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2020 Hyundai Elantra Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Hyundai Elantra?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Hyundai Elantra? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The Hyundai Elantra has earned itself a reputation for providing drivers with a long list of features without breaking the bank. It has been around for quite a while. In fact, it entered its sixth generation back in 2017. People seeking a new small sedan for 2020 will want to be sure to add it to their list of potential vehicles. The list of advantages associated with this vehicle is decent, but like with all vehicles, there are negatives as well. So what makes the 2020 Hyundai Elantra a worthwhile option, and does it win against the competition?

What's New for 2020?

This year, the Elantra has a new continuously variable automatic transmission underneath the hood of most models. The Eco and Sport trim retain the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All models now come equipped with what is called Hyundai SmartSense, making this already safe vehicle even more so. Another exciting standard addition for all trim levels in 2020 is dual-zone automatic climate control.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Hyundai Elantra – The Pros

1. Class-Exclusive Smart Trunk

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra is the only small sedan to offer drivers a hands-free smart trunk release feature. This feature can detect when the proximity key is in a certain range. If it stays there for three seconds or more, the trunk will pop. This makes loading groceries and other gear much easier. Rather than keeping this feature exclusive to its top model, Hyundai offers it on the Value Edition, Eco, Limited, and Sport trims.

2. Standard Hyundai SmartSense

Although more and more vehicles are offering advanced driver's aids on more trims, few give drivers as many standard ones as the 2020 Hyundai Elantra. The SmartSense suite of safety features includes lane keeping assist, a drowsy driver monitor, and forward collision avoidance assist, which is essentially automatic emergency braking. Also standard on all models is a rearview camera featuring dynamic guidelines. Standard on all trims except the entry-level SE is blind spot monitoring featuring rear-cross traffic alert. The Limited trim has exclusive safety features as optional add-ons, including pedestrian detection, safe exit assist, and smart cruise control.

3. Smooth, Comfortable Ride

Drivers will find that the ride of the new Elantra is smooth. The suspension is well thought out and will help keep those inside the cabin from feeling bumps in the road too badly. The steering is quite responsive and the brakes are large enough to get the job done quickly, meaning everyone can relax and enjoy the ride.

4. Many Standard and Available High-Tech Features

One thing that the Elantra has always had going for it is its list of cutting-edge technology features. All trim levels have Bluetooth capability with steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. Also standard are USB and auxiliary input jacks. Going with any model except the SE will get drivers a 7" or 8" touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The Limited trim level gives drivers an Infinity premium sound system that features eight-speakers and advanced Clari-Fi music restoration technology. Certain trims also offer drivers wireless device charging and multiple USB charging ports.

5. Fun Turbocharged Engine Options

While most trims are powered by the standard 2.0L four-cylinder, there are two trims that shake things up with turbocharged engine options. The Eco has a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder that produces 128-horsepower as well as 156 lb-ft of torque. This engine offers a little more zip along with impressive fuel economy. The Sport trim is powered by a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder that will give drivers 201-horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. This version of the Elantra is undoubtedly the most fun to drive.

6. Cabin Looks and Feels Sophisticated

Despite being on the affordable side, the 2020 Hyundai Elantra is not full of cheap materials and uncomfortable seats. All trims give drivers and front passengers six-way adjustment for their seats. The Limited trim upgrades the driver's seat to eight-way adjustment and throws in lumbar support. Even the shape of the seats help make them comfortable for both short and long rides. All models give drivers illuminated ignition and most have leather on the steering wheel and gear shift knob.

7. Available Blue Link Connected Car Services

Optional on certain trim levels are Blue Link Connected Car Services, a group of features that are exclusive to Hyundai. There are two packages available. The first is called Connected Care, and it adds things such as automatic collision notification, a monthly vehicle health report, maintenance reminder, and access to the Blue Link mobile app. Also available is the Remote Package, which unlocks a car finding feature, curfew alert, stolen vehicle slowdown, remote lock/unlock, remote horns and light, and much more. Select models come with a three-year trial subscription to one or both of these packages.

