Already on its seventh generation, the Hyundai Elantra compact sedan sheds its sedate design for something that’s more dynamic and athletic. The model was unveiled in March this year, and the shift from stately to sporty could come as a surprise to many.
2021 Hyundai Elantra | Review & Road Tes
The new aesthetic mirrors the current design direction taken by Hyundai, which is dramatic, to say the least. We take a look at what else has changed with the latest iteration of the Elantra.
Hyundai has unveiled the seventh-generation Elantra compact sedan earlier this year
2021 Hyundai Elantra: Exterior
Hyundai’s Parametric Dynamics design continues to be showcased front and center with the 2021 Elantra. Detailed geometric patterns comprise the cascade grille, flanked on both sides by pair of wraparound LED headlamps. The low hood’s apparent increase in length is due in part to the silhouette adapted from the Sonata, with the cowl moved back two inches.
That cascade grille is a striking design element
There’s no shortage of sharp lines and angles on the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, especially with the triangular intakes on the lower front bumper as well as the strakes on the hood. Even the doors sport deep creases that may be in keeping with the overall origami theme but look visually jarring, like a dent that wouldn’t go away.
The crease on the profile looks less than flattering
More cuts are found at the fastback-styled rear, with redesigned LED tail lamps connected by a prominent light bar. The rear bumper literally looks razor-sharp, as if serving a warning to potential tailgaters. Following the angular design are 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels on all four corners.
2021 Hyundai Elantra: Interior
Revised dimensions on the 2021 Elantra (4,676mm long, 1,825mm wide, 1,430mm high, 2,720mm wheelbase) result in a roomier cabin, still with seating for five. There’s 965mm of legroom for the rear occupants, typical of models that are above its class. While there’s a 5mm reduction in height from the outgoing model, Hyundai claims that headroom has not been compromised.
A more spacious cabin awaits occupants on the 2021 Elantra
There is 402 liters of cargo space in the trunk, some five liters smaller from the current iteration. Upfront, the air vent spans the length of the dashboard, accompanied by a single LED strip.
2021 Hyundai Elantra: Engine and Performance
At launch, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra bannered two engine options. The standard power plant is a naturally-aspirated 2.0L gasoline engine using the Atkinson Cycle that makes 147 hp and 179 Nm of torque.
A smaller 1.6L version with direct injection powers the hybrid variant, working with a brushless electric motor for a combined system output of 139 hp and 264 Nm of torque.
The 2021 Elantra brings three engine choices for customers
There’s actually a third engine, found on the N-Line trim, in the form of a 1.6L turbocharged mill dishing out 201 hp and 265 Nm of twist. Gearbox options for all variants include a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
2021 Hyundai Elantra: Onboard tech and safety features
The cockpit on premium variants will field two 10.25-inch screens occupied by the all-digital instrument cluster and touchscreen infotainment unit, resting just beyond the leather multi-function steering wheel.
Meanwhile, lower trims make do with a smaller 8-inch center display and analog gauges. Segment-first wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto should be standard, along with onboard WiFi.
Two 10.25-inch screens seemingly wrap the driver in tech indulgence
If even pressing buttons feels a little too tedious these days, the 2021 Elantra comes with voice recognition. That’s not just for communications or infotainment, but it can also be used to customize various elements in the cabin, such as climate control and heated seats, merely by uttering specific phrases.
Those who tend to forget their keys at home can take advantage of the optional Digital Key function, that allows vehicle operations using a smartphone or NFC card.
There's an improved array of onboard safety features as well
Hyundai’s Smartsense will largely be standard on the 2021 Elantra, featuring automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control with lane-centering.
A rear camera with dynamic guidelines helps in backing the 2021 Elantra into tight spaces. Other available safety features include highway driving assist, safe exit warning, and reverse parking collision-avoidance assist.
2021 Hyundai Elantra: Final thoughts
Five years is typical for a current model to receive a mid-cycle refresh, but in the case of the 2021 Elantra, Hyundai decided to go all-out and release a new generation. It’s like the onset of puberty, where growth has taken place and the bulbous proportions have been shed.
While being consistent with the rest of Hyundai’s new releases, the 2021 Elantra’s sportier appearance is also a challenge to segment rivals such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and the Mazda3. Only time (and sales) will tell if this tack will work for the Korean carmaker.
2021 Hyundai Elantra: Expected price
Offered in six variants, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra starts at US$20,645 (Php 996,389) for the base SE, all the way to US$29,095 (Php 1,404,211) for the Limited Hybrid trim.
Will Hyundai Philippines decide to bring the new-generation Elantra here?
While it’s expected to go on sale in the U.S. market by December 2020, there’s no word on whether or not Hyundai Philippines will be bringing the new model to our shores.
If it does arrive, it would be a safe bet to expect at least one base trim, one range-topping variant, and one hybrid.
Read on what future car models might bring to our shores at Philkotse.com.
Know more about Hyundai Elantra
The Hyundai Elantra is a refined and striking compact sedan admired by Filipinos. Its modern and elegant styling fits the taste of young professionals and small families opting for a reliable and practical vehicle. Either you use it going to work or a trip out of town, this four-door vehicle is guaranteed to perform perfectly. Two variants are available locally: the Hyundai Elantra 1.6 GL MT and the Hyundai Elantra 1.6 GL AT. You may choose from Phantom Black, Polar White, Platinum Silver, Marina Blue, and Fiery Red.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo
Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.
Apart from his role in Philkotse, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.
Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.