The Elantra is Hyundai’s golden-goose compact-sedan that made a huge impact on the company’s success in the US. Hyundai has clearly found a working formula for the Elantra, and in 2019, it was the automaker’s best-selling car. For that reason, Hyundai has smartly chosen to keep the vehicle largely the same for 2020.
The major changes for 2020 are in the mechanical department, where Hyundai has discontinued both the six-speed manual and automatic transmissions in favor of its new continuously variable transmission. Five new colors are now offered, as well as some new standard interior and safety features.
Powertrain and specs
In total, there are two transmissions and three engines available for the 2020 Elantra. Hyundai is touting improved fuel economy from its new CVT with an EPA-rated increase of two combined miles per gallon across the board. That means the Elantra SE now gets 35 mpg combined, while the SEL, Value Edition and Limited trims net 34 mpg combined. These models all use the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as before, rated at 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque.
If you’re a CVT hater, the seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission can still be had with Eco and Sport trims. These use Hyundai’s 1.4-liter turbo I4 and 1.6-liter turbo I4 engines, respectively. The Eco trim is EPA-estimated to achieve 33 mpg city, 41 mpg highway and 36 mpg combined when paired with that dual-clutch gearbox.
The Eco trim’s turbocharged, direct-injected 1.4T still packs a modest punch, with 128 hp and 156 lb.-ft., but the slightly larger 1.6L turbocharged direct-injected engine found in the Sport trim offers a zippy 201 hp with a flatter and punchier torque curve of 195 lb.-ft., from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. The Elantra Sport is rated at 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined.
New for 2020, the Elantra comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control system, and models with the 2.0-liter engine receive a more efficient, positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heater. The main advantage of the PTC heater is that the unit doesn’t rely on hot engine coolant to do the work of heating and more easily maintains temperatures. It’s also worth mentioning that long-term maintenance should be less of a hassle than dealing with traditional heater cores, which tend to be more complex to fix if they fail.
Beige-and-black cloth seats are standard on all trims but the Limited and Sport, which offer similarly colored leather. A sunroof comes standard in the Value Edition and Sport trims, but is optional for the Limited trim, as well. The Elantra Sport also features paddle shifters, more heavily bolstered front seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, a revised instrument cluster and other small tweaks. The Elantra’s rear seats will split 60/40 and fold to assist with larger objects, but the trunk’s cargo capacity is still plentiful at 14.4 cubic feet. If you’re looking for the most utility, consider the Elantra GT hatchback.
Hyundai is continuing to pack its cars with a ton of standard technology. Both safety and convenience tech are in high supply; forward-collision avoidance, lane-keep assist, a driver fatigue monitoring system, rear-view camera and Bluetooth are all standard, as is a 5-inch color infotainment display.
You can opt for an 8-inch screen with navigation and real-time traffic information, Hyundai’s BlueLink connected-car system, wireless charging and an eight-speaker Infinity premium sound system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also available, though they’re only standard on the SEL trim or higher.
With the more expensive models come even more features like pedestrian detection paired with the forward-collision avoidance system, adaptive cruise control and something Hyundai calls Safe Exit Assist that can sound an alert when a vehicle approaches from behind, letting passengers know it may not be safe to open the door to exit the vehicle. Blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist are available on all trims but the SE.
The range of prices on the Hyundai Elantra are fairly narrow due to all of the shared, standard features among its trims. 2020 Elantra pricing starts at $20,105 for the SE, $20,945 for the SEL, $21,755 for the Value Edition, $22,405 for the Eco, $23,955 for the Limited, and $24,955 for the Sport. All of these prices include $955 for freight charges.
The 2020 Hyundai Elantra is on sale now.