2017 Hyundai Elantra

More like this one: The Mini Sonata!

"Nowadays Hyundai has a renewed product portfolio and a massively improved quality reputation."

"Elantra continues to improve on the formula that made it a success!" said Issam.

"It's clear where designers took their creativity-the Sonata."

Now in its sixth generation, Elantra has grown to mid-size dimensions since its launch back in 1990. At that time its wheelbase used to measure 98.4 inches. Nowadays, however, Elantra's wheelbase measures around 106 inches, which makes it a true mid-size vehicle. The Elantra is one of the most popular consumer choices based on affordability, owner reliability and return on investment (ROI). With the best vehicle warranty in Lebanon (six years or 120,000 kms), the Elantra can influence potential consumers in a direct side-by-side comparison. In IIHS evaluations, the 2017 Elantra received the Top Safety Pick+ award after it scored 'Good' on all crash tests (Good is the highest possible score).

I took the top of the range Elantra from Century Motor Company, official distributor of Hyundai in Lebanon, over a weekend, and Zahle in the Beqaa region was my destination.

Driving impressions
When first driving the 2017 Hyundai Elantra, I felt that it has been improved and doesn't have an overly sensitive throttle in Normal mode. Body movements are way better, which makes it more stable on the road. Where the car showed the most improvement was in its ride quality, due to a suspension that does a great job at filtering rough patches out of the cabin. The infotainment system lets you integrate your smartphone onto the screen where you can play your music playlist. I drove up to the other side of Beirut to the city of Zahle, which is located in the Beqaa region. Honestly speaking, the seats were really comfortable even for long drives over 200 kilometers. The Normal, Eco or Sport drive modes impact throttle response, shift points and steering input all at the touch of a button. I personally enjoyed Sport mode for a more performance-oriented drive on the mountainous roads