The 2023 Hyundai Elantra HEV takes a shot at the top spot
The 2023 Hyundai Elantra HEV limited was one of the finest driving vehicles I've tested this year. I took it on different varieties of courses, City streets, neighborhoods, highways, and even took it on a short road trip to open it up. I must say that the entire experience exceeded my expectations and believe me they were high having engaged with Hyundai over the years.
This beautiful Elantra HEV had lots to brag about but the standard features were abundant and the advanced safety technologies are incredible, but let's focus first on the performance elements.
DRIVE AND PERFORMANCE
The Hyundai Elantra HEV limited operates in a very crowded and competitive field. But with the 1.6 l four cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and that 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, and the powertrain that produces 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.
You're dealing with an exceptionally competitive vehicle. Of course the gas mileage is exceptional but some may complain about the interior plastics. I didn't have a problem with that at all.
Be sure to check with me on your thoughts but if you're in doubt go to the Hyundai website or check out your local dealership but before you go to the dealership contact us first so we can lead interference for you.
The acceleration on the streets and on the highway is more than adequate and in some cases downright exhilarating.
Starting around $29,150 this is a vehicle that looks beautiful on the streets, and the VIP parking lot, or at courtside at the city park.
Among the safety technology that I appreciate most was the parking collision avoidance assist, and the reverse mode of that so I'm seeing what's behind me sensing what's behind me and then on the screen in the dash the parking distance warning reverse kicks in.
I want to stay on top of the safety technology because it's critical, so let me name just a few more that exist such as the safe exit warning which activates when you are moving right left and can't see the exit opportunities so that technology activates. Of course it connects to the blind spot collision avoiding assist which again notifies you when a car is in your blind spot which is a major hazard when driving on highways and streets.
There's a forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, those things matter in parking lots where pedestrians are or if you're coming up too fast on another car and thus the activation kicks in. I am keeping assist and also helps you stay in your lane which is critical.
The driver attention warning is also important for those that may be trying to do what you should never do, which is scrolling on your phone or looking on your phone or in some worst cases becoming sleepy and drowsy. That activation really does work. The multi-link independent rear suspension also provides a smoother ride experience and absolutely keeps you happy with the overall rear performance.
Highway driving assistance really mattered on the road trip because I'm able to get support with regard to traffic and what's around me. The technology is incredible as with most Hyundai vehicles but I was in particular impressed with the dynamic voice recognition and the smart cruise control stop and go.
Now there were times when I was driving and I forgot I had it on until it accelerated or activated the brakes softly when coming up on other traffic. Sitting on 17-in alloy wheels I also noticed that the handling and traction worked beautifully. Believe me I took it out to an industrial area where there's zero traffic during the day and lots of winding turning roads to enjoy. Again it exceeded the challenge. The fuel economy is an impressive 50 miles per gallon with potential savings of over 3,500 per year.
EXTERIOR DESIGN AND STYLE
From a design perspective it's one of the most beautiful cars out there. From the back this vehicle has the design cues that are easy to love and appreciate. I've always said that design is an art form so when you look at the front fascia and notice the way the front hood drops down towards the wide black integrated grill then you say okay that's cool.
But there's more The sweeping wrap around headlights are standard but as the lower portion of the front fascia goes under examination that we see the side goal intakes, the lower spoiler and splitter and the very sporty demeanor of this front fascia is an attention getter.
The side view exemplifies the aerodynamic styling with smooth subtle lines running along the beltline and another going from mid front door area towards the rear tire.
I especially fell hard for the rear design. I love the way the rear windshield slopes down at an angle that is exceptionally sporty and then it has sort of a ski jump spoiler protruding from the back giving it a futuristic style. Below that spoiler which is a natural style there are tail lights that run from the corner with a bar of red tail lighting running from one side to the other and the Elantra badging beneath. There's black gloss along the bottom and it stands a little higher in the back lower in the front giving it an athletic appearance.
INTERIOR DESIGN AND TECH
Let's go inside for a second the 10.25-in touch screen navigation protrudes from The Middle dash. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to navigate from my maps to my music to the elements of the car and its performance and so forth.
I just drove it in the heat of Summer and can tell you that the horizontal row of air vents on the trip both front and back seats with the ventilated front seats were actually a pleasure. The integrated memory system or IMS for seating and comfort was on point. Behind the steering wheel is the 10.25 in digital instrument cluster with various readouts beyond your gas consumption and miles per hour. The middle console has a handy wireless device for fast charging and we know how important that is in today's society but it also opens and closes with the Hyundai digital key.
The back seat is something that lots of people forget to take notice of, but the 60/40 split folding seats are comfortable, spacious and the lift down armrest is Handy but it also allows us to drop those seats and increase the cargo size in the back. That dash with the screen includes Apple carplay that you can integrate into your iPhone Android auto that you can integrate into your Android and the SiriusXM satellite radio. The bulls premium audio system got lots of work from me, I was blasting everything from hard Rock to hip hop, from symphonic to pure classical. Yes I roll like that, I'm a multi-dimensional guy and like a diversity of music that exemplifies a wide range of musical experiences and sounds so I take the sound systems quite seriously as it absolutely sets the vibe in the cockpit and passenger area. For comfort and quality there's a dual automatic temperature control system that absolutely does the trick.
Overall, the Hyundai Elantra has solidified its position as a top car in its segment through continuous improvements and a strong value proposition. The introduction of the 2023 Elantra HEV Limited, with its hybrid efficiency, advanced technology, and stylish design, has created a strong buzz among consumers who are seeking a fuel-efficient, technologically advanced, and environmentally conscious vehicle.