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The 2017 Hyundai Elantra has managed to hold its own, maintain its high standards in the heavily populated compact segment. Underneath the metal packaging lies a frisky little daredevil that makes an otherwise very humdrum commute, a trip to actually look forward to every single day.

The Korean automaker has stepped up its game as far as the sixth generation Elantra's looks in and out. The sedan's former swoopy, brash exterior has been kicked to the curb and now it is really evident, maturity has set in design-wise. A few strong character lines, dimples and contours from nose to tail with metal that appears to fit a little tighter, you can clearly see the Elantra looks heavier, more solid and is far less polarizing than before. A large hexagonal grille, narrow headlamps and sloping rear glass design that kind of flows into the decklid, adds a touch of fastback sportiness to a overhaul that gives the Elantra, a real touch of class.

Adding room to roam in a compact is a nice dimension that enhances anyone's driving experience.

Even fussy folks will find their happy place inside the Elantra and don't think, just because it's smaller, comfort will have to be sacrificed. Overall seating in the compact is well bolstered and provides good lateral support, a boon for staying comfortable on long trips. Space in the Elantra is very obliging to NBA hopefuls or the bootylicious set; rear seating is kind to long legs as well. The once whimsical dash is now driver-centric and appears more buttoned-down and straightforward with easy-to-read and use controls. The 8-inch touchscreen is wide enough for a split view. You'll appreciate the large dead pedal where you can rest your weary left foot. The tilt/telescopic steering wheel is always a welcomed feature. Speaking of steering wheels, the one in the compact however, covers the push button start and this can become a bit of an annoyance. But moving along.... Here is a real plus, the Elantra's cool coupe-like styling cues does not compromise all around visibility.

You won't win any NASCAR races in the Elantra but once you get behind the wheel, the fun factor gets ramped up. The snap-to-maneuver compact is responsive, nimble especially around turns and very well controlled on ruts and bumpy roadways; it truly has the makings of a great urban tool. The vehicle's interior also nicely quells wind and road noise at highway speeds. Powering two of the Elantra's trims, the SE and Limited, is a 2.0 liter four cylinder engine that cranks out 147 horses and 132 lb-ft of torque. The Eco trim comes in a turbocharged inline 4 cylinder rated at 128 horses and 156 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates for the Elantra are impressive averaging around 33 combined for the SE and Limited and 35 for the Eco. Safety features on the four-door sedan--airbags, traction and stability control. Options on the Elantra include auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning with lane keep assist and smart cruise control. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has rated the Elantra a"Top Safety Pick+."

The 2017 Elantra with its newfound conservatism is a no-brainer choice for especially young families for its styling, roominess, pep, fuel economy and overall high quality fit and finish. The compact has a lot going for it and can pretty much stand head and shoulders above the crowd in its market.

--Car Chick™

Prices start at $ 17,150. Need more info?

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