2019 Hyundai Elantra Driving Impressions

Most Elantras rate around average for roadgoing satisfaction – though the Elantra Sport can be stimulating. Each exhibits an overall sense of composure.

Elantra GTs reflect the European tradition of sharp, tenacious handling, coupled with a firm but absorbent ride. Most sedans have lighter steering, easy handling, and a softer ride. A stiff structure helps the Elantra cope with potholes.

The base engine is reasonably refined, but Hyundai’s 6-speed automatic transmission tends to upshift prematurely. Strong stabs at the gas pedal are needed to extract peak response. GT hatchbacks provide better passing power.

With just 128 horsepower, the Eco edition isn’t as brisk as its turbo engine might suggest, and it doesn’t shift as smoothly as other versions.

Fuel economy is closer to average than class-leading. Sedans with automatic and the 2.0-liter engine are PA-rated at 28/37 mpg City/Highway, or 32 mpg Combined. Manual shift lowers the estimate to 26/36/29 mpg. The Elantra Eco manages 32/40 mpg City/Highway, or 35 mpg Combined.

The 1.6-liter turbo with automatic is EPA-rated at 26/33 mpg City/Highway, or 29 mpg Combined. Manual shift is substantially less frugal, at 22/30/25 mpg.

With manual shift, the turbo GT hatchback is EPA-rated at 23/30 mpg City/Highway, or 26 mpg Combined, rising to 25/32/28 mpg with automatic.

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