Following a complete redesign for 2017, the Hyundai Elantra is largely unchanged for 2018, though a new SEL trim slots in between the base SE and mid-range Value model.
The Hyundai Elantra is powered by one of three efficient engines. The base engine is a 2.0L 4-cylinder unit that produces 147 horsepower and is mated to either a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. Hyundai has pulled out all the stops to increase efficiency, with resulting mileage ratings of 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. An optional 1.4L turbocharged engine is even more fuel efficient, producing 128 horsepower while making more torque than the standard 2.0. The only transmission choice for this turbocharged engine is a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Hyundai estimates about 35 mpg in combined city and highway driving for the more advanced drivetrain. Finally, a 1.6L turbocharged four is standard on the Elantra Sport. It makes 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque and can be paired with either the 6-speed manual or the 7-speed automatic.
The 2018 Hyundai Elantra comes in six trims: SE, SEL, Value, Eco, Sport and Limited. In keeping with Hyundai's philosophy of offering top value for the money, the SE comes relatively well equipped for the segment. Powered by the 2.0L engine, standard features include 15-inch steel wheels, projector beam headlights with daytime running lights, air conditioning, premium cloth seats with 6-way adjustability for the front seats, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, and a 6-speaker CD/MP3 player.
The new SEL trim adds a standard 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual upshift and downshift control, 4-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, blindspot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist, heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, SiriusXM satellite radio, a seven-inch touchscreen display, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Value models are equipped similarly to the SEL but also feature LED daytime running lights, a hands-free trunk, door handle approach lights, a power sunroof, dual automatic temperature control, a one-touch auto-up driver's window, heated front seats, push-button start, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The Eco trim, with its turbocharged 1.4L engine, rides on 15-inch alloy wheels, and is otherwise equipped like the SEL and Value models. The Elantra Sport, meanwhile, utilizes the powerful 1.6L turbo engine and upgrades the rear torsion beam axle found across the lineup for a multi-link independent rear suspension that is sport tuned for added performance. Larger front brakes are standard, as are 18-inch alloy wheels, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a sport front grille and fascia, HID headlights with LED taillights, leather seating with sport front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a sport instrument cluster.
Finally, the Limited trim adds nearly $5000 to the base price, but includes everything needed to transform the Elantra from a compact to a compact luxury car. It looks the part, too, and features 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, automatic dynamic headlights, the intelligent hands-free trunk, side mirror turn signals, chrome exterior door handles with LED lighting, a powered driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 3.5-inch TFT multi-information display, and a blindspot detection system with rear cross-traffic alert.
A Premium Package is available for the Elantra Sport and offers navigation with an eight-inch touchscreen, an eight-speaker Infinity audio system, Blue Link telematics system, dual automatic climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink and a compass. On the Limited, the Ultimate Package adds navigation and the Infinity audio system, plus a power sunroof, heated rear seats, and a suite of advanced safety technologies like smart cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and more.
The 4-door hatchback Elantra GT comes in both regular and Sport trims. The Base GT uses the same 2.0L as the sedan but it's tuned to make 161 horsepower. All Elantra GTs are available with a 6-speed manual transmission, which makes it very appealing to those who might otherwise consider a Volkwagen GTI or Honda Civic hatchback Sport. The base GT includes high-end features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8-way power driver seat and a premium audio system including an 8-inch display SiriusXM and Bluetooth as well as Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
The Sport trim gets a turbocharged 1.6L engine that makes an impressive 201 horses. While the other Elantras feature a torsion-beam rear suspension, the Sport upgrades it to a multi-link setup for even better handling. Other upgrades include leather-wrapped seats, which are also heated, the wheels get upgraded to 18" alloys the climate control becomes dual-zone. Standard safety features now include blind-spot monitoring.