Hyundai Elantra Gets a Makeover for 2019 – AAA Auto Buying Review
Like a fashion designer creating a new look, Hyundai has redesigned its best-selling mid-size Elantra sedan for 2019 to give it a more attractive profile while upgrading driver safety features and keeping the cost wallet friendly.
2019 Hyundai Elantra Review
Changing the sheet metal after a 2017 makeover keeps it in the “What should I buy?” conversation with the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla and Madza3 – all price competitive but often costing more when similarly equipped.
Hyundai claims Elantra has the best powertrain warranty in its class – 100,000 miles/ten years.
The new profile includes a sculpted hood, expanded grill and redone front fascia, plus changes to fenders, rear bumper and the 17-inch alloy wheels while keeping a rising beltline and its sleek, European look.
Our test-drive Elantra Limited is the top sedan trim above the SE, SEL, Value Edition, Eco and Sport with various engines and transmissions to choose from. Ours came with the 2.0-liter engine and 6-speed automatic transmission with manual side/slide selection.
Slightly sluggish off the starting line, it becomes peppy once underway. Drive modes include Normal, Eco to save fuel and Sport keeping rpms high. Handling was smoothly responsive and the ride composed with a torsion beam rear suspension helping minimize reaction to rough pavement.
A $3,350 Ultimate package added navigation, 8-inch touchscreen, sunroof, collision avoidance/pedestrian detection, dynamic cruise control and a 4.2-inch cluster display between dashboard gauges.
Newly included, safe exit assist alerts exiting passengers of approaching traffic with a beep or locking the car door.
Inside, the leather-lined cabin suppresses exterior noise thanks to a solid fit-and-finish; heated leather front seats are comfortable and rear seat space is ample for taller adults.
We had a standard Qi wireless charging plate, redesigned gauges, air vents and HVAC controls. Controls for all functions are pleasingly ergonomic, including access to several storage spaces.
Replacing the CD player are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone integration operating with a six-speaker Premium Infinity audio system offering sound clarity.
Voice commands were understood and Hyundai warns some information, like speed limits, may be inaccurate.
Hyundai’s Blue Link services add several features including vehicle tracking, emergency notification and remotely performed functions.
Elantra contains a spare tire in a generously sized trunk, has extendable visors and received four out of five stars in government crash testing.
2019 Hyundai Elantra at a Glance
LIKES: Stylish, spacious, handling, ride, rear seating, price, mileage
DISLIKES: No CD player, sluggish acceleration
BOTTOM LINE: A solid, affordable competitor in mid-size sedan market
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Tom Crosby has written more than 1,000 automotive reviews and is a retired Vice President of Communications for AAA Carolinas. He has seen dramatic changes in the automotive industry over the past 25 years and ponders the advent of self-driving vehicles, electric only vehicles, sophisticated in-car telematics and the financial challenges facing automotive manufacturers in an increasingly congested world-wide market.