, and oddly is the only transmission available for the sporty looking coupe. The automatic comes with an Eco mode to further enhance fuel economy, and manual shifting mode for a bit of added sport.
1.8-liter inline-4 (SE, Limited sedan)
145 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
130 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/37 mpg (manual), 28/38 mpg (automatic), 27/37 mpg (automatic, Limited)
2.0-liter inline-4 (Coupe, Sport sedan and GT)
173 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
154 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/34 mpg (manual, Sedan & GT), 24/35 mpg (automatic, Sedan), 24/34 mpg (automatic, Coupe) 24/33 mpg (automatic, GT)
The 2015 Hyundai Elantra SE sedan starts with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over $18,000, Sport models cost about $22,500, and Limited models come in at about $22,460. Final prices for the flexible GT hatchback and sporty Elantra coupe should be about the same as last year, around $19,500 for the GT and $20,500 or so for the coupe. An automatic transmission adds an extra $1,000, and fully-optioned Elantra models cost around $27,000. That's comparable to other notable compact sedans in this segment, such as the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, Chevy Cruze and Ford Focus. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others are actually paying for the 2015 Hyundai Elantra in your area. The Hyundai's resale value is a strong point and we expect the 2015 Elantra to hold its value exceptionally well over a 5-year period.
By Eedie on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car is very agile driving and quick exhilaration. 38.2 mpg on the hwy easy to park in small parking spots"
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By bill007 on Saturday, January 10, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "styling, fuel economy, cargo space"
Cons: "road noise, handling"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"This car is a great option if you are looking for an inexpensive compact car. I am very pleased with the styling of the Elantra, the exterior looks more like a luxury car than an $18,000 compact car. I also like the trunk space, interior, fuel economy, and the audio system. The problem points are road noise, middle seat in the back has no cushion whatsoever, it handles very poorly in bad weather, the front hood doesn't close unless you put so much force you have a fear of damaging the car, very cheap plastics inside even for a compact car, and some blind spots. Other than that the Elantra is a great choice"
13 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Raiderone on Friday, January 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great daily driver, lots of bang for the buck."
Cons: "A pillars hinder visibility, uphill acceleration."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I'm not going into detail about the standard features on the GT, you probably know all that by now. I've now owned my 2014 GT for 3 months. The car handles like a dream and decent acceleration can be achieved if you try starting out in 2nd gear in manual mode. Somehow the gearing seams to favor economy over sportiness. Once it gets going though, the car speeds up quite nicely. I like the predictability when going through the twisties. This car is not a VW GTI, Civic Si or Mazda 3i. It is a very capable compact hatchback that seems to do most things very well. What I don't like is when going up hill it seems like the car keeps on searching for the correct gear to be in. Something else that bugs me is the A-pillars. They seem to be placed so it hinders front corner visibility. Fuel economy is avg. 27 overall. The AC blows cold really quickly. The heated seats is something I didn't think I would like, but on a chilly morning it's great to have until the heater warms up. On the interior features, everything is within easy reach. It would have been nice to have a covered area at the bottom of the center stack and a locking glove-box. It also would have been nice to see some optional items that are available in packages only available on an individual basis. There was no problem seating 4 adults and luggage for a weekend road trip. Everyone at the dealership has given excellent service."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful