2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport 1.6 turbo from North America
One of the best all around cars I have owned to date
This is probably the best packaged car for the money today. It comes standard with heated leather seats, power sunroof, leather wrapped flat bottomed steering wheel, 18 inch wheels, and it is really fun to drive. If you are unfamiliar with this car, it is not an average Elantra. It even has unique front and rear ends which totally separate it. The rear suspension is a multi-link unit as well providing .91g of grip on all season tires.
I looked for a while to find such a setup that wouldn't break the bank. I got mine for just over $19K. I compared it to the Civic Si, but I am not crazy about the looks of the Civics these days. Also the need for premium fuel, which is about 60 cents over the cost of regular around here these days, was an annoyance. I feel the slightly less power and a few tenths of a second to 60 were worth not putting premium in the car on a regular basis. What is interesting in addition is the Honda uses summer only tires. Car and Driver tested an Si on all seasons and it was about the same as the Hyundai in performance. Another thing is the mileage ratings on the Hyundai. They said it only is good for 30 MPG highway. I'm already seeing over 33 MPG around town so I already know the EPA ratings are low. I'm thinking 35 or 36 MPG highway is easily reachable.
Now the drive... HP is 201 and torque is 195 and it peaks at only 1,500 RPM. This translates into a very easy to drive car around town. You can easily slow down and take a corner in 3rd with plenty of power to spare in accelerating back up to speed. It has the shift up indicator and it looks for 5th at about 38 mph and 6th at about 43 mph. 0-60 is about 6 1/2 seconds, which is fast in an Elantra. I haven't pushed it really hard, but it has a lot of pull in the upper revs. The other complaint I've seen is long shift throws. I actually like that about it, as it is such a nice shifter overall, it's nice to have that action. It is in no way a real long throw though and is very easy to row quickly if you desire. It is also one of the smoothest and easiest driving manuals I have ever driven.
All in all, this is one to look at if you are thinking Focus ST or Civic Si. Even the ST isn't much quicker and it too takes premium fuel. Take a drive in the Elantra... you'll be surprised.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th May, 2018
16th Jun 2018, 12:27
Just a quick update.... There is one annoyance I have had so far... the remote is so sensitive. I go out to the garage in the morning and the trunk is open because the remote got pushed in my pocket from in the house. Thankfully I have a garage. If the car was outside and this happened, things could get taken or water could get into the trunk in the rain. I've never had this happen with another car. I wish it had a cover over it to prevent that as I never really need that button. The trunk has a button under the lip or you can pull the release from inside. It also has a fully automatic opening trunk, but I haven't used that yet as it too has been reported to be too sensitive and it opens the trunk every time you walk by the rear of the car.
Still a very minor annoyance overall and I am really loving this car. I have just over 1,300 miles on it now.