The redesigned 2017 Hyundai Elantra made a huge splash last year with its upgraded technological and safety features. This small sedan might not be the most powerful, but it has a lot of surprisingly good elements to it. The 2018 Hyundai Elantra does pack a lot of great features and mechanics into one small package, and out of all the trims, the SEL offers everything a driver really needs.
What's New for 2018?
Since the Elantra was just overhauled in 2017, not much has changed on the 2018 Hyundai Elantra. The only major change is that the SE trim with the Popular Equipment package is now the SEL.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Hyundai Elantra – The Pros
1. High-Quality Interior Design
Take one peek inside of the 2018 Hyundai Elantra, and you will be surprised to find that the interior materials are high-quality. Everything on the interior looks like it was well-crafted and will not break down easily with wear and tear.
2. Numerous Available Safety and Tech Features
Hyundai goes above and beyond to make many safety and tech features standard. Some of the standard features you will find on the Elantra are Bluetooth capability, a remote keyless entry system equipped with an alarm, and an individual tire pressure monitoring indicator on the tire pressure monitoring system.
3. Quiet Ride
The ride quality on the 2018 Hyundai Elantra was vastly improved in 2017 and carries over into the 2018 lineup. The tall sidewalls on the tires of the ECO and SE trims do a great job at helping the tires absorb shocks from bumps in the road. Going over rough terrain somehow manages to feel nice and smooth.
4. Plenty of Small Item Storage
Unlike other vehicles in its class, the Elantra offers an abundance of small item storage that can be found throughout the cabin. Passengers won't have to worry about finding a spot to store their mobile devices or books during long car rides. Also, all of the storage areas are easy to access.
5. Tons of Cargo Space
The Elantra's 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space put it at the top of its class. The trunk is well-designed and can hold a lot of bulky items, so you won't have to worry about stashing groceries and other items in the back seat.
6. Easy Braking
The braking system on the Elantra is refined and secure. The pedal has just the right amount of firmness, and the brakes are extremely consistent when compared with those found on other sedans.
7. Comfortable Seats
The Elantra's seats are well-padded and constructed from a high-quality cloth material, giving the seats a lot of comfort. The cloth actually looks relatively upscale as far as cloth interiors go, and it goes nicely with the overall sleek but user-friendly appeal of the cabin.
8. Easy to Find a Driving Position
While the seats are not power-adjustable, it is relatively easy to find a comfortable driving position in the Elantra. Seats are six-way-adjustable, and the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel makes it even easier for drivers to find the right position, regardless of their size.
9. Spacious Cabin
The cabin is one of the most spacious that can be found on a smaller sedan. Those up front have plenty of head, leg, and shoulder space, while two full-sized adults can be easily and comfortably seated in the rear. It only gets crammed back there when a third adult is added.
10. Standard Blind Spot Monitoring
Blind spot monitoring comes standard on every trim level except for the base SE trim. Rear cross-traffic alert is paired with it, adding an extra level of security while driving. Many automakers only offer these features as parts of expensive bundles or on top-level trims, so Hyundai is really taking a giant leap in front of the competition when it comes to making features like these come standard.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Hyundai Elantra – The Cons
1. Subpar 2.0-L Engine
Unfortunately, the Elantra suffers from one major drawback, which is that its engines lack power. The 2.0-L comes standard on many Hyundai models and just doesn't generate as much horsepower and torque as its competitors. Even the two turbocharged engine options just aren't as exciting as what you will find on other sedans.
2. Bulky Steering
Hyundai has improved steering and handling on many of its vehicles for 2018, but the Elantra still seems to be lacking. Steering feels heavy and bulky, so making sharp turns and navigating tight situations on the road is not exactly smooth sailing. Drivers who get the Sport will really struggle with the heavy steering.
3. Slow Shifting on the 7-Speed Automatic Transmission
The 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission is unreasonably slow at shifting. Drivers will notice a serious lag as the transmission tries to shift into gear. This can make getting up to speed a little bit aggravating. Going back up to speed from a full stop is clunky, and you'll have to waste some fuel on going full throttle just to make it go smoothly.
4. Loss of Rear Body Control At High Speeds
Body control is mostly good, except for when the vehicle is taken up to a higher speed. That's when a noticeable loss of rear body control occurs. It isn't a huge issue and doesn't take away too much driver confidence, but it can be a little irritating if you love going fast on the highway.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2018 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2018 Mazda 3
The 2018 Mazda 3 is one of the most driver-friendly sedans on the market for the year. This little sedan isn't the zippiest and lacks some ride quality, but it has some truly unique features that don't come on other vehicles in this class. Also, the Mazda 3 has some of the best safety ratings for this year.
2018 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2018 Honda Civic
The Honda Civic has long been Hyundai's biggest competitor, and the 2018 model is no exception. Honda's new global platform has made significant improvements to the Civic's size and performance, making its steering and handling some of the best on the market.
The 2018 Hyundai Elantra is a fun little vehicle that clearly had a lot of thought put into it while it was being designed. Although the engines lack power and steering isn't very engaging, the Elantra has a lot of excellent safety features that come standard and is probably one of the most comfortable small sedans out there.
• Why buy a 2017 Hyundai Elantra? w/ pros vs cons