2019 Hyundai Elantra
- Standard heated front seats
- Available heated steering wheel
- Standard air conditioning
2019 Elantra Sport Impressive power and performance Starting at $25,449
- 201 horsepower 1.6L turbo GDI engine
- Large 18″ alloy wheels
- Heated leather front sports seats with red stitching accents
2019 Elantra GT Proof: fun and practicality can coexist. Starting at $20,599
- Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™
- The heated steering wheel and heated front seats
- Blind-Spot Collision Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning
The first-ever ELANTRA GT N Line. Starting at $27,199
- The heated steering wheel and heated front seats
- Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™
- Available Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection
- Refreshed for 2019
- New exterior appearance
- More standard technology features and new infotainment system
- Active safety features standard on more trim levels
- Part of the sixth Elantra generation introduced for 2017
- Offers broad range of technology and safety features
- Comfortable ride
- Quiet cabin with simple, intuitive controls
- Offers one of the best warranties in its segment
- Lackluster performance from the base 2.0-liter engine
- Seven-speed automatic can be clunky at low speeds
Bumper-to-Bumper: 100000/km, 60/Months
Rust-through: Unlimited/km, 60/Months
Which Elantra does Vin Busters recommend?
This year, we think the Value Edition is the trim to get for the Elantra. Last year we picked the SEL. It’s still a good deal, but for about $1,000 more, the Value Edition adds items such as a sunroof, heated seats, dual-zone auto climate control, and even rear cupholders. It’s worth the stretch.
Overall rating 7.1 / 10
Variety and value are the main ingredients in the 2019 Hyundai Elantra’s appeal. Three available engines and six configurations mean it’s easy to find an Elantra to suit your needs, whether that’s you’re focused on fuel economy or just something fun to drive. As for value, the Elantra doesn’t deal in subtlety. The aptly named Value Edition, for example, comes standard with several desirable features, including a sunroof, keyless touch entry, hands-free trunk release, heated seats, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
For 2019, the Elantra gets a significant new exterior look, with a reshaped hood, front end, fenders, rear bumper, and even a new wheel design. Interior changes are less drastic, but they include a revised center console with new controls, vents, storage tray and updated gauges. These changes come after a complete redesign two years earlier, an indication of just how quickly the compact sedan class evolves.
The new Elantra also comes with expanded convenience and safety tech, including a standard rearview camera with guidelines, a larger infotainment display and Bluetooth phone connectivity on base models. Moving up the trim ladder brings features such as wireless device charging and an 8-inch infotainment display. All trims except the SE base model receive driver aids including forwarding collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, and a drowsy driver warning system.
Despite extensive changes, the Elantra remains the same under the hood. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder base engine carries over with its underwhelming 147 horsepower, but it returns a respectable 32 mpg combined. The turbocharged four-cylinder engines in the Eco and Sports trims are more satisfying but come saddled with clunky-shifting seven-speed automatic transmissions.
Ultimately, the Elantra’s value isn’t enough to vault it to a podium finish in its class. Alternatives such as the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf simply drive better and offer nice interiors. But the Elantra remains a solid pick behind the front-runners, offering a lot of features for less money. If you’re open to getting a hatchback, the Elantra GT (reviewed separately) is worth consideration. Essentially the European version of the Elantra, the GT is livelier than its sedan counterpart.
2019 Hyundai Elantra configurations
The 2019 Hyundai Elantra comes in six trim levels, with three engines and three transmissions shared among them. The base SE offers a pretty limited feature set, but moving up to the SEL, the Value Edition and finally the Limited nets many improvements. The Eco offers a more fuel-efficient engine with midlevel equipment, and the Sport comes with a strong turbocharged engine.
The base engine, and the only option for the SE, SEL, Value Edition and Limited trims, is a 2.0-liter four cylinder (147 horsepower, 132 pound-feet of torque). The SE trim comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but an upgrade to a six-speed automatic is offered.
The SE trim is somewhat minimally equipped, with 15-inch steel wheels, front disc and rear drum brakes, power mirrors, a rearview camera, height-adjustable front seats, air conditioning, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with a 5-inch display and a USB port. Adding the optional automatic transmission also adds cruise control and a selectable Sports driving mode.
