The Elantra steals some features from its Sonata sibling.
Hyundai has been busy lately. Recently, the company revised its lineup with more crossovers, then debuted the new 2020 Sonata, and now it unveils the 2021 Hyundai Elantra compact sedan. Among a segment replete with hallmark options like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Mazda3, among others, the new Elantra looks to stand out with its improved dimensions and completely overhauled interior tech.
Even with customers switching to compact crossover options like the Venue, Hyundai still sees a need for its two best-selling sedans. As with the Sonata, Hyundai adds a smattering of new technology and features to the Elantra once reserved for pricier vehicles in the hopes of expanding its customer reach. This includes standard wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, dual 10.3-inch displays, and the first Elantra Hybrid model. But the changes start with a sleeker design.
New Platform, New Look
The 2020 model is widely regarded as a downgrade in the looks department. So in some ways, Hyundai restores what once was with the new Elantra. Removing the pointy, stubby looks of the current car, Hyundai replaces them with a more flowing, elegant design partially inspired by the Sonata.
This is doable thanks in-part to a new platform underpinning the Elantra, which stretches the wheelbase nearly an inch, and adds 2 inches in overall length. The new Elantra gets wider and lower, with a shorter front overhang to help transform its look. Hyundai says the new car achieves a “four-door coupe aesthetic,” which is a vague term, but speaks to its sleeker look. Regardless, we call the new body lines and revised lighting design a big improvement.
Even with its lower coupe-like roof, the new Elantra matches the front and rear headroom of the current car by lowering its seating position. Legroom stays class-competitive with 42.3 inches in the front and 38 inches in the rear.
A New Bar For Tech
Perhaps the biggest leap forward is in the technology department; the Elantra offers a host of new features. Base models come equipped with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, with standard wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto – a first for the segment. Upgraded models get a larger 10.3-inch touchscreen that pairs with an identically sized digital gauge cluster. The two displays sit under one piece of glass, feature multiple configurations, and support connecting two phones at once via Bluetooth. This design is a huge departure from the current car, and it looks more modern than any of its competitors.
Supplementing the new infotainment setup is an improved range of safety equipment that includes standard automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and driver attention monitoring system. Optional kit includes blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. The Elantra also implements the digital key technology from the Sonata, which allows control over many of the car’s functions from your phone.
More Power, Hybrid Option
The headline in the powertrain department is that Hyundai will offer an Elantra Hybrid for the first time. This model uses a 1.6-liter inline-four engine paired with an electric motor, putting out a combined 139 horsepower (104 kilowatts) and a relatively potent 195 pound-feet of torque (264 Newton-meters). Hyundai anticipates the Elantra Hybrid will earn over 50 miles per gallon combined, making it competitive with cars like the Honda Insight and Toyota Corolla Hybrid.
The non-hybrid model stays largely the same with SE, SEL, and Premium models retaining the 2.0-liter inline-four and continuously variable transmission. Power stays the same compared to the 2020 model with 147 hp (110 kilowatts) and 132 lb-ft of torque (179 Newton-meters). Though not yet confirmed, we can likely expect a more potent N-Line variant sometime in the future.
For now, we’re left in the dark on pricing information for the 2021 Elantra and Elantra Hybrid. Hyundai plans to start building the new Elantras in Korea and its Alabama manufacturing plant in the fall of this year. Whether or not production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the new Elantra remains to be seen. Even if the car comes on a delayed timetable, the new Elantra should jolt the segment but upping the technology game and pushing the styling envelope further.
Gallery: 2021 Hyundai Elantra
All-New 2021 Hyundai Elantra and Elantra Hybrid Make World Premiere in Hollywood
- Dramatic four-door-coupe look comes to life with “Parametric Dynamics” design theme
- Segment-first wireless Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM
- Segment-first Hyundai Digital Key
- More than 50 MPG EPA estimated combined fuel economy rating on first-ever Elantra Hybrid
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Mar. 17, 2020 – Hyundai officially launched its all-new 2021 Elantra and Elantra Hybrid at The Lot Studios in West Hollywood with a special event today broadcast around the world. This marks the world debut of the latest version of the popular compact sedan. The 2021 Elantra showcases Hyundai’s latest ambitions, including a Sensuous Sportiness design identity, hybrid electric vehicle technology, and segment-first wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The car also provides exciting driving dynamics and the most progressive in-car experience in its class. Production of the 2021 Elantra starts in the fall in Ulsan, Korea and at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, and sales begin in the fourth quarter.
