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Hyundai revitalizes its compact champ in the 2014 Elantra

By Tony Swan, Contributing Editor on November 22, 2013 12:27 PM
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The Elantra is the best-selling star of Hyundai showrooms and, appropriately, was also the star of the company's presentations at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Although the chassis is unchanged, the Elantra lineup will sport a number of updates when it rolls into showrooms next month as a 2014 model-over 75 changes, according to Hyundai, including revised front and rear styling, interior upgrades, a new trim level and a new engine.

Elantras will again be offered in three body styles-coupe, sedan and the 5-door hatchback GT. However, a new Sport sedan joins the lineup, propelled by a new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection. Essentially a long-stroke version of the Elantra's standard 1.8-liter engine, the 2.0-liter is rated for 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque.

The 1.8-liter engine, which makes 145 hp and 130 lb-ft, will remain in the lineup as the standard powerplant for basic SE (replacing the GLS designation) and highline Limited trim levels. 

In addition to more power, the Elantra Sport will also be distinguished by higher rear spring rates, firmer shock damping, and a bigger front antiroll bar, retuned electric power steering, all designed to enhance agility. 

Beyond cosmetics and the addition of the Sport trim, many of the Elantra's 2014 changes are updates to infotainment, connectivity, the available navigation system, audio, and center stack controls. Hyundai also made numerous changes designed to improve the Elantra's noise-vibration-harshness (NVH) score, including higher density carpeting over thicker floor pads, increased cowl pad thickness, increased structural A-pillar foam, and new dash pad material aimed at damping vibrations.

Hyundai hasn't announced pricing for the 2014 Elantra just yet, but we expect that to happen closer to the on-sale date. 

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