In the debut year of its sixth generation, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra maintains the carmaker’s firm position among top economically priced compacts. The newly designed sedan is offered in three trim levels: SE, Eco and Limited.

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco is rated at 40 mph in highway driving.
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco is rated at 40 mpg in highway driving.

The SE model is standard with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, height-adjustable front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seatback. There’s also a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and a CD player.

Automatic-transmission SE models offer a Popular Equipment package. Included are 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, cruise control, a 7-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, smartphone integration (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) and steering wheel controls (but no CD player).

The Eco model, similar to the SE with Popular Equipment and Tech packages, was my test vehicle. It substitutes 15-inch alloy wheels, a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission.

With a base price of slightly less that $21,000 (about $10,000 less than the average price of a new car in the United States) the Elantra is also firmly positioned into the super value sedan category.

Despite its designation as a compact, the Elantra has more interior space than many midsize vehicles. It also drives as smoothly and quietly and with as much confident as many higher-priced, larger sedans.

Beyond its roominess and a lengthy list of standard features, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra gets top safety ratings. It also has a 10-year engine warranty, the best in the automotive industry.

There’s no downside as long as the Elantra is accepted for what it is. It has a lot attributes greater than its status as a compact. But it is 128-horsepower sedan it would fare particularly well in performance tests.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco, Likes:

Spacious interior for the segment.
Quality interior and exterior construction.
Superior gas mileage.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco, Dislikes:

Mediocre acceleration.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco, Facts & Figures

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 7.8 seconds.
Airbags: 7.
Fuel economy: 32 mpg (city), 40 mpg (highway), 35 mpg (combined) 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Horsepower: 128.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $20,690.00.
Manufacturer’s Website: www.hyundaiusa.com.
Price As Tested: $21,610.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain, 10 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 7 years/unlimited miles.

What Others Say:

“The 2017 Hyundai Elantra’s overall quality, though, has taken another step forward. With a starting price of $17,985, compact-car buyers should take it seriously.” — Automobile Magazine.

“To us, there’s no doubt that the latest Elantra is among the best compact cars on the market, and it definitely deserves a place on your shopping list.” — AutoTrader.com.

“This refreshed compact, this mini-Sonata, isn’t going to generate a lot of headlines, but it’s a major improvement to a key player in Hyundai’s lineup. Caranddriver.com.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“Hyundai keeps improving, year after year. The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is arguably the best car $21,000 can buy.”

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