Highlights for the 2021 Elantra
- An all-new seventh-generation Elantra compact sedan with new vehicle platform
- Longer wheelbase, wider stance, lower roofline
- Elantra is called the Avante in the Korean domestic market
- Second Hyundai vehicle with Sensuous Sportiness design identity
- An everyday exotic four-door-coupe look with innovative molding and engineering
- First-ever Elantra Hybrid
- More than 50MPG estimated combined fuel economy on hybrid model
- Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make connecting easy
- Hyundai’s optional Digital Key allows Elantra to be unlocked, started and driven without a
physical key via a smartphone or NFC card
- Production to begin at Ulsan, Korea and at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama in the
fall with shipments to dealers in the fourth quarter
- An enhanced natural-language voice-recognition system with Speech-to-Meaning and
Deep Meaning Understanding technologies and lots of feature controls
- Standard SmartSense safety and convenience technologies
- Two available 10.25-inch multimedia screens under one piece of glass
“While some manufacturers no longer see the value in the car side of the business, we’re doubling down by offering an all-new model with both gas and hybrid powertrains,” said Brian Smith, chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor America. “We’ve sold more than 3.4 million Elantras here in the U.S. and more than 13.8 million worldwide, and the new, captivating look is going to bring excitement to a whole new generation of buyers. Then once inside, they’re going to love all of the progressive features.”
The all-new Elantra is a compact sedan that the next generation wants to drive. It is for customers that are pragmatic and sensible yet disruptive and always questioning traditions. This daring and non-conforming mindset is evident in the progressive and exciting Elantra. It provides a better mobility experience as Hyundai becomes the “Smart Mobility Solution Provider” of the future.
Longer, Lower, and Wider
|Specifications (inches)||2020 Elantra||Compared||2021 Elantra||2020 Corolla CVT||2020 Civic||2020 Sentra||2020 Mazda3||2020 Jetta|
Sensuous Sportiness Defined in the Parametric Dynamics Design
- Parametric-jewel-pattern grille with turn-signal integration
- Wide, cascading grille creates an integrated architecture with the headlamp
- Bold fascia shape creates a strong front graphic
- Well-refined gem-like shapes create harmony with the bodyside surfaces
- Forwarded profile with a long, low hood creates a feeling of tension
- Bold edge runs constantly from the front to the rear
- Parametric-jewel body surfaces
- Available 15-, 16-, and 17-inch-wheel designs match the Parametric Dynamics theme
- Wide, horizontal line extends across the center of the trunk, stretching to the edges of the car
- High-tech “H-Tail Lamp” that creates a Hyundai flying H logo-like shape
- Rear glass has a black deck accent to enhance the coupe-like look
- Wing-type lower bumper treatment
- Well-refined gem-like shapes create harmony with the bodyside surfaces
The “immersive cocoon” interior layout envelops the driver like an airplane cockpit. Low, wide structures go from the door all the way to the center console. The low, wide structure also provides ample interior room. A large interface consisting of two harmoniously connected 10.25-inch displays enhances the futuristic feeling of the car. The angled touchscreen is easy for the driver to see and control. The interior gives the driver access to the latest technology and the confidence to use it.
- A 10.25-inch information-display cluster and 10.25-inch infotainment system
- Slim high-tech vents
- Customizable 64-color mood lighting
- Aircraft-cockpit-like driver-oriented layout
- A unique cornering grab handle for the passenger
- A high center console completes the driver-oriented layout
- Door center trim is long and low like a coupe
- Sporty low-placed inside handles
- Two-toned melange emphasizes the driver-focused layout even on the door
For the first time ever, a hybrid powertrain has been added to the Elantra lineup. Elantra Hybrid demonstrates Hyundai’s commitment to expanding its eco-focused lineup of products. The new Elantra Hybrid will feature a 1.6-liter GDI Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine. Elantra Hybrid’s permanent-magnet electric motor delivers 32 kW powered by a lithium-ion-polymer battery with 1.32 kWh of capacity positioned under the rear seats. The 1.6-liter GDI engine combined with the electric motor in Elantra Hybrid delivers a total system output of 139 horsepower and up to 195 lb-ft of torque. This engine mates with Hyundai’s quick-shifting, six-speed, dual-clutch transmission–differentiating Elantra Hybrid from its key competitors because of its more dynamic and engaging driving experience. The high-efficiency electric motor has an electric only driving mode that delivers instantaneous torque at low speeds, with available power-assist at higher vehicle speeds. The 2021 Elantra Hybrid is projected to have a combined EPA estimated fuel economy rating of more than 50 MPG.
The Elantra SE, SEL, and Limited offer the 2.0L MPI Atkinson Cycle engine that also has a focus on fuel economy. This engine generates 147 horsepower @ 6,200 RPM and 132 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,500 RPM. These models are projected to achieve a best-in-class EPA combined fuel economy rating, an improvement over previous models, due in part to an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT).
