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The 2021 Hyundai Elantra is quite attractive, and making it even more appealing is its competitive starting price. The most basic version of the Elantra costs less than $20,000. This is going to bring a lot of attention to this car.
In the Elantra, there is a good amount of space. Leg room in the front is 42.3 inches, and in the back, it's 38 inches. The trunk can is 14.2 cubic feet, so it can hold a variety of cargo.
For this model year, the Elantra has gotten a bit of a makeover. It has a sharp exterior design, with elegant curves in its body that are complemented by some angular features. The shape of the car is aerodynamic and eye-catching, and overall, it sits lower to the ground and is wider than it was before. Likewise, the inside of the car feels sleek and elegant, even though it may lack the high-end features that are prominent in luxury models. Most people looking at cars in this class of vehicles won't mind not having some of the extra components that are typically seen in more expensive vehicles.
Perhaps the biggest news related to the Elantra is the fact that a performance-oriented model and a hybrid are going to be available for the first time. At the time of this writing, the exact pricing and details haven't yet been released. So far, it's known that the N-Line is the name of the sportier version. It's expected to run on a 1.6-liter engine with a turbocharger. Its exterior stylings will consist of larger wheels, black accents, and special badging.
The hybrid version of the Elantra is excepted to be able to achieve up to 50 miles per gallon. This is because it has an electric motor as well as a gas-powered engine. The SEL and Limited trims will be available as hybrids, and more information on those exact trims can be found in the overview below.
Before jumping into the details regarding the trims, let's review what the traditional powertrain is like. It uses a four-cylinder, two-liter engine. It can generate 147 horsepower and comes with 132 pound-feet of torque. Now, no one would argue that this is particularly impressive. However, another point can be made that the Elantra is a car that doesn't need to be that powerful. It has the ability to get people safely from point A to point B, and remember that the N-Line is an option that will be available.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Elantra SE vs SEL Trim Level. What is the difference?
The SEL rides on 16-inch wheels instead of 15-inch ones. To further distinguish itself from the SE, it can come with a few available upgrades, such as LED taillights, a dark chrome grille in the front, and chrome accents.
Inside the cabin, there are some notable differences. First of all, the SEL has SiriusXM Satellite Radio. This gives people access to dozens of radio stations that feature quality programming. No longer do people have to scan the airwaves looking for good radio stations as they travel. SiriusXM makes it easy to find something to enjoy. The radio stations have various themes, and people are given the name and title of every song.
The SEL has a dual-zone automatic climate control system, whereas the SE has a manual system. While the manual one can certainly do the job just fine, it can be more convenient to have the automatic system that's found in the SEL. The SEL's one-touch auto-up window on the driver's side is nice to have, though it's certainly not necessary.
Another component that's standard in the SEL but not in the SE is the Blue Link Connected Care & Remote Package. This Blue Link program provides a way for people to do many things from their smartphones. They can use their phones to remotely start their engines or lock/unlock their doors. Through an app, someone can run a full diagnostic check on his or her car, and if something needs attention, a service appointment can be scheduled through the app. Blue Link also lets people pinpoint the exact location of their vehicles. When parked in a large lot or on busy city streets that all look the same, this can be helpful.
It was a smart move on Hyundai's part to put in an eight-inch touchscreen on the SE. It's easy to interact with the touchscreen, and the overall layout is user-friendly. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, giving people a simple way to connect their smartphones to their infotainment systems. With Bluetooth, people can make hands-free phone calls. There is voice recognition in the Elantra, but if anyone wishes to physically push a button to do something, there are several audio and Bluetooth controls mounted on the steering wheel. There are two USB ports that can be used for charging.
Safety is an area in which Hyundai has focused its attention. It's very impressive that the SE has numerous driver-assist systems built into it. It has blind spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring. Those monitoring systems work hand-in-hand with mitigation systems, in which pressure to the brakes can be applied if necessary to avoid an accident. The Elantra comes standard with a few systems that work together to keep a driver centered in a lane, high beams that can turn themselves on and off as necessary, and a warning system that will engage if it seems like the driver needs to be paying more attention to the road.
One of the most useful features in the safety package is forward collision-avoidance assist. This program can sense when the Elantra is approaching another vehicle or pedestrian too quickly. If this is the case, the car will emit a warning, and it could potentially hit the brakes on behalf of the driver.
