Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport Upgrades Optimization

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport Upgrades Optimization

Article excerpt

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport: Fun where you least expect it.

Price: Starts at $21,650.

Marketer's pitch: "Not just new. Better."

Conventional wisdom: "Sport" Elantra. LOL, right?

Reality: They're not kidding. It's better. And even kinda sporty.

What it is: A colleague who is friends with a restaurant reviewer says that writer wouldn't give a top review to a lower-tier restaurant, just based on the fact that it's not top tier.

I, on the other hand, am not the caviar type. I'll take a well-crafted, juicy burger and homemade fries over French delicacies most days of the week.

So when someone serves up a Hyundai Elantra that is reasonably fun and comfortable, I'm ready to give it a top review.

A hearkening back: Perhaps the Elantra makes me feel young again, by imitating the inexpensive econoboxes of my youth - and making them better. But while the Elantra is no race car and certainly not luxurious, it does many things very well.

Driver's Seat: If you grew up in the '80s, adjustable seats were only coming into being back then, so driver discomfort was the norm. The Elantra, though not offering power seats, does allow recline and seat bottom adjustments that make driving comfortable. This even puts it above the Civic in my notebook, as I've found the seats in there don't agree with me.

Up to speed: I'd driven a 2013 Elantra GT, a 2015 Elantra Sport, and a 2017 Eco version prior to this, and each incarnation keeps getting better and better.

The Sport's 2.0-liter four is turbocharged, and its 201 horsepower provides fine motivation for the model. Car and Driver puts its 0-60 at a stunning 6.4 seconds with the manual.

Shifty: The Elantra test vehicle came with the six-speed manual, which offered close shifts. I had a hard time telling if I was in 6th or 4th most of the time, which speaks both to the tight shift pattern and the car's ability to provide torque even in upper gears. Often small cars' fifth and sixth gears lack any semblance of power as a nod to efficiency (I'm looking at you, Mazda).

On the road: Handling in the Elantra Sport is pleasant, with an ability to turn winding roads into a little more fun. …

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