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The Hyundai Elantra has been substantially updated for 2019. The exterior styling is sharper and more modern than the 2018 version, and its design may even suggest the 2019 Elantra is more expensive than it is. An excellent set of standard equipment gives a strong value proposition.
The Hyundai Elantra is available in no fewer than five different trim levels for 2019. SE, SEL and Limited trims come with a 2.0L gasoline engine making 147 horsepower. Eco models get a smaller, more efficient 1.4L turbocharged engine making 128 hp and carrying a combined EPA rating of 35 mpg in city and highway driving. Sport-trimmed Elantras get a 1.6L turbocharged engine making 201 horsepower. Regardless of engine option, power is sent to the front wheels through a choice of three different transmissions. The standard transmission is an efficient 6-speed automatic, while sport models come standard with a 6-speed manual. The most interesting transmission option however, is likely the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission which is optional on the sport and standard on the Eco model. It offers all the efficiency of a standard manual gearbox combined with the ease of operation of an automatic. It's also capable of shifting faster than either of the other transmission options, so drivers who want the quickest Elantra around should opt for the Sport trim with the dual-clutch transmission.
The GT is a hatch version of the Elantra but with a liftback cargo area good for 24.9 cubic feet that expands to 55 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Three powertrain combinations and two trim levels are available.
The base GT gets the 2.0L engine 4-cylinder but tuned to make 161 horsepower. It's paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The sporty N trims get same 201-horse turbo 1.6L from the conventional Elantra, but offer a choice of either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Entry-level GT models get 17" alloys wheels and subtle spoilers hint at its sporty character. Inside, a generous standard feature set includes all the usual suspects including remote keyless entry, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and 6-way adjustable front seats as well as an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
The Elantra GT N works hard to earn its compact sports-car credentials. In addition to the spirited turbocharged engine and available manual transmission, the N trims also features stiffened bushings and suspension, dual exhaust, 18" alloy wheels wearing performance rubber, a mesh grille. Inside heated front leather seats feature red accents that carry through the whole interior.
Safety was a major point of emphasis for Hyundai for all the Elantra models. A large part of this push was accomplished by adding new technology to the car, rather than by simply adding more crash protection. Hyundai are taking a more preventative approach to accidents with the new car. Technologies now available on the Elantra include a Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system which uses a forward mounted camera to read the road ahead and can, in an emergency, engage the brakes to prevent an accident.
A lane keep assist system is also available this year which will apply subtle steering corrections if it notices the car wandering out of its lane at speeds above 40 mph. A driver attention alert system monitors the driver and will warn them if they begin to display patterns consistent with someone who is drowsy. Other cool new safety technologies include a Safe Exit Assist system that can warn occupants trying to open the door if there is a vehicle approaching from behind, as well as a Pedestrian Detection system that utilizes radar to help prevent the Elantra from hitting any pedestrians.