Tuesday, July 25, 2017



Last October I spent a week driving a 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco and noted how many features were included as standard in the base MSRP of under $22,000.

They included things that are offered only as options or are not available in the class at all, like a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, cross-traffic detection, blind-spot detection, projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights, etc.

So when it came time to answer my closing question — would I buy this vehicle? — my answer was yes, I would. But I added a caveat. I’d also want to take a look at the Elantra Limited before making a final decision.

Well, I recently got that look at the 2017 Elantra Limited, and much of what I said about the Elantra Eco last fall (you can read my earlier review by clicking on “October” on the list on the right to get to the proper link) holds true for the Elantra Limited.

You get a ton of similar features as standard in both models with the key differences in the powertrain (a 1.4-liter turbo and 7-speed double-clutch transmission on the Eco) and wheels (17-inch alloys on the Limited, 15s on the Eco).

I guess you decision would have to come down to how much gas you want to save. EPA figures for the Elantra Limited are 28 miles-per-gallon city, 37 highway, and 32 combined) and for the Elantra Eco 32/40/35. Not a huge difference, really, considering how real-life results often vary.

On the other hand, the Limited enjoys a power edge with its 2.4-liter 4-cylinder producing 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque to the 128/156, respectively, in the Eco. But thanks to the extra torque in the Eco, there’s not a whole lot of difference when it comes to off-the-line performance.

Both models come down in the category of “adequate” for most situations. If you want better mileage from the Limited, you can always drive it in “Eco” mode and if you want more in the way of response, put it in Sport instead of Normal.

The Limited is mated to a 6-speed automatic Shiftronic transmission, which means that you can select gears manually if you desire, though without paddle shifters, it becomes a bit of a chore to keep changing gears.

It’s when you start adding the extras, however, that the real advantages of the Limited come into play.

With the Limited you can get options like a Tech Package that includes navigation with an 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, premium audio, a power sunroof and heated front and rear seats and an Ultimate Package that includes HID headlights, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, Smart Cruise Control, and lane-keeping assist.

Those two packages (you need the Tech Package to get the features from the Ultimate) are a huge upgrade for and extra $4,400 added to the base MSRP of $22,350.

That, plus a couple of stand-alone options like carpeted floor mats, a cargo net in the trunk, first-aid kit, and rear bumper protection plus the $835 destination and delivery charge ran the total MSRP to $27,860 for the Elantra Limited that I drove for a week.

It wasn’t all that long ago that such a number for an Elantra would have sent shock waves through the showroom, but that falls into the reasonable category now. In fact, even with the options included, that total MSRP falls in the bottom half of the compact car segment.

Also, the base Elantra SE with a 6-speed manual transmission starts at under $18,000.

What I liked about the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited: The front is very room with up to 42.2 inches of legroom, and the back offers 35.7, which isn’t bad. The ride itself is quiet and smooth enough, and the cabin has a nice feel about it. Operation of the infotainment system is very intuitive, and there are plenty of functions to operate.

What I didn’t like about the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited: It’s not a requirement, but if you are going to have a shiftable automatic transmission, it’s nice to be able to accomplish that mission via paddle shifters. I don’t use them all that much on South Florida’s flat roads, but if you are one who likes to shift gears even with an automatic, you would want them. The engine overall could have a little more oomph in the performance department.

Would I buy the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited? Yes, I would. I would probably go for the Limited for the Eco, especially if I could swing the options financially. They make a huge difference when compared to the Elantra’s competitors. 

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