Stepping up to the SEL trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, automatic headlights and heated side mirrors. Rounding out the SEL’s upgrades is a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, and satellite radio. You also get a suite of driver safety aids including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and a drowsy driver alert system.
From there, the Value Edition adds a sunroof, LED daytime running lights, door-handle approach lights, keyless entry with push-button start, and hands-free trunk release. Inside are heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, rear-seat cupholders and — a special treasure for those who live in sunny climates — sun visor extensions.
Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Car system is also included, and it offers the ability to start the car, set the climate control, lock and unlock the doors, and perform several other functions from a smartphone app.
As its name suggests, the Eco gets a more fuel-efficient engine: a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder (128 hp, 156 lb-ft of torque) paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. It’s equipped similarly to the Value Edition and adds dual USB ports, but it doesn’t get the sunroof. It also rolls on 15-inch alloy wheels.
Compared to the Value Edition, the Elantra Limited upgrades include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and automatic high beams. The cabin gets leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a sliding armrest, adjustable rear headrests, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual USB ports, a wireless charging pad, and an eight-speaker Infinity premium audio system.
The optional Limited Ultimate package adds further refinements with the sunroof, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, driver-seat memory settings, and additional safety features such as adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection and Safe Exit Assist, which alerts exiting passengers of potential oncoming cars before they open the doors.
The Elantra Sport, whether you get it with an automatic or a manual, is equipped largely like the Limited. It loses the dual-zone automatic climate control, includes the sunroof, and offers several sport-oriented changes such as a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, with either the six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic), a more sophisticated rear suspension with firmer tuning, 18-inch alloy wheels with grippier tires, stronger brakes, and chrome exterior accents.
The sporty theme continues inside with a flat-bottomed steering wheel, unique gauge cluster, leather-upholstered front sports seats with heating, and a black headliner.
The optional Sports Premium package offers an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, the Infinity audio system, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, and Blue Link Connected Car services.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Hyundai Elantra Limited (2.0L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).
Of the three engines available in the Elantra, the base 2.0-liter is our least favorite. Acceleration is leisurely and has unfortunate effects on other areas. We like the well-tuned steering and the brakes better.
The Elantra’s 2.0-liter is uninspiring, especially when cars such as the Mazda 3 and the Honda Civic exist. Accelerating to 60 mph takes a sluggish 9.7 seconds, a full second longer than the identically priced Elantra GT hatchback. It has one upside: It doesn’t drone like the GT’s more powerful engine.
The brakes are easy to modulate, with no excess play or squishiness. They aren’t performance-oriented brakes, but they feel nice and are predictable to use. In our panic-braking test, the Elantra needed 126 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is average for the class.
As in other Hyundais, the Elantra’s steering feels direct and builds effort naturally. It still lacks road feedback, but for the most part this is a well-tuned steering system. The Sports mode’s increased steering effort feels appropriate.
It’s difficult to truly exploit this car’s handling capabilities mainly due to its powertrain shortcomings and low-grip tires. The Elantra feels composed in most cases, with the potential to be playful if it had the proper tires for it.
At slow or highway cruising speeds, drivability is fine. But the lack of engine power often results in a downshift at the smallest request for more speed. Sports mode helps since it keeps the transmission a gear lower than normal, but it also makes the throttle too sensitive for casual use.
The highlights include easy-to-use climate controls with great temperature regulation, a comfy ride and a quiet, rattle-free cabin. The seats are also more comfortable for longer drives than the ones found in the comparable Elantra GT hatchback model.
Seat comfort 7.5
The seats are comfortable and offer a nice balance between soft and firm to help you out on longer rides. There’s not a lot of lateral support, but it’s enough for the Elantra’s driving purposes. Lumbar support is adjustable but not repositionable. The armrest padding is sufficient even if the material isn’t that nice.
Ride comfort 8.5
The Elantra has a pretty nice ride for a compact car. Sharp impacts are softened to a pleasant degree without the suspension feeling overly mushy. It remains composed over bumpy sections of road. It’s one of the most appealing aspects of the car.
Noise & vibration 8.5
There are some mild wind and road noise at highway speeds, but overall the cabin is quieter than average among compact cars. At lower city speeds, road noise is particularly well-isolated, and there are no discernible interior rattles or creaks. It feels well put together in that regard.
Climate control 8.0
Climate controls are straightforward, well-labeled and easy to operate. There’s nothing fancy about the design, but we appreciate the simplicity and clarity. Auto temperature settings work great. There are no ventilated seats, but the front seats offer three-level heating and the rear seats two-level heating.
Hyundai’s cabin controls are always easy to figure out and use. There’s nothing sleek or fancy about them, but we can’t fault the functionality. Taller folks may find the door openings too short and little headroom in the front.
Ease of use 8.0
The Elantra has the standard Hyundai button layout. It’s not fancy, but all the usual assortment of controls are clearly marked and easy to figure out. There are quick access buttons for most of the driver assist functions, and the menus are easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for. Nicely done.
Getting in/getting out 6.5
The doors swing open pretty wide, but the height of the apertures are a little short and may feel small for taller adults, both in front and in back. The step-over height is nice and low with an easy sill to cross.
Driving position 7.0
There is more seat height adjustment than you’d guess based on the available headroom, presumably to cater to shorter drivers who want to sit higher up. There’s plenty of fore-aft adjustment, and the steering wheel reach and tilt is adequate.
Front legroom is generous, but headroom is somewhat limited. Rear knee room, headroom, and under-the-seat toe room are all decent. Middle passengers will appreciate the nearly flat floor in the back. Three smaller adults would likely fit in the back given the amount of seat width, but two would be ideal.
For the most part, you won’t have trouble seeing out of the Elantra. The rear view is unobstructed and the rear side windows are pulled back far, helping thin out the rear roof pillars. The side mirrors and front pillars don’t obscure too much when the driver’s making left turns. A backup camera and rear cross-traffic alert are usable bonuses.
There are areas of this cabin that look nice and others that appear cheaply made. Hyundai spent money in the right places, such as the leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, encouraging forgiveness of the surrounding hard plastic bits. But, unlike the Elantra GT, it does not emit a quality feel.
The Elantra’s trunk is above average for the class, and the rear seatback releases are easy to access. In-cabin storage is decent, but there are cars that do it better in the class, especially with the lack of anti-tip design for the cupholders. If you’re looking to fit a car seat, there are some concerns.
Small-item storage 7.5
The center armrest bin is a decent size, and the sliding drawer up front is big enough to hold a phone and wallet. The door pockets are average and fit a standard water bottle. There are two cupholders both front and back, without anti-tip design.
Cargo space 8.0
At 14.4 cubic feet, the trunk isn’t the largest, but it’s above average. It has a nice wide opening and a short leftover, but it narrows a bit toward the rear seatbacks. The split-fold seat releases are in the trunk and easy to access, though you have to push the seats down from the rear doors.
Child safety seat accommodation 6.5
LATCH anchors are buried in the seat cushions and are a little difficult to get to. They are easy to locate thanks to markers, but hooking them in will be a task. The top tethers are located under plastic flip doors and easier to access. Rear-facing car seats may be a squeeze.
Hyundai was one of the first to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it continues to provide smart, well-integrated solutions to connect and use your smartphone. Driver aids tend not to be as user-friendly, but they have improved with this Elantra model.
Audio & navigation 7.5
The audio system produces decent sound, but because the door speakers point toward your legs, you don’t get quite the surround effect audiophiles may be looking for. The factory navigation system is standard issue from Hyundai — easy to use and straightforward but nothing remarkable.
Smartphone integration 8.0
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included as standard on all but the base SE. On the Limited you get two USB ports. There are no phone accessory plugs for the rear passengers. Bluetooth pairs quickly.
Driver aids 7.5
Hyundai has improved the performance of the Elantra’s driving aids in recent years. The lane-keeping assist system has various settings and works well. Adaptive cruise control works OK, though sometimes it does not look far enough ahead when adjusting speed.
Voice control 7.5
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto voice controls become the default if plugged in. The native voice control system takes a little longer to process commands than some other systems in rival cars.