When we arrived to Imperial Beach it was clear this was going to be a grand event. The new Elantra launch for Hyundai is a big deal, the hope was the car lived up to most of the marketing materials. Meeting the other press and Hyundai staff was remarkably stress free and the venue softened up even the most jaded. The beautiful surroundings helped sell what the Elantra was pushing, refinement.
Visually the Elantra is effectively attractive without any edge to it. It does not seem as conservative as the new Sonata but it does lack some character, namely compared to the Mazda 3 and new Civic. However this car is about maturity and that is reflected immediately when touring the interior. It's quiet comfortable with top notch ergonomics. The tech package includes mostly everything you would find on the top level Genesis Sedan right down to the lane assist. All these features and refinement however make it for a sterile driving experience.
Mostly it lacks character, something visceral to connect driver and car. Some of this was because the interior feels very monochrome/monotone. They need some flare inside, either by color or a shakeup in texture. These shortcomings are easily addressed during the life cycle, not a deal breaker. The Elantra's overall solidity, maturity and value make this a great choice for those who wanted a midsize car and features without having to dump 30k+ for one.
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