8. Great Fuel Economy

Drivers who go with the 2020 Hyundai Elantra will get great fuel economy, no matter which of the three engine options they go with. The entry-level SE gets 31 MPG in the city and 41 MPG on the highway. All other models equipped with the non-turbocharged engine get 30 MPG/city and 40 MPG/highway. Going with the Eco trim will give consumers 33 MPG/city as well as 41 MPG/highway. Even going with the Sport trim, the Elantra has respectable fuel economy ratings at 26 MPG/city and 33 MPG/highway.

9. Fun Sport Edition Available

Those wanting the comfort and convenience of the Elantra but also looking for a sportier drive have a great option. On top of having the more powerful engine underneath the hood, the Sport trim gives drivers performance-oriented tires, stronger brakes, and an updated rear suspension. This suspension is a multilink one that provides the Elantra with firmer tuning. Inside, this model gives drivers things like a flat-bottom steering wheel. This trim also features heated leather front seats. Drivers can take this trim even further by adding the Sport Premium package, which brings with it navigation, the larger 8" touchscreen, the premium stereo system, and the above-mentioned Blue Link Connected Care Care Services. Despite being the top-of-the-line option, the Sport trim is not much more than the ones that came before it.

10. America's Best Warranty

Although warranties are better now than they have been traditionally for many vehicles, Hyundai gets credit for this trend. The 2020 Hyundai Elantra continues to be backed up by what they call "America's Best Warranty," and they are not bragging unjustifiably. It lasts longer than Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and other brands in all three main categories: New Vehicle, Powertrain, and Anti-Perforation. The brand that comes closest to Hyundai's warranty longevity is Lexus, but their vehicles are considerably more pricey.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Hyundai Elantra – The Cons

1. Somewhat Cramped Back Seat

Compared to the competition, the amount of room in the back of the Elantra is a bit tight. Although five adults may not want to take a long road trip in the 2020 Hyundai Elantra, the backseat is likely more than big enough for families with kids or for four adults to stretch out adequately.

2. Base Engine is a Little Blah

Although fuel efficient, the 2.0L non-turbocharged engine is not what one would call exhilarating. It can feel a bit sluggish at times. That said, most people in the market for a small sedan are more concerned with safety and comfort, which the Elantra has in spades.

3. No Hybrid or Electric Option

Again, the fuel economy of the 2020 Hyundai Elantra is a thing of beauty. However, in this day and age, more and more sedans are offering a full-on electric or at least a hybrid model. It is a bit surprising that the Elantra does not have one.

4. Not as Eye-Catching as Other Small Sedans

Other vehicles in this segment have made dramatic changes to the exterior appearance in recent years. The Elantra, on the other hand, has maintained its sleek and simple silhouette. While some people may find this to be a drawback, many others may actually consider it a plus.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

One of the biggest competitors the Elantra and others face in the small sedan segment is the Honda Civic. It has similar safety features and more nimble engine options. The downside, however, is that the advanced safety features tend to be too sensitive, often to the point of being a nuisance. Plus, the Civic is more expensive than the Elantra. Another competitor would be the Kia Forte. It is essentially a relative of the Elantra and is very similar underneath the hood. Where as the Forte favors performance in some aspects, however, the Elantra favors comfort and convenience features. Those features are likely more important to people shopping in this segment. The Elantra also beats out both of those vehicles, as well as the Toyota Corolla, when it comes to fuel efficiency.


When it comes to a well-equipped sedan that is affordable, it would be hard to find one better than the 2020 Hyundai Elantra. With six models to choose from, three different powertrains, and a ton of standard and available tech, there is likely a model perfect for most consumers. At the end of the day, the Elantra offers a lot of bang for the buck and has the features needed to stay both current and competitive.

Previous Hyundai Elantra Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2019 Hyundai Elantra? w/ pros vs cons