No one wants a boring compact sedan anymore. Just look at how successful Honda has been with the latest generation Civic and even Toyota has injected a big dose of excitement in the new 2020 Corolla. So to give its bread and butter compact sedan a bit more flare, Hyundai has given the 2019 Elantra a big facelift.
Starting at the front you’ll immediately notice that the 2019 Elantra’s face is now more angular and bold than before. Hyundai clearly hopes that the Elantra’s new edgy grill and headlights will help it stand out in the compact sedan segment. The Elantra’s hood has also been re-sculpted, while at the rear there are new taillights, a restyled rear bumper and the “Elantra” letters spread wide across the new trunklid, which attempts to give it a more premium look.
Inside the updates are smaller with the bulk of the updates being tech upgrades, like a new faster infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and wireless charging. If you look closely there are some changes to the HVAC vents and central stack, but overall the interior largely carries over into the new model year.
Sadly there is one thing that Hyundai should have also addressed, the hard plastic surfaces, which remind you that the Elantra is still an economy car, even if it now has snazzier clothes.
In addition to the new tech features inside, the 2019 Elantra also now offers more safety tech as well thanks to Hyundai’s SmartSense safety suite, which includes forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist and driver attention alert. The available Ultimate package also adds Safe Exit Assist, which warns you if a car is coming towards you from the rear before you open your door, plus pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control (Smart Cruise Control). The adaptive cruise control is essential for your daily commute.
Under the hood the 2019 Elantra can be powered by either a 147-hp 2.0L or a 128-hp turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine. The 2.0L can be mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, while the 1.4L gets a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in the Elantra Eco. The Elantra Sport is powered by a 201-hp turbocharged 1.6L, but Hyundai has yet to unveil the updated 2019 Elantra Sport.
The 2.0L is rated at 29/38 mpg with the six-speed automatic in the SE and SEL trim levels, while the Elantra Limited is rated at 28/37 mpg. The SE with the six-speed manual is rated at 26/36 mpg. The most fuel efficient choice is the Elantra Eco, which is rated at 32/40 mpg.
The Elantra Sport is definitely the model you should choose if you want to have a bit of fun, but that doesn’t mean that the standard 147-hp engine is a bore. It’s perfectly capable of getting the Elantra up to cruising speeds without too much drama. The Elantra does have a bit of body roll, which is to be expected, since again, if you want something sportier go with the Elantra Sport and its sportier suspension.
With its extensive refresh, is the 2019 Elantra the perfect commuter car? Its combination of style, desirable tech features and a solid powertrain make it an easy sedan to live with everyday.
The 2019 Hyundai Elantra starts at $17,985.