2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport

By Anqoinette Crosby

Hyundai's Montgomery, Alabama Factory

Rummaging through a Georgetown vintage clothing boutique, I chanced upon a dazzling Swarovski crystal-adorned designer gown in just the right size, hidden behind a rack of cocktail dresses. When the sales clerk said it was marked down an additional 50 percent, the sparkle in my eyes rivaled the crystals’ on the dress. I showed it to a girlfriend later that day who said it looked like I paid a whole lot more than I actually did.

Remarkably, a fitness trainer at my gym said the exact same thing about the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport I whipped into the parking spot next to his big burly truck. Sassy and classy, the Elantra’s look and growl were perfectly suited to its outgoing personality, which made it a real conversation starter. Peppering me with questions about the sleek four-door sedan as I was dashing into my cardio weight lifting class, he was audibly surprised to learn its starting price is just over $20,000

Sport is one of four trim packages Hyundai offers for the Elantra and to me it’s the most fun to drive—especially with a stick shift. The 1.6-liter turbocharged engine amplifies the excitement level with 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, which gets to the front wheels by way of a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed dual clutch automatic is offered too. Fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway. I saw 25 overall.

With my adrenaline pumping full speed after working up a sweat in my fitness class, the 2017 Elantra Sport proved to be an ideal channel for that post workout energy. Faced with a long stretch of unencumbered road, I eagerly pushed a bit more aggressively than usual—just for the thrill.

The sport-tuned suspension system features a multi-link rear setup and the Elantra’s accurate steering keeps you nicely grounded. Four-wheel disc brakes brought proceedings to a smooth stop whenever I needed. In short, the Hyundai went down the road like a champ with me feeling in complete control.

Helping maintain that sense of stability, the Elantra’s sleek cabin is decked out with faux carbon fiber trim and a sporty instrument cluster. Even better, the heated leather sport seats fit my petite frame like a leather glove, especially when I sent the Elantra Sport leaning into sharp corners with avidity. The power sunroof was a nice touch too.

With room for five, the compact Hyundai was surprisingly roomy. Keeping it real though, anyone over six feet tall would be begging to get out and stretch after a short drive. On the other hand, the14.4 cubic feet of trunk space gladly swallowed everything I showed it. Here’s a bit more reality—while I liked having the proximity key unlock the doors and trunk, it would have been even nicer if the cargo compartment opened completely—rather than just unlocking. 

The seven-inch display for the infotainment system nicely displayed Apple CarPlay from my iPhone. It would host Android Auto too. Premium package upgrades would have brought an eight-inch monitor, Infinity audio, and rear cross-traffic alert. Still, despite the reasonable price, my Elantra Sport also had a nice suite of safety features, including a driver’s knee airbag, blind spot monitoring, electronic stability control (ESC), ABS and a rearview camera—as standard equipment.

All in all, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport I drove was a bundle of joy wrapped in a pocketbook-friendly package. And, you don’t have to wait for a half-off sale. It’s a deal, even at the regular price. The 2017 Elantra Sport starts at $21,650.

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