The all-new Hyundai Elantra is a beautiful little sedan. One of the best designs we’ve seen in any category. Beyond that, the Elantra adds a lot of usefulness and brings a great daily drive dynamic to the table. Is it perfect? No. But it might be getting close.
Hyundai officially launched its all-new 2021 Elantra and Elantra Hybrid today at The Lot Studios in West Hollywood with a virtual event broadcast around the world. This marks the world debut of the latest version of the popular compact sedan. The 2021 Elantra showcases Hyundai’s latest ambitions, including a hybrid electric vehicle technology and segment-first wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.
Highlights we like for the 2021 Elantra
- Longer wheelbase, wider stance, lower roofline
- First-ever Elantra Hybrid with more than 50 MPG estimated combined fuel economy on hybrid model
- Segment-first wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Segment-first Hyundai Digital Key allows Elantra to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key via a smartphone or NFC card
- Standard SmartSense safety and convenience technologies
- Two available 10.25-inch multimedia screens under one piece of glass
- Dual Bluetooth support is available: two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio.
While some manufacturers are cutting way back on the car side of the business, Hyundai is doubling down by offering an all-new sedan with both gas and hybrid powertrains. Brian Smith, chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor America, says they have sold more than 3.4 million Elantras in the U.S. and more than 13.8 million worldwide.
Two Available 10.25-inch Screens
The 2021 Elantra has two futuristic 10.25-inch screens all under one piece of glass. The cluster has different views: utility, driver assistance and navigation. The optional infotainment system displays a wide variety of information across its 10.25-inch split touchscreen.
The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get connected routing, which provides multiple navigation options and real-time route updates. Server-based routing makes the onboard navigation experience similar to current smartphone navigation apps.
Leave the Cellphone Cords Behind
Hyundai Elantra’s standard eight-inch display interface allows owners to ditch the cords because wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available as segment-first features, allowing one to leave the phone in a pocket or purse. From a safety perspective, this is smart because hopefully it will encourage more people to keep their devices out of their hands.
SmartSense Safety Features
The 2021 Elantra offers a new array of standard advanced safety technologies:
- Forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection uses the car’s front-facing camera to help detect an imminent collision with a vehicle or pedestrian and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking automatically
- Lane keeping assist helps prevent accidental lane departure by sensing road markings, automatically steering the car if necessary
- Lane following assist may automatically adjust steering to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane of travel. LFA can help keep the vehicle centered on both highways and city streets.
- High beam assist eliminates the need for drivers to manually switch high beams on and off at night
- Driver attention warning system that monitors a spectrum of driver-related characteristics to help detect driver fatigue
- Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
Optional SmartSense Features
- Blind-spot collision avoidance assist with rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist helps detect a vehicle in the drivers’ blind spot while the turn signal is on.
- Smart cruise control makes highway and long-distance driving more comfortable. Using a radar sensor mounted on the lower front grille, the system maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead in varied traffic conditions by automatically adjusting vehicle speed as needed.
- Highway driving assist is a driving convenience system that assists drivers in maintaining the center of the lane and at an appropriate speed while keeping a safe distance from the car in front.
- Safe exit warning may 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.
- Reverse parking collision avoidance assist helps detect pedestrians and obstacles with a rearview camera and ultrasonic sensors. The system can provide warnings and apply emergency braking to assist in the avoidance of a collision.
Standard Interior Features
- Eight-inch color display audio system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and HD Radio
- Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls
- Drive mode select
- Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
Optional Interior Features include Blue Link system with three years of complimentary Blue Link services; Qi wireless charging; a 10.25-inch infotainment system with faster processor, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and connected routing, and a powerful Bose premium sound system with eight speakers.
The new Elantra line still features Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Car System, which uses embedded telematics to allow drivers to remote-start their vehicle and control interior temperature using the MyHyundai smartphone app. The app also allows users to either remotely lock or unlock their doors, and to find their vehicle in a crowded parking lot with Car Finder and remote horn and lights.
In addition, Blue Link in the new Elantra arrives with cloud-based navigation, which offers free traffic information and POI searches.
Voice Recognition System
The all-new Elantra has an enhanced natural language voice recognition system with more and better feature control, more speed and accuracy in voice recognition and responses, and an ability to understand context, such as the user’s location to support natural interactions.
Using a natural voice, one can control the:
- Climate on/off
- Air conditioner on/off
- Heat on/off
- Fan high/low
- Defrost on
- Set fan to face, feet, or face and feet
- Defrost on and set fan to feet
- Warm up/cool down
- Air intake system on
- Turn on/off heated seats (driver/passenger)
- Set heated seat levels 1, 2, or 3 (driver/passenger)
- Rear window defroster on/off
- Turn on/off the heated steering wheel
- And additional functions
To activate controls, the driver uses the “push to talk button” on the steering wheel and say the requested command. Conversations will sound like, “Air conditioner on,” “Set fan to face,” or “Turn on my heated seat.” There are also more requests the system can handle. A user can say via Blue Link, “What is the temperature in St. Louis?”, “When is Mother’s Day?”, “Find me a Starbucks”, or “Who won the game last night?”
The 2021 Elantra has an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key. Digital Key uses a dedicated mobile app, Near Field Communication and Bluetooth Low Energy technology to allow the 2021 Elantra to be unlocked, started, and driven without a physical key via applicable Android smartphones.
Elantra’s Digital Key also allows secure sharing of virtual keys with family and friends. Elantra owners can tailor the different vehicle functions available to each shared virtual key, and the key can be made available for only a defined amount of time. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle, and keys can also be revoked remotely. For additional convenience, such as using a valet service or visiting a Hyundai dealer, Hyundai Digital Key also works with an NFC card, which is provided with each vehicle. Each Elantra still comes with traditional keys. Hyundai Digital Key is compatible only with phones using the Android operating system. Hyundai Digital Key uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which exhibits a high level of security. NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimeters apart.
Production of the 2021 Elantra starts in the fall in Ulsan, Korea and at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, and sales begin in the fourth quarter.