ELANTRA HYBRID OFFERS LONG RANGE
BETWEEN FILL-UPS WITHOUT PLUGGING IN
We hear all the time about how sedan sales are on the wane, a notion that is reinforced by the number of SUVs and pickup trucks stacked up at a stoplight compared to the number of traditional sedans sitting idling.
Through the first six months of 2023 the Elantra not only has shown an increase of 53 percent in sales over the previous year. Its number of 74,738 in sales is exceeded only by the compact Tucson SUV’s 100,591 in the South Korean automaker’s portfolio so far this year. And the Tucson is showing only 20 percent growth over 2022 numbers.
Offered in a variety of configurations and powertrains, the Elantra sits No. 3 in the small car market according to Goodcarbadcar.net behind only traditional leaders Corolla from Toyota and Civic from Honda.
Redesigned in 2021 and with a facelift scheduled for 2024. the 2023 Hyundai Elantra has an attractive exterior and roomy interior with a nice array of technological features that are user-friendly, though sometimes a bit slow to react to touch commands.
The 2023 Hyundai Elantra is offered in three main trim levels — SE, SEL, and Limited — each featuring a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that Hyundai dubs Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The engine checks in a a mild 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque
The SE and SEL carry base MSRPs under $25,000 while the Limited is tagged at $26,500.
But the offerings don’t stop there. For those desiring more in the way of performance there are the N Line, which gets a turbocharged 1.4L inline-4 engine rated at 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, and an all-out N model with a 2.0L turbo-4 that produces a whopping 286 hp and 189 lb.-ft. of torque, pretty hefty numbers for a vehicle of this size.
If you desires are at the other end of the spectrum, there are two hybrid (HEV) versions each with a 1.6L engine hitched to an electric motor that gets a combined 139 hp and 195-lb.-ft. of torque.
The 2023 Hyundai Elantra Blue HEV carries a starting MSRP under $25,000 while the 2023 Hyundai Elantra HEV, available only in top-of-the-line Limited trim and is the subject of this review, flirts with the $30,000 mark with a base MSRP of $29,150 before the $1,115 destination and delivery charge puts it over.
Both the Blue HEV and the HEV Limited are hooked up to a 6-speed Double-Clutch (automatic) transmission.
If that’s not enough to swing you, the big advantage as that as HEVs you don’t have to plug in either the Blue or Limited model to charge up the battery. And you can go over 500 miles between fill-ups.
The big difference between the Blue HEV and Limited is in the standard equipment. The 2023 Hyundai Elantra Limited HEV rides on 17-inch wheels vs. 16-inchers and gets such niceties as LED headlights, a power driver’s driver’s seat with lumbar support, Bose premium sound system, a 10.25-inch screen with navigation, voice-command system for infotainment features, a leather shift knob, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
All Elantras come with blind-spot collision assist, lane-keeping and lane-following assist, and safe-exit assist. Highway Driving Assist is standard on Limited trims on both hybrid and non-hybrid models.
All trims also come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.
All-in-all, the 2023 Hyundai Elantra HEV Limited is a compelling vehicle. Don’t be put off by the hybrid powertrain. Just move the console shifter a notch to the left for Sport mode for a more lively performance.
What I didn’t like about the 2023 Hyundai Elantra HEV Limited: It definitely is not quite on expressways. Road and wind noise make enjoying the radio virtually impossible and hinders casual conversation at higher speeds.
Would I buy the 2023 Hyundai Elantra HEV Limited? In a heartbeat. It definitely should be on your list if you are looking for a smart, economical compact sedan. The Elantra HEV Limited is the most expensive of the Elantra offerings, but the savings in fuel costs should quickly pay off, especially if you put a lot of miles on it.