WHAT: Sixth generation 2016 Hyundai Elantra 1.4L Eco compact family sedan. Code name: AD. Replaces fifth generation UD. Cousin to Kia Forte .

Standard Power: transverse variable nozzle turbocharged 1.5L DOHC 16V DI gas I-4 = 128 hp/ 156 lb-ft + 7-spd. electonic dry dual clutch automated helical transmission.

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: Outgoing 5th generation took a "Chill Pill": Projector beam HID headlights mean smaller Z-kinked housings, with the dark lattice grille widened; Former boomerang taillights have given way to more Sonata-esque wrap-arounds thinning rear haunches; Trunk-lid integrated spoiler is now duck-tailed; Mirror chrome is splashed most everywhere else, including lower front air dam corner raked inlets; Lower rear valance gets diffuser look; Sharply raked backlight evokes fastback silhouette.

WHY: Hybrid electric power in this segment adds too much cost. Hyundai is not likely to overstate fuel economy ratings ever again.

HOW ROADWORTHY: Hyundai makes makes their own variable nozzle turbocharger. It endows the 1.4L DOHC DI gas 4-cylinder, with a meatier, less peaky power range than some 1.0L 3-cylinder competition; 7-speed dual clutch automated manual gearbox has been reworked for less off the line lurch, noted by smooth hand-offs, and loathe to downshift; Sprung soft and damped with slower reaction enough to yield some roll; Low rolling resistance tires, curb adhesion limits; Playful if not truly visceral electric steering; Eager brake pedal displays initial tenacity; Cabin muted to wind, less well to road and engine hum. Stylish windmill spoke 15" alloys can't avoid appearing small.

HOW BIG/ LITTLE: √ fits 5 adult occupants - yes that includes one in the 2nd Row middle position;  +1 sliding Center console armrest, Immense door pockets especially in 2nd Row; Less head ducking for 6" footers in back; -1 lack of rear center armrest; Jack-in-the-Box type Row-2 cupholders; Rear seat cushion shallow and stiff.

HOW USEFUL: √ Chrome metal load floor skid plate; √ near flat folding 60/40% split 2nd Row tilting seatbacks; √ 2nd Row Door sun shades; +1 Tall seating position for commanding view;  -1 Short wing mirrors + wide B pillars necessitate Blind Spot warning.

HOW SAFE: √ 7 airbags; √ IIHS Safety Pick +; √ rear camera grid Park Assist; √ Blind spot, rear cross traffic warning.

HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY: √ Heated front seats, both with height adjustment; √ Leather steering wheel with spoke bezel and integrated toggle controls; √ Switchgear; √ Contrast stitching.

Almost Bespoke: √ Ceiling matching mesh cloth covered cabin pillars; Oversized channeled plastic dead pedal; dash & door panel color contrast w/ satin metallic appliques;

HOW "APP" -LICABLE: √ 7" matte capacitive touch LCD infotainment screen; √ +1 Large icons; Voice command hands-free communications; Android Auto/ Apple Car Play (for GPS navigation, Pandora, I-Heart, Slacker radio, telephony; UVO Apps: Pandora, SoundHound; 3 mos. complimentary SXM & Travellink subscription; √ USB x 2, 12V x 3.

ANY COMPETITION: Chevrolet Cruze +1 cabin space, Ford Focus 1.0L : +1 steering; Volkswagen Jetta 1.5 TSI +1 trunk space.

BOTTOM LINE: An efficient compact family car which makes some mid-sizers excessive; Ups the pressure on non plug-in gas-electric hybrids.

Filed under: Lifestyle - Transportation - Automotive - Gallery - Compact Family Cars, Lifestyle - Transportation - Automotive - Reviews - Compact Family Sedans, Lifestyle - Transportation - Automotive - Reviews - Fuel Efficient Compact Sedans

Tags: 2017 Elantra Eco, 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco review, Chevrolet Cruze competitor, DCT, dual clutch transmission, Elantra Eco, Elantra Eco 1.4T, Ford Focus 1.0T competitor, fuel efficient compact family car, gallery, Hyundai, Hyundai Elantra Eco review, images, Kappa 1.4T engine, review, specifications, Volkswagen Jetta 1.5T competitor

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