2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL

2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL

Car review: 2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL

  • Friday, January 22, 2021 3:12pm
  • Life

By Larry Lark, contributor

Compact sedans are not in vogue now, but the 2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL makes one wonder why.

The South Korean auto manufacturer launched Elantra’s seventh generation with the current model year, introducing a new vehicle platform, longer wheelbase, wider stance, and lower roofline.

And a new look. Hyundai is calling it “Sensous Sportiness.” Not sure I would take it that far, but its fair to acknowledge that car’s exotic four-door coupe design with innovative molding and engineering technology.

“While some manufacturers no longer see the value in the car side of the business, we’re doubling down by offering an all-new model with both gas and hybrid powertrains,” said José Muñoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “ The new, captivating look is going to bring excitement to a whole new generation of buyers. Then once inside, they’re going to love all of the progressive features.”

Having three lines meet at one point is a main ingredient in making the colorful parametric dynamics of Elantra. Using this design element was a daring challenge, one that had been avoided in car design, marking Elantra’s “disrupter-spirit”.

My tester was powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 147 horsepower, and is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Sport model features a turbocharged, four-cylinder, 1.6-liter engine that produces 201 horsepower.

Elantra seats four adults with minimal discomfort, and the trunk in generous for a compact. The SEL delivered over 30 miles per gallon in combined city/highway driving, with a range over 400 miles. The hybrid model delivers over 50 mpg fuel economy.

Combining the new platform with a modern powertrain allows the car to respond quickly to the driver’s inputs and provide a quiet, solid ride on the highway. The nimble driving dynamics match the bold exterior design, making it more than a simple commuter car.

The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get connected routing. Connected routing provides multiple navigation options and real-time route updates. Server-based routing makes the onboard navigation experience similar to current smartphone navigation apps.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also look great on this 10.25-inch widescreen display. Dual Bluetooth support is also available, so two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio.

Elantra allows owners to leave their cell phone cords at home. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available as segment-first features, allowing one to leave your phone in a pocket or purse.

The 2021 Elantra offers a new array of standard advanced safety technologies:

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection uses the car’s front-facing

camera to help detect an imminent collision with a vehicle or pedestrian and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking automatically.

Lane Keeping Assist helps prevent accidental lane departure by sensing road markings, and assists steering the car if necessary.

Lane Following Assist provides steering assistance to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane of travel.

High Beam Assist eliminates the need for drivers to manually switch high beams on and off at night for oncoming traffic.

Driver Attention Warning monitors driving behavior to help detect possible driver fatigue.

Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines

Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist helps detect vehicles in the drivers’ blind spot while the turn signal is on and may apply braking to minimize potential for a collision.

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist helps detect rear cross traffic vehicles while reversing and may apply braking to minimize potential for a collision.

Safe Exit Warning may sound an alert when a vehicle approaches from behind, letting passengers know it may not be safe to open the door to exit the vehicle.

Base Price: $21,895

Price As Driven: $23,795

Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country
Car review: 2021 Chevy Tahoe 4WD High Country

By Larry Lark, contributor Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for short, in the… Continue reading

2021 Lexus NX 300h
Car review: 2021 Lexus NX 300h

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Lexus NX 300h luxury sports utility… Continue reading

2020 Honda Insight. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Honda Insight

By Larry Lark, contributor Honda’s Civic and Accord have been bestsellers for… Continue reading

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor With each passing year Toyota continues to refine… Continue reading

2021 Toyota Corolla XSE. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor Toyota’s venerable Corolla received a bumper-to-bumper, wheels-to-roof transformation… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Atlas. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Atlas

By Larry Lark, contributor Volkswagen’s full-size Atlas SUV received a bold refresh… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Blazer. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

By Larry Lark, contributor When it comes to certain car models they… Continue reading

2021 Lexus RX 350L. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Lexus RX 350L

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a good day when a Lexus… Continue reading

The Cadillac CT4 is designed to appeal to a new generation of Cadillac buyers with its athletic design and astute driving dynamics. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

By Larry Lark, contributor With apologies to Oldsmobile, “the 2020 CT4 Premium… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan

By Larry Lark, contributor Mercedes-Benz occupies rarified air in the automobile pantheon.… Continue reading

2021 Ford F-150 Platinum. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a call to action when a… Continue reading

Eleanor Knight, 14, and her younger brother, Ivan, then, 9, horse around while waiting to surf a wave on the Class III Wenatchee River. Courtesy photo.
Kayaking kid conquers raging rapids

“Between Two Swims” captures family’s brave adventures on film.