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2015 Hyundai Elantra Overview
So you have a small family and a downsized budget, and you need an agile and peppy small car with enough bells and whistles to keep the commute, um, commutable. Well, Hyundai offers, once again, its quasi-sleek, semi-sophisticated just-right-size Elantra compact sedan for 2015. This 5-passenger family auto may not have the cachet of a Ford or a Honda in their Focus and Civic iterations, respectively, but it carries a pretty price tag and, especially in the higher trims, more than enough creature comforts to overcome the drudgery of the drive to work.
After a fairly comprehensive reworking of looks and interior features in 2014, as well as the addition of the up-powered Sport trim to the original SE trim and the once-flagship Limited trim, this year’s Elantra lineup is essentially unchanged for 2015. Again this downsized 4-door comes only with front-wheel drive (FWD), while the Limited and Sport remain available in California-cool Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) garb. Cabin room is adequate in front, according to most reviews, but rear-seat headroom might keep the average-size adult a little scrunched up. Cargo/trunk space, however, remains a decent 14.8 cubic feet, and the split-folding rear seatbacks add some considerable toting space to that.
Again for 2015, expect the base Elantra SE and its more posh Limited sibling to come with the standard 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant that mates with either a 6-speed manual transmission in the SE or a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission that’s standard in the Limited and optional in the SE. Look for 145 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque out of this capable 4-banger, with mileage numbers pegged once again at 27 mpg city/37 highway in stick-shift versions, 28/38 in automatic-equipped iterations.
The Sport trim, meanwhile, lives up to its name with a 2.0-liter I4 engine that can be combined with either the 6-speed manual transmission or the 6-speed shiftable automatic for 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque. Fuel efficiency numbers, of course, drop considerably with this bump in power, ending up 24/34 in stick shift variants and 24/35 in automatic-laden versions.
Working off the 2014 template, the 2015 Elantra lineup offers some hefty bling inside and out, starting with standard 15-inch steel wheels, premium cloth upholstery and full power accessories, including heated outside mirrors, in the base SE. Additionally, look for this entry-level trim to sport cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering and manual air conditioning.
Interestingly, it seems that nearly all automakers have, beginning in the 2014 model year, dropped the once-ubiquitous CD player in favor of more up-to-date entertainment features like satellite radio, auxiliary audio input and Internet radio. The 2015 Elantra is no exception in carrying a 172-watt stereo system without CD player but boasting 6 speakers and the aforementioned auxiliary inputs and satellite radio.
In any case, the posh-packing Limited adds stuff like 17-inch alloy wheels and leather upholstery to the mix, as well as heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. This upscale trim also boasts Bluetooth-powered Blue Link destination guidance and a rear-view camera, both of which are optional in the SE.
Moving on to the 2015 Elantra Sport, now in its sophomore year, you can expect a sport-tuned suspension, as well as a rear spoiler, a power sunroof and keyless entry/ignition. Both the latter items are optional in the Limited with its available Technology Package.
Further optional equipment in the 2015 SE includes a few of the features found standard in the Limited, while the latter’s Technology Package adds such extras as a 360-watt audio suite flaunting Pandora internet radio capability and a navigation suite with a 7-inch touchscreen display. Finally, all 2015 Elantra offerings can be delivered with an available auto-dimming rear-view mirror mounting a remote garage door opener.
Again for 2015, the Elantra lineup sports such standard safety features as 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. All trims also flaunt daytime running lights (LED in the Limited and Sport iterations) and a remote antitheft alarm, while the Limited and Sport also boast standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors, front fog/driving lights and Blue Link emergency services and stolen-vehicle tracking.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.