The all-new, seventh-generation 2021 Hyundai Elantra was unveiled online on March 17. A striking four-door coupe profile, surprising technologies and lots of cutting-edge safety features should allow it to seriously threaten the better-selling Civic and Corolla in Canada, especially if the price remains competitive.
Before we go any further, we should clarify that the five-door 2021 Elantra GT has also been redesigned (Hyundai gave a full preview in late February), but it’s still a different car due to its mostly European development.
- Also: 2021 Hyundai Elantra Unveiled with Killer Looks, Hybrid Model
- Also: 2021 Hyundai Elantra GT Unveiled Ahead of Geneva Show
Here are five things you need to know about the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, which is scheduled to enter production this fall:
Cut Like a Diamond
The Elantra now rides on a new platform that gives it a longer wheelbase and wider tracks. The roofline has been lowered, too. Overall, the silhouette is more athletic.
This is the second Hyundai vehicle to embody the brand’s Sensuous Sportiness design identity. The main highlights are the dramatically sculpted body sides where three different lines meet at one point, plus the wide, cascading grille with a so-called “parametric-jewel-pattern” look.
That’s how Hyundai describes the interior of the 2021 Elantra, where most key dimensions have increased from the outgoing model. The driver-oriented layout will make you feel like in an airplane cockpit, the company says. The low seats and tall centre console, the latter incorporating a unique grab handle on the passenger side, accentuate the impression.
A two-tone combination and customizable 64-colour mood lighting are available to add more refinement to the cabin, which Hyundai claims is the most comfortable, functional and practical in the segment.
First-ever Elantra Hybrid
The standard engine is unchanged, namely a 2.0-litre four-cylinder that generates 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque via a continuously variable transmission. There’s no AWD option to compete with the Impreza and Mazda3, however.
The biggest news is the introduction of the Elantra Hybrid. This model combines a 1.6-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with a 32-kW electric motor powered by a lithium-ion-polymer battery with 1.32 kWh of capacity positioned under the rear seats. It delivers a total system output of 139 horsepower and up to 195 pound-feet of torque, promising spirited acceleration especially with a quick-shifting, six-speed dual-clutch transmission replacing the CVT.
Fuel consumption ratings for Canada have yet to be announced, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a number equal to 4.7 L/100 km—just a tad higher than the Corolla Hybrid at 4.5 L/100 km.
Do You Love Big Screens?
The 2021 Elantra offers two 10.25-inch screens mounted side by side under a single piece of glass. The instrument cluster has different views, while the infotainment system displays a wide variety of useful information across its optional 10.25-inch split touchscreen (8-inch standard).
Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included as segment-first features. 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. As for the optional navigation system, it comes with three years of BlueLink and five years of map updates.
Not Joking About Safety
Finally, we have to tell you that the 2021 Elantra boasts a number of Hyundai SmartSense safety features as standard equipment including:
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection;
- Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Following Assist;
- High Beam Assist;
- Driver Attention Warning;
- Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines.
Select models add Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Change Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Highway Driving Assist and Safe Exit Alarm.