I own a 21 N-Line and it's a far better car. DCT transmission + the turbo 1.6 engine make for spirited driving while getting 38mpg.The 2.0 Nu Smartstream engine engine is designed for economy and not rabbit-like acceleration. With only 132-ft.lbs. of torque, at a relatively high rpm, it struggles a bit with four people onboard or going up a hill from a stop.
So far, the Atkinson Cycle Nu engine seems to be a robust and durable engine, a trait not all Hyundai-Kia 2.0 engines have. It's a little loud on start up, but change your oil frequently and it's not objectionable.
The CVT transmission, IVT in Hyundai-speak, is among the best CVTs out there, effectively simulating shifts. It does what it can with the modest horsepower and torque and will feel like it is slipping if you have previously driven a good conventional transmission. Welcome to CVT land -- they all do it. It is among the quietest CVTs, others can get really buzzy.
There is only a little CVT droning, not much worse than a regular transmission. Turn up the radio a bit and it's not noticeable. At 8.2 seconds from zero to 60 the Elantra is comparable in acceleration with it's peers.
For putting up with the small horsepower and CVT you will get great gas mileage. I usually get 33 mpg in the city and 43 on the highway. Road noise is about the same as my 2019 Sonata.
The Elantra is probably the roomiest of the compact cars with trunk capacity second only to its corporate cousin the Kia Forte. I find the Elantra a little close to the ground and feel I have to fall into it to get inside. The large c-pillar hurts rearward disability. The interior plastics look expensive but seem hard and cheap when you touch them, but no worse than a Corolla or Jetta.
In more than a year and a half I've had no technical faults. The car seems very well put together.
Styling is subjective. In my opinion Zorro's Z-flash on the front doors are a little over the top. The 2024 Elantra will have a revised grill that I think is much prettier
The maintenance schedule is easy to follow with no undue financial gotchas. The secret to keeping a Hyundai alive for a long time is to follow the severe service schedule. Toyotas and Hondas seem to tolerate abuse better, so get regular service at the dealership to maintain that long warranty.
Speaking of dealers, check out your local service department before committing to the purchase. Some dealers are great, while others are nasty. If you don't like what you see find another Hyundai store.
I don't know if you've heard about the Kia Boyz fiasco. Hyundai-Kia didn't put engine immobilizers on their 2011-2021 cars, which means it's easy for a thief to bust out the ignition and hotwire the car. A TikTok challenge made it a popular thing to steal and wreck these cars. The 2022 and later Elantras have an immobilizer, but that doesn't mean a broken window and damaged ignition will be fun. Check with your insurance carrier to see (1) if they will insure the Elantra, and (2) if you can afford the premiums.
On my Kia Forte I removed the badges in hope that a punk won't realize it is a Kia. I don't know if Hyundai badges are similarly just glued on, but you may ask the dealer to de-badge the car to provide a little more safety. Hyundai-Kia is offering a software fix to affected models, so we hope that will lessen the theft problem
For my money (save for the Kia Boyz thing), the Elantra is among the best compacts out there -- certainly when you consider the price and warranty.
Great interior, great styling, great tech. Hyundai nailed this version of the Elantra!