The 2022 Hyundai Elantra stands out in traffic due to its unique styling, but underneath the sharply creased sheetmetal is a spacious and practical compact car. Its cabin is decked out with a similarly futuristic design and several high-end features are offered, especially on the high-end trims, that help with the wow factor. The entry-level engine is a somewhat sleepy 147-hp four-cylinder that is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), but both a hybrid powertrain and a 201-hp turbocharged four are optional. The Elantra competes with heavy hitters such as the Honda Civic, the Nissan Sentra, and the Toyota Corolla, and its style and value-oriented packaging makes it a solid choice among compact cars.
What's New for 2022?
Following a full design for the 2021 model year, the Elantra is unchanged for 2022. A racy Elantra N model is slated to launch this year, but we review that model separately.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The midrange SEL model offers the best balance of price and features. We'd opt for the available SEL Convenience package, which adds a 10.3-inch digital gauge display, adaptive cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and heated front seats.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The standard nonhybrid powertrain is a 147-hp four-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive and a CVT. The hybrid model uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder paired with an electric motor to make 139 horsepower. Gearchanges in the hybrid are handled by a six-speed automatic. Neither of these options offer thrilling acceleration, but in our test drive of a nonhybrid model we noted good ride quality and enough pep for normal city and highway driving. The most exciting Elantra is the performance-oriented Elantra N, which we review separately, but those who can't quite stomach that car's price tag could consider the tamer N Line model. It's powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. After a brief test drive, we came away impressed with the N Line's perkier acceleration and its adept handling, which ups the athleticism without compromising on a too-stiff ride.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the 2022 Elantra with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder will earn up to 33 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. Models with the turbocharged 1.6-liter four have estimates as high as 28 mpg city and 36 highway. The thriftiest hybrid Elantra is rated at 53 mpg city and 56 highway. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, the Elantra hybrid managed only a 48-mpg result while the nonhybrid Limited with the base engine did 38 mpg. For more information about the Elantra's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
To match its dramatic exterior, the cabin of the Elantra looks appropriately futuristic. The dashboard and center console wrap around the driver while the passenger's side takes a more minimalist approach. A single LED strip follows the dashboard-spanning air vent across the width of the car from the steering column to the passenger's-side door panel. Passenger volume is generous, particularly in the rear seat, which helps the Elantra compete with roomier rivals such as the Sentra and the Volkswagen Jetta. In our testing, the Elantra fit six carry-on suitcases inside its trunk.
Infotainment and Connectivity
An optional 10.3-inch digital gauge display rubs elbows with a second 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen that sprouts from the top of the Elantra's dashboard. The standard infotainment setup is an 8.0-inch center display and analog gauges for the instrument cluster. Hyundai's latest infotainment interface takes center stage here. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, as is a Wi-Fi connection. A voice-recognition feature allows the driver to adjust things such as the climate control or the heated seats by uttering specific phrases.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Driver-assistance features are on the menu and many of them are offered as standard. For more information about the Elantra's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with lane-centering feature
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The 2022 Elantra comes standard with Hyundai's legendary 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The only competitor that can match the Elantra in terms of standard warranty protection is its corporate sibling, the Kia Forte, although it should be noted that while Hyundai offers three years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, Kia does not.
- Limited warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles