If you have been reading about KBB's long-term Hyundai Elantra, you know that our tester has a truly impressive equipment list, especially when you consider its sub-$28,000 price. While some of those features include styling enhancements, including 17-inch alloy wheels and LED running lights—standard at the Limited's $23,185 base price—there are plenty of surprise-and-delight items that speak to the Elantra's value. Some aren't available in other compacts, let alone more expensive midsize sedans.

Safety first

In addition to the Elantra's standard safety equipment, our long-termer has the $1,900 Ultimate Package, which includes features such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane-keep assist. We haven’t been in a situation where the emergency braking had to be used, but it is a comfort to know it is there. This same package includes HID headlights with a curve-following feature, making it easier to see what's ahead on a dark, twisty road. Whether you consider it a convenience or a safety feature, smart cruise control is also part of this package. It'll make sure you don’t get too close to the car ahead of you. And of course, standard with every Hyundai is one of the best warranties in the industry: 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage, 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and 5 years of roadside assistance.

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2017

It has that?

We knew that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility were standard on the Limited, and once you connect to Apple CarPlay (in my case), you appreciate its convenience almost instantly. But there were some features we didn’t appreciate until specific situations came up. When I went to a friend's house, I had to park along a row of low, potentially paint-scraping bushes. Getting ready to parallel park, I put the Elantra in reverse, and when the mirrors angled down, it became much easier to ensure the wheels and paint were saved from thorns and branches while not parking too far from the "curb." The side mirrors are also heated, a function that has come in handy on many a cold morning. Also handy on cold mornings are the front seat heaters, standard in the Value Edition and Limited. Our Elantra has the $2,500 Tech Package, which includes rear seat heaters. You can only get them in the Limited, and then it's only in this option package—but it shows that it doesn’t take much to equip an Elantra like a much more expensive car for a lot less money.

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