Hyundai is gearing up to take the compact segment by storm with its refreshed 2016 Elantra. It’s hoping to make the sedan a more attractive value to buyers with updates that include a new Value Edition trim level, more standard features on the Limited, and a lower sticker price on the Sport.
Here’s what it boils down to. The Value Edition will get a bundle of customer favorites, which include 16-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, a proximity key with pushbutton start, heated front seats, and side mirror turn signals. All of this comes with a modest $550 price bump over the base SE model equipped with the Popular Equipment Package for an overall $1,000 in savings despite all the added goodies.
The top of the line Limited edition will also now come with more standard features that add up to $600 in value savings while staying at the same price of $21,700. Some of the new standard features include the proximity key with pushbutton start and dual automatic temperature controls. Limited drivers also benefit from Hyundai’s Driver Selectable Steering Mode, with three operating modes, Comfort, Normal and Sport.
The Sports edition will come down in price, but at the expense of losing leather seats and a sunroof. For drivers just wanting the basics at a basic price, the SE will return with the same sticker of $17,250.
Under the hood, the standard SE, Value Edition, and Limited get a 1.8-liter Nu four-cylinder engine good for 145 horses and 130 pound-feet of torque. The Sport 2.0-liter Nu GDI engine churns out 173 horses and 154 lb-ft of torque. The 1.8-liter engine receives an estimated 28 city and 38 highway mpg, while the Sport receives 24 city and 35 highway, and both come in six-speed automatic. Wheel size options on the 1.8 also impact fuel efficiency, with the 15 and 16-inch wheels getting slightly better mileage than the 17-inch.
In terms of design, a hexagonal grille and “Fluidic Sculpture” design gives the Elantra the appearance of constant movement even when it’s not going anywhere. This design includes strong wheel arches, a sleek roofline, sweeping head and tail lights, and side lines that have a strong undercut beginning at the front door and moving to the rear lights. This is not all for show though, as the Elantra has a low drag coefficient of 0.28.
Hyundai hopes these tweaks will help it stay edgy in a highly competitive compact car class. It’s a jam-packed segment, and some of the Elantra’s classmates include the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, and Chevrolet Cruze.