The 2016 Hyundai Elantra vs. The 2017 Hyundai Elantra

2016 and 2017 elantra

The Specs:

2016 Hyundai Elantravs2017 Hyundai Elantra
1.8L Inline 4Engine2.0 L Inline 4
145hp @ 6500 RPMHorsepower147hp @ 6200 RPM
6 Speed Shiftable AutomaticTransmission6 Speed Shiftable Automatic
28 MPGFuel Economy (City)29 MPG
38 MPGFuel Economy (Highway)38 MPG
130 ft-lbs @ 4700 RPMTorque132 ft-lbs @ 4500 RPM

The 2011 redesign of the Hyundai Elantra put the Korean compact sedan on the map, challenging the dominant players in the segment. The 5th generation Elantra introduced that year set the pace for Hyundai's cars' feel for the next five years. It was a compact sedan that still delivered sporty performance, wowed everyone with its bold and edgy looks and was rated as one of the safest sedans on the market. Now in 2016, Hyundai has introduced the new 6th generation of the sedan as the 2017 Hyundai Elantra. Though not as much of a radical departure as the 2011 refresh, the new design of the car once again seeks to re-envision it from the 5th generation's youthful and edgy feeling into a more mature and refined form. We've taken a look at the similarities and differences between the 2016 Hyundai Elantra and the 2017 Hyundai Elantra to help you decide which of the two serves your needs best.

Performance

2017 elantra

Hyundai has changed the entire engine lineup for the Elantra between the 2016 and 2017 model years. The base engine on the 2016 Elantra is a 1.8-liter four cylinder engine generating 148 horsepower and 131 pound feet of torque while earning 28 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg highway for a combined 32 mpg. Its counterpart on the 2017 Elantra is a 2.0- liter generating 147 horsepower and 132 pound feet of torque at 29 city, 38 highway and 33 combined mpg. The 2016 Elantra is slightly more powerful, but the 2017 Elantra is slightly more fuel-efficient. This is further emphasized by the optional engines. The 2016 Elantra can be equipped with a 2.0-liter 173 horsepower engine for extra performance, while the 2017 Elantra has a very efficient 1.6-liter turbo option that earns it a combined 35 mpg.

Appearance

Looking at the 2016 Elantra and the 2017 Elantra side by side, it is easy to see similar design elements appearing on both cars. However, the feeling conveyed by these design elements could not be more different. The 2016 Elantra is bold and aggressive, suggesting forward motion. Its grille is split in two horizontally, its narrow headlights stretch back toward the wheel well and its fog lights angle in sharply, as if to slice a hole through the air. The 2017 Elantra uses the same elements to suggest stability and respectability. The grille is a single piece, flat and imposing. The headlights taper in to give the car's front a heavier look and the fog lights angle outward and back, giving the car a stable and planted stance. The 2016 Elantra's styling begs you to take it for a joy ride, while the 2017 imbues its driver with gravitas.

2016 elantra

2017 elantra

The new 2017 Hyundai Elantra makes a worthy successor to the famous 5th generation Elantra. It has better gas mileage, additional safety features and a more understated exterior styling that may be appealing to a more conservative audience. That said, there are still areas where the 2016 Elantra excels over its older brother. Its styling is just perfect for those tired of more traditional designs and it offers a more powerful engine as an option - perfect for the performance enthusiast. And in all but the highest trim levels, it is just as safe as the 2017 model.

Safety

National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration

Hyundai may have changed a lot with this year's redesign of the Elantra, but it did not tamper too much with the safety technologies underpinning the car. The 2016 Hyundai Elantra earned five starts out of the total five possible - the highest score - in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, and the 2017 model is expected to earn the same accolade. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2016 Elantra as one of its Top Safety Picks for 2015. The only thing keeping the Elantra from the sought-after Top Safety Pick Plus category was the lack of automated braking linked to forward collision detection. The 2017 Elantra fixes that issue by offering an active safety suite and hopes to become a Top Safety Pick Plus once the IIHS finishes its testing.

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