Automobile editor Jonathon Klein was ready to write off the 2017 Elantra Sport, but he changed his mind after taking it for a drive through the desert and now he describes it as a “cheap, cheerful, and fun compact sedan”.
Starting off the test day was a 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport Premium with a turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 engine that produces 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Mated with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, the shifting was predictable and quick.
The Elantra Sport’s fully independent suspension feels steady at speed, but Klein probably didn’t hit the estimated top speed of 132 mph. The all-season tires are not the best as they could lose traction when pushed too hard into corners and understeer, but luckily the brakes are capable.
For the second half of the day, he was able to test drive the Elantra Sport equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox. Manual enthusiasts will find it more engaging, but the car will feel less willing to accelerate. There’s still plenty of fun to be had as the gearbox is not too notchy and not perfectly smooth either.
It may not be a Subaru Impreza WRX, but it’s no standard Elantra and the Sport variant starts at just $21,650.