Dec 11, 2020 - Economy

What we're driving: 2021 Hyundai Elantra

2021 Hyundai Elantra. Photo: Hyundai

2021 Hyundai Elantra. Photo: Hyundai

This week I'm driving the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, a sharp-looking compact that's now available in a 50-mpg hybrid, too.

The big picture: This is the seventh-generation Elantra, and it raises the bar not just with its sporty design. It's also the first in the segment to offer wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and to let drivers unlock, start and drive the car using their (Android-only) smartphone instead of a physical key.

  • The $25,450 Limited edition even comes with natural language voice commands, something more typical for luxury cars.

Driver-assistance technology: Carmakers are rightly making safety and assisted-driving features standard on even their least expensive models.

  • The Elantra has forward-collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and driver-attention monitor as standard equipment.
  • Hyundai's Safe Exit Alert — which prevents occupants from opening a door into a cyclist's path when parallel parked — is also standard.
  • Adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and a highway drive assist feature are available in higher trim levels.

The bottom line: As small cars go, the Hyundai Elantra has always been one of my favorites. And that's still true with the 2021 model.

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