Intelligent Variable Transmission Mated to a 2.0L Engine
Hyundai’s IVT provides superior efficiency and simulates gear shifts like those in the automatic transmissions that customers are used to. This transmission performs continuous shifts by the modulating pressure of the transmission’s pulley, depending on driving conditions and driver inputs. It uses a wide-ratio pulley system, which provides a broader ratio of operation compared with its competitors. This allows for improved fuel economy at higher gear ratios and improved performance at lower ratios.
As opposed to a more common push belt, the IVT takes advantage of a chain-design belt that improves fuel efficiency by an additional 1.2 percent compared with conventional belt systems.
Hyundai’s new Shift Control Strategy used by the IVT improves linearity between driver inputs, vehicle behavior and acceleration. Shift response closely replicates automatic transmission step shifts.
Third-Generation Compact-Sized K3 Vehicle Platform
Hyundai’s third-generation vehicle platform also dramatically enhances the overall design, safety, efficiency, power and driving performance of the 2021 Elantra. The new Elantra weighs less, has better fuel economy and is stronger compared to the previous generation, thanks to the new platform. This platform also allowed engineers to lower Elantra’s center of gravity for more agile handling. In the event of a collision, this platform improves safety because it uses a multiload path structure.
Third-Generation Compact Sized K3 Vehicle Platform Highlights
- Improved proportions
- Improved stance by implementing a shorter front overhang
- Longer wheelbase
- Lower seating position by lowering seat height
- Lower center of gravity, increasing driving stability and makes the driver feel more
connected to the car
- Multiple load paths for frontal crash performance
- Improved steering by moving gearbox position upward
- Improved suspension mounting structure for more responsive handling
- Front cowl point moved back and down for four-door-coupe appearance
- Developed to house internal combustion engines and hybrid powertrains
Ride and Handling
The 2021 Elantra has a suspension tune that feels taut yet comfortable and minimizes unwanted body roll while maximizing wheel impact absorption. Elantra Hybrid models offer a fully independent multilink setup in the rear and standard 16-inch alloy wheels for even more fun when the going gets sporty. All in all, whether it is a spirited drive through a twisty canyon road or cruising with friends on the highway, the new Elantra is ready.
The driving performance goal for the 2021 Elantra was to create a car that was exciting and fun to drive. Combining the new platform and modern powertrains allows the car to respond quickly to the driver’s inputs and provide a quiet, solid ride on the highway. The nimble driving dynamics match the bold exterior design.
Hyundai Interior Packaging Efficiency
Elantra’s sleek design, combined with Hyundai’s expertise in interior packaging, has produced an interior that delivers outstanding comfort, functionality and practicality. A sleek roofline typically compromises headroom, but at 40.6 inches of front headroom and 37.3 inches of rear headroom,
the 2021 Elantra has more front headroom and the same amount of rear headroom as its predecessor. The longer wheelbase also provides a best-in-class 38.0 inches of rear legroom and the wider track width means improved shoulder room in the front and rear. Even in trunk room, the Elantra shines. Elantra’s 14.2 cu. ft. of trunk space gives it an 8 percent advantage over the Corolla.
|Specifications (inches)||2020 Elantra||Compared||2021 Elantra||2020 Corolla CVT||2020 Civic|
|Front Headroom (sunroof)||40.3 (38.5)||+0.3 (+0.2)||40.6 (38.7)||40.4 (38.8)||39.2|
|Front Shoulder Room||56.2||+0.3||56.5||56.9||55.0|
|Rear Shoulder Room||55.3||+0.3||55.6||55.0||54.5|
Two Available 10.25-inch Screens
The 2021 Elantra has two futuristic 10.25-inch screens all under one piece of glass. The cluster has different views: utility, driver assistance and navigation. The optional infotainment system displays a wide variety of useful information across its 10.25-inch split touchscreen.
The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get connected routing. Connected routing provides multiple navigation options and real-time route updates. Server-based routing makes the onboard navigation experience similar to current smartphone navigation apps.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also look great on this 10.25-inch widescreen display. 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. The navigation system also comes with three years of Blue Link® Multimedia/Map updates.
Leave the Cellphone Cords Behind
Hyundai Elantra’s standard eight-inch Display Audio user interface allows owners to leave the cell phone cords at home. This is because Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available as segment-first features, allowing one to leave the phone in a pocket or purse.
SmartSense Safety Features
The 2021 Elantra offers a new array of standard advanced safety technologies:
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with Pedestrian Detection uses the car’s front-
facing camera to help detect an imminent collision with a vehicle or pedestrian and avoid
impact or minimize damage by braking automatically
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) helps prevent accidental lane departure by sensing road
markings, automatically steering the car if necessary
- Lane Following Assist (LFA) may automatically adjust steering to help keep the vehicle
centered in its lane of travel. LFA can help keep the vehicle centered on both highways and
- High Beam Assist (HBA) eliminates the need for drivers to manually switch high beams on
and off at night
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW) system that monitors a spectrum of driver-related
characteristics to help detect driver fatigue
- Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
Optional SmartSense Features
- Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCA) and Lane Change Assist (LCA) helps detect a vehicle in the drivers’ blind spot while the turn signal is on and may automatically apply the left or right front brake before changing lanes.
- Smart Cruise Control (SCC) makes highway and long-distance driving more comfortable.
Using a radar sensor mounted on the lower front grille, the SCC system maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead in varied traffic conditions by automatically adjusting vehicle speed as needed.
- Highway Driving Assist (HDA) is a driving convenience system that assists drivers in maintaining the center of the lane and at an appropriate speed while keeping a safe distance from the car in front.
- Safe Exit Warning (SEW) may sound an alert when a vehicle approaches from behind, letting passengers know it may not be safe to open the door to exit the vehicle.
- Reverse Parking Collision Avoidance Assist (RPCA) helps detect pedestrians and obstacles with a rearview camera and ultrasonic sensors. The system can provide warnings and apply emergency braking to assist in the avoidance of a collision.
Standard Interior Features
- Eight-inch color display audio system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and HD
- Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls
- Drive Mode Select
- Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
Optional Interior Features
- Blue Link® Connected Car System with three years of complimentary Blue Link services
- Qi wireless charging
- 10.25-inch infotainment system with faster processor, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and
- Bose premium sound system with eight speakers, including powerful Super65 wide-range
speakers in the front doors and a woofer on the rear deck
The new Elantra line still features Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Car System, which uses embedded telematics to allow drivers to remote-start their vehicle and control interior temperature using the MyHyundai smartphone app. The app also allows users to either remotely lock or unlock their doors, and to find their vehicle in a crowded parking lot with Car Finder and remote horn and
In addition, Blue Link in the new Elantra arrives with cloud-based navigation, which offers free up- to-the-minute traffic information and POI searches.
Voice Recognition System
The all-new Elantra has an enhanced natural language voice recognition system with more and better feature control. This natural-language voice recognition system includes Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies, delivering unprecedented speed and accuracy in voice recognition and responses, and an ability to understand context, such as the user’s location to support natural interactions.
Using a natural voice, one can control the:
- Climate on/off
- Air conditioner on/off
- Heat on/off
- Fan high/low
- Defrost on
- Set fan to face, feet, or face and feet
- Defrost on and set fan to feet
- Warm up/cool down
- Air intake system on
- Turn on/off heated seats (driver/passenger)
- Set heated seat levels 1, 2, or 3 (driver/passenger)
- Rear window defroster on/off
- Turn on/off the heated steering wheel
- And additional functions
To activate controls, all the driver has to do is use the “push to talk button” on the steering wheel and say the requested command. Conversations will sound like, “Air conditioner on,” “Set fan to face,” or “Turn on my heated seat.” There are also more requests the system can handle. A user can say via Blue Link, “What is the temperature in St. Louis?”, “When is Mother’s Day?”, “Find me a Starbucks”, or “Who won the L.A. King’s game last night?”
Continuing to promote the latest advances in technology, the all-new Elantra has an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key. Digital Key uses a dedicated mobile app, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to allow a new Elantra to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key via applicable Android smartphones. Elantra’s Digital Key also allows secure sharing of virtual keys with family and friends.
Elantra owners can tailor the different vehicle functions available to each shared virtual key, and the key can be made available for only a defined amount of time. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle, and keys can also be revoked remotely. For additional convenience, such as using a valet service or visiting a Hyundai dealer, Hyundai Digital Key also works with an NFC card, which is provided with each vehicle. Each Elantra still comes with traditional keys. Hyundai Digital Key is compatible only with phones using the Android operating system.
Hyundai Digital Key uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which exhibits a high level of security. NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimeters apart.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
At Hyundai Motor America, we believe everyone deserves better. From the way we design and build our cars to the way we treat the people who drive them, making things better is at the heart of everything we do. Hyundai’s technology-rich product lineup of cars, SUVs and alternative-powered electric and fuel cell vehicles is backed by Hyundai Assurance—our promise to create a better experience for customers. Hyundai vehicles are sold and serviced through more than 830 dealerships nationwide and nearly half of those sold in the U.S. are built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Hyundai Motor America is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, and is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.