First Drive – 2017 Hyundai Elantra

by Tony West and Bill P. 

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra could soon rule the compact segment. The whip offers 3 grades – base model, Eco and Sport model with a standard 6 speed manual transmission. All three have distinctive style.

The Elantra isn’t the fastest most stylish sedan in the segment. But it has a perfect balance of youthfulness and advanced technology along with an efficient powertrain and enhanced safety features.

We reviewed the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport, an exciting compact sedan flossing a leather interior with tons of legroom. The Elantra has been reimagined to attract a customer base of millennials, young professionals and even an older demo who may want an extra car.


Fresh Look High-Tech and Fun

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra has become a lil stuntmobile thanks to a stylish front fascia with black hexagonal grill and LED daytime running lights and HID headlights. The Elantra also has cool hood vanes that aid aerodynamics and give the front a sporty edge. The base Elantra offers 15, 16, or 17 inch alloy wheels and the Elantra Sport boasts 18 inch alloy wheels with Hankook Ventus S1 Noble ultra high-performance all-season tires.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport
2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited

In the rear the 2017 Hyundai Elantra has a diffuser in the bumper and dual chrome exhaust outlets. Chrome accents and muscular side sills give the compact whip aero-efficient swiftness. Plus the Elantra’s composition of 53% high-strength steel makes the whip feel lightweight but firmly planted plus aids aerodynamics.


2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport
2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport

Also cool is how the welcome lighting illuminates the chrome door handles when I approach. Power folding mirrors activate when I reverse. And the power trunk opens after a few beeps. But the power trunk can be a little OCD opening too quickly when I’m just walking past.

Inside the 2017 Hyundai Elantra is more impressive with leather upholstery, heated front seats a leather wrapped steering wheel and leather wrapped shifter. The Elantra Sport has a black headliner, flat-bottom leather-wrapped steering wheel and red contract stitching plus a unique instrument cluster and alloy pedals.

The 2017 Elantra has advanced standard technology, more than many of its compact competitors. The whip now has standard push button start, keyless entry, sunroof, dual-zone climate control, 7 inch display and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The $2k Premium Package adds an 8 inch navigation system, 8-speaker Infinity premium audio systems with ClariFi music technology and BlueLink connectivity.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport interior
2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport interior

The driver-focused interior seats five comfortably with impressive legroom in the rear. The interior also has clever storage for a compact car with cup holders in the center and side door storage, and a center cubby hole.


Well-balanced Drivetrain Boasts Comfort and Athleticism

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport features an impressive standard 1.6 liter turbo GDI engine with 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The Elantra Sport has a peppy 6 speed manual transmission. A 7 speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters is also available. And the Elantra Sport is equipped with exclusive independent multilink suspension with higher spring and damper rates and updated brakes.

The Elantra performance is marvelous – peppy in sport mode and very efficient. After one week and more than 300 miles of highway driving, I still had a half a tank of gas.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport
2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport

The compact whip gets up on the highway, accelerating evenly and maintaining an aggressive cruise without having to go heavy on the pedal. The whip feels strong and light, and the hood vanes, side sill muscles, shark fin antenna and intelligent damping give it top-notch aerodynamics.

My favorite part of the 2017 Elantra Sport is the advanced safety and driver assistance tech. New safety technology includes Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist. The Elantra also boasts more driver assistance settings.

While the 2017 Elantra drives great with responsive steering. Turning feels stiff with no bend. The whip nearly formed a perpendicular line when I tried to bend a corner too fast. In sport mode the throttle is more open and steering and braking tighter.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport flat-bottom steering wheel
2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport flat-bottom steering wheel

The 2017 Elantra Sport is on sale for $21,650 and $22,750 for the 7 speed automatic transmission. With fresh new style and a 40 mpg highway EPA the Elantra is one of the more refined compact cars in its segment.

Compared to the Ford Focus and the Mazda 3, the Elantra is much more appealing. And even though the 2017 Corolla and Civic have some stylish new  features, the base model Elantra is cheaper and has just as much if not more overall cargo room.

Hyundai Motor Co. is making great design decisions this year, and the new Elantra family is another illustration.


Check out more photos from our First Drive with the 2017 Elantra on our Facebook Page!