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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.

Sign up here for my weekly transportation newsletter, Axios Navigate.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 22, 2021 - Technology

What we know about the Apple car

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Apple's moves toward breaking into the market for self-driving cars have come in fits and starts, but it has big ambitions for the space and is moving forward both with its own efforts and with potential partnerships with automakers.

Why it matters: Apple has great businesses in phones and computers, but its long-term growth potential will depend on conquering an entirely new market. Improving health care and playing a role in autonomous vehicles appear to be its two biggest bets on that front.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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