Sharper, Safer, And All Around Better

The 2019 Hyundai Elantra Sports a considerably different look in the front and rear and was revealed in Park City, Utah at a specially organized event. It’s not all-new, however, as it is actually a facelifted version of the car that appeared only two years ago. As it is one of the most important Hyundai cars in the world, the new Elantra comes with comprehensive safety features and more tech than ever before. You will be able to buy it later this year as a 2019 model. Anywhere in the world apparently, as the event held yesterday in Utah actually had global connotations. This is the new, global Hyundai Elantra.

What’s New for 2019

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The compact sedan received a completely different front end that is dominated by sharp triangular headlights

Obviously, the car that appeared in Utah looked quite different compared to the one you’ll find in Hyundai showrooms as of the time of this writing. The compact sedan received a completely different front end that is dominated by sharp triangular headlights. The strangely shaped front lights do not seem to play the same game as the rest of the car. That was the point; it seems, was to make a more aggressive, sharpened, and edgy design. Something neither the roof, nor the front bonnet share.

Nevertheless, the Elantra does not feel awkward. Its coupe-inspired roof flows neatly towards the rear end where the large, horizontal, rear lights now feature graphics that echo the edges of the new styling exercise up front. If all of this sounds a bit crazy, you are definitely right. Hyundai tried to intertwine sharp design with the soothing, flowing silhouette of the Elantra. I think it worked.

Obviously, the front lights with LED technology look astounding. I am afraid the entry-level car won’t have them, though. Hyundai did go the extra mile with the wheels too and now offers newly designed 16-inch, 17-inch, and 18-inch wheels depending on the trim level.

Safety

2019 Hyundai Elantra - Quick Review Exterior
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Aside from the “usual” safety aids, the Elantra features a system called Safe Exit Assist.

Save for the entry-level Elantra SE, all other versions of the new car feature a number of safety technologies. All come standard with forward-collision warning and active lane control, lane departure warning, auto emergency brake assist, and cross-traffic alert. A rearview camera is a must, of course. Hyundai officials even provided some details about the cars they are going to sell and noted that over 75-percent of all models will feature “life-saving” technology.

Obviously, the Elantra SE is not the one they are hoping to make a business case on. Aside from the “usual” safety aids, the Elantra features a system called Safe Exit Assist. This is a set of sensors that stay activated even when the car is stationary, and it will alert passengers exiting the vehicle about possible impending dangers. Say, if a car or a bicycle is nearing and you did not see it, the Elantra will alert you not to open the door. It is just one more option added to a massive list of safety precautions the Elantra seemingly teems with. You’ll only find it on Limited and the Ultimate trim levels though.

Reading about all these assistant systems in cars today, I ask myself, how the hell did we survive as a species for a century driving vehicles that did not have any of these?

Interior

2019 Hyundai Elantra - Quick Review Interior
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Upper trim levels of the 2019 Hyundai Elantra sport an eight-inch display with a completely new infotainment system with wireless charging, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay all included.

As expected, a majority of the changes had been kept to the outside. Yet, after careful inspection, I did notice that Hyundai redesigned the HVAC vents, the basic look of the central stack, and introduced us to a new infotainment system. Upper trim levels of the 2019 Hyundai Elantra sport an eight-inch display with a completely new infotainment system with wireless charging, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay all included. The least expensive models carry over with a minimalist, five-inch display. This infotainment system did get updated software so it may also feature a faster processor as well.

That higher-grade infotainment system also has navigation, all sorts of connectivity hardware, and traffic information.

Performance

2019 Hyundai Elantra - Quick Review Interior
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The entry level engine is still the 1.4-liter, turbocharged engine that's good for 128 horsepower.

Interestingly enough, the new Elantra does not offer any novelties under the bonnet. The entry level engine is still the 1.4-liter, turbocharged engine that’s good for 128 horsepower. It is now linked with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The manual transmission is still an option, but only on models equipped with the 2.0-liter that has 147 horsepower in the SE trim. So, you will get a manual only if you go for an entry level Elantra.

The Elantra Sport is the most interesting, of course. That is the one with the 1.6-liter, turbocharged engine and 201 horsepower.

Further reading

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT.

2017 Hyundai Elantra High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Hyundai Elantra sedan.

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Read more Hyundai news.

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