It's important to let people know that the SEL has an available Convenience Package. This package comes with eight extra features, to include wireless charging, heated front seats, and advanced cruise control. There's also the opportunity to enhance the SEL with the Premium Package. It consists of other high-end amenities, such as a power sunroof, Bose sound system, and Hyundai Digital Key.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL vs Limited Trim. What is the difference?
The move from the SEL to the Limited comes at a cost of about $4,500. To provide perspective, the jump from the SE to the SEL is only associated with an increase of about $1,300. That being said, the price of the Limited is still very reasonable.
On the outside of the Limited, there are LED headlights. In contrast, the SEL and the SE have projector headlights. These are perfectly acceptable but not as modern as the LED ones. The Limited stands out with a dark chrome front grille and chrome trim around its windows.
Inside the cabin of the Limited, there are more extra features. People will appreciate having heating elements in their side mirrors when the weather is chilly. Those side mirrors are further enhanced with turn signals. It can be much easier for others to see these turn signals in certain cases.
Seats on the Limited are covered in leather. This gives the car a touch of elegance. The steering wheel and shifter are also wrapped in leather. In this trim, the driver's seat is power-adjustable and has lumbar support. This can make a difference in terms of keeping the driver comfortable on longer road trips, and it can keep fatigue to a minimum. Both the driver and front passenger get to have heated seats. This heating element is really noticeable on cold mornings and evenings, when the chill is all around.
The Limited has a few components that can be used to stay organized. The front passenger seatback has a pocket, and in the back row, the middle seatback can be used as an armrest. This armrest even has cupholders in it.
Sometimes, people need to transport larger items. A big help in those instances is having the Limited's 60/40 split-folding rear seatback. One side of the seatback, or both, can be folded down so that the car can carry longer items like skis or other equipment.
Once people sit inside the Elantra Limited, they may immediately notice the large touchscreen. This top-level trim has a touchscreen that measures 10.25 inches. Plus, the Limited has a Bose audio system. This system comes with eight speakers, to include a subwoofer to enhance the overall richness of the sound quality.
Wireless charging is standard on this trim, as is dynamic voice recognition. It's easier than it has ever been to keep devices charged and to interact with technology. Beyond this, the Limited has Blue Link Guidance and navigation. People can have instant access to traffic information and can utilize turn-by-turn directions as they explore new areas or try to make their way efficiently through town.
The Hyundai Digital Key was briefly mentioned above. This is a step beyond a proximity key. A proximity key, which is standard on the SEL, can be used to unlock or lock the car. With this key, a driver doesn't have to physically push any button on the key fob. Rather, the driver can simply have the key fob in a pocket or bag and then touch the sensor on the door handle to lock or unlock it.
With the Digital Key, an Android smartphone can take the place of the key fob. A driver can program the system to recognize a particular Android smartphone. From that point forward, the smartphone acts as the "key". The car will sense its presence and will be ready to unlock the doors when the driver approaches the vehicle and touches the door sensor. Once the phone has been placed on the wireless charger, push-button start can be initiated.
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Which Trim to Choose?
The Hyundai brand has come a long way in recent years. While the company is still making affordable vehicles, its new models come with their own style and feel fresh and modern. Getting a Hyundai makes sense on many levels, as they're packed with safety and technological features.
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra has a reasonable amount of interior space, and it's going to get even better for this model year. This is because Hyundai will offer it as a hybrid and as the performance-inspired N-Line trim. This gives consumers more options and can broaden the appeal of this sedan.
When it comes to choosing which trim would be best, there are several things to remember. Obviously, the N-Line would be the one to pick if a particular buyer loves the idea of driving a turbocharged vehicle. Otherwise, the rest of the trims are all great options.
After taking into account all of the various interior and exterior features, the Elantra Limited pulls ahead of the rest of the lineup. It treats people to leather upholstery and heated front seats, two things that are often sought after. Additionally, it has a larger touchscreen along with built-in navigation and a premium sound system. It's hard to pass up the opportunity to get those features, especially since the Limited still has a somewhat affordable starting price.
• Compare the 2020 Hyundai Elantra Trim Levels