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Review: 2020 Hyundai Elantra

by: Mike Ginsca,

The Hyundai Elantra has always been the “safe bet” for those that needed transportation. It was affordable, came with a lot of tech, and drove quite well. But for the 2020 model year, the Hyundai Elantra is a bit more edgy and is trying to stand out from the rest.

2020 Hyundai Elantra

Performance

Engine – The 2020 Hyundai Elantra sedan gets a 2.0L naturally aspirated inline-4 engine that produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately it’s a bit less power than the hatchback variant but still enough power for day-to-day use around a city.

Fuel economy though is very good with Hyundai claiming a city fuel economy figure of 7.8 L/100km (30.2 mpg) and 5.6 L/100km (42 mpg) on a highway. During my time with the car, I was mostly sticking to city driving so my average was hovering around the 7.6 L/100km area.

2020 Hyundai ElantraTransmission – To help in achieving those low fuel economy figures is a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) that is introduced for the 2020 model year. But it’s not an ordinary CVT as Hyundai call it an IVT; Intelligent Variable Transmission. For the most part it behaves like any other CVT as in it holds the engine rpms when accelerating for optimal smooth acceleration but with with the least amount of fuel wasted. Push harder on the throttle and the transmission begins to behave almost like a traditional automatic. Virtual shift points are created and you can feel the CVT “shifting” between gears as the car accelerates more vigorously.

Braking – Bringing the Hyundai Elantra to a stop is an easy thanks thanks to a light brake pedal. The car doesn’t shimmy under hard braking and emergency automatic braking with pedestrian detection is standard on this Ultimate trim but is optional on the Preferred trim and is not available on the base Essential trim.

Handling – Unlike its hatchback brother, the 2020 Hyundai Elantra sedan doesn’t feel as peppy when going around corners. However the steering does firm up at higher speeds making for smoother and less exhausting highway trips. At slower speeds, the steering is light which allows for easy parking lot maneuvers.


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2020 Hyundai Elantra

Comfort

Ride Comfort – The 2020 Elantra is first and foremost a city car and thus it does a good job of driving through potholes. There is a little bit of an extra bounce as the car drives over a deep pothole but it’s not a floaty ride. Seats are decently comfortable although there isn’t much contour to their shape which may cause some discomfort on longer journeys.

2020 Hyundai ElantraInterior Space – Front occupants have a generous amount of room but a bit more adjustability would be nice for the telescoping steering column. At 6’4”, my knees were close to the dashboard and had I moved my seat a bit further back, it would have overstretched my arms when reaching for the steering wheel. Rear seats are also generous for adults… so long as they’re less than 6’2”-ish in height. Trunk space is about average for this class of car.

Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – For the most part the Elantra is a relatively quiet sedan. It’s not as quiet on the inside as the Mazda 3 but there isn’t enough exterior noise intruding into the cabin to make conversations a shouting match.

Interior Design – The interior layout is straightforward and it doesn’t take minutes to try and find a specific control. Everything is where it should be. There’s also plenty of small item storage with a deep center console, water bottle and smaller item storage in the door pockets, and a wireless charging pad that can accommodate the largest of smartphones.

2020 Hyundai Elantra

Odds and Ends

Gadgets – Apart from ventilated front seats and a heads-up display, the 2020 Hyundai Elantra has everything one may want from a compact sedan. Of course everything comes with a price but this Ultimate trim comes in at $27,549 CAD. By comparison the Mazda 3 sedan is approximately $500 more with the same features as found on this Elantra.

2020 Hyundai ElantraExterior Design – This is the part of the car that could make it or break it. Styling is in the eye of the beholder but sometimes it can be too polarizing for most. The recent restyling of the Elantra sedan is unlike any other Hyundai model, except for maybe the Nexo but that’s unique in its own way. The 2020 Elantra has sharp edges around the grille, headlights, and taillights that give it a European flare. I personally prefer the smooth curves of the hatchback variant but that’s just my opinion and I’m not going to try to change anyone’s mind on the styling.

Overall the 2020 Hyundai Elantra is still a great value for your money. It comes nicely equipped on the higher trims, it can get great fuel economy, and with a starting price of $17,099 CAD, it’s almost $1,000 less than the competition from Mazda & Honda. I’m just not sure about that styling though…

Thank you to Hyundai Canada for providing the vehicle. www.HyundaiCanada.com


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Mike Ginsca View All

Editor at large and gearhead. Can drive anything on 4 or 2 wheels... sometimes 3 wheels too.

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