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2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid first drive assessment: Effortlessly environment friendly


The brand new Hyundai Elantra launches with a fairly robust hand, however this Hybrid mannequin is the ace up its sleeve. It has the identical standout styling, comfy lodging and lengthy record of tech as the usual Elantra but it surely ups the ante with higher on-road manners and an actual mic-drop element: 54 miles per gallon mixed.

That makes this Elantra extra environment friendly than the Honda Perception and Toyota Corolla Hybrid, and it even bests some variations of the Toyota Prius. With the aforementioned accolades backing up that nice effectivity, the Elantra Hybrid is not simply probably the most economical of the bunch, it is also probably the most compelling.

The Hybrid’s drivetrain consists of a 1.6-liter I4 engine, 1.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and 34-kilowatt electrical motor. All informed, 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque are despatched to the Elantra’s entrance wheels by means of a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The battery is not massive sufficient to present the Elantra any actual electrical vary, however it will possibly retailer sufficient power to supply gas-free operation at parking zone speeds, and the engine can shut off while you’re coasting. Positive, the Elantra Hybrid is form of sluggish, and the gasoline engine is a bit buzzy while you lay into it, however the six-speed DCT is nice. And do not forget, what’s mission crucial right here is gas economic system.

In its most effective SEL trim, the Elantra Hybrid is estimated to return that spectacular 54 mpg mixed determine, damaged out to 53 mpg metropolis and 56 mpg freeway. Step as much as the Restricted trim and you may undergo a small penalty for that added luxurious, with town, freeway and mixed figures dropping to 49, 52 and 50 mpg, respectively.

That stated, these rankings may be a bit conservative. Clearly your mileage might fluctuate, however on the finish of a day of testing the Elantra Hybrid in southern California, on a route that included going up and over Malibu Canyon, plenty of time hanging out on the 101 and 405 freeways and some metropolis miles to get again to West Hollywood, I noticed 54 mpg mixed in my Restricted tester — a 4-mpg enchancment over Hyundai’s estimate, and with out making any adjustments to my I-just-want-to-go-home driving type.

A 1.6-liter I4 and 1.34-kWh battery mix to provide 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.

Drew Phillips

Relying on trim, the Hybrid is anyplace from 240 to 340 kilos heavier than the usual Elantra, however the larger battery and electrical motors do not impede on passenger or cargo area. The battery is housed beneath the rear seats, and to accommodate, the Hybrid eschews the gas-only Elantra’s torsion beam rear suspension in favor of a extra subtle multi-link unbiased setup. This really provides the Hybrid nicer road-handling skills than the bottom Elantra fashions, with higher composure and extra confidence by means of turns. A barely faster steering ratio (12.2:1 as an alternative of 12.9:1) makes the Hybrid extra responsive, as properly.

Regenerative brakes can recuperate stopping power and ship it again to the battery, however the regen is not so robust that you’re going to actually really feel it working. On downhill sections by means of the canyons, I can see the gauge needle absolutely within the regenerative a part of the dial, however the Elantra simply coasts like regular. There is no method to dial in stronger ranges of regen, both.

Restricted fashions get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and 10.2-inch touchscreen. 

Drew Phillips

The Hybrid is a quiet commuter, with little or no wind or highway noise making its approach into the cabin. Plenty of lively driving aids are normal, together with forward-collision warning, lane-keeping help, rear cross-traffic alert and a driver consideration monitor. If you would like issues like forward-collision avoidance with pedestrian and bicycle owner detection, parking sensors or full-speed adaptive cruise management with Hyundai’s Freeway Drive Help tech, you must pony up for the Elantra Hybrid Restricted.

Inside, the SEL has material seats whereas the Restricted will get leather-based. The SEL additionally makes use of Hyundai’s 8-inch infotainment system, which is weirdly the one method to get wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Restricted has the flasher 10.2-inch touchscreen with embedded navigation, however smartphone management requires a wired connection, despite the fact that that is the one model of the Hybrid that has a wi-fi charging pad. Choosing the Restricted additionally nets you the Elantra’s super-cool 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster, which is value it only for the cool animation that performs while you change between the Regular, Sport and adaptive Sensible drive modes.

With as much as 56 mpg freeway, you’ll do that for a really very long time.

Drew Phillips

On the surface, the one actual method to spot a Hybrid mannequin is by checking for a badge on the trunk. The gasoline-electric model seems identical to another Elantra (besides the N Line, natch), with the SEL using on 16-inch wheels and the Restricted getting some snazzy 18s that match the sedan’s angular, geometric design.

The Hybrid solely prices $2,650 greater than the equal gasoline fashions, with the SEL beginning at $24,545 and the Restricted topping out the Elantra vary at $29,095 (each costs embrace $995 for vacation spot). That is roughly what you may pay for an equal Corolla Hybrid or Perception, however neither of these automobiles look as cool or drive as properly, and Hyundai seems to have ’em beat on gas economic system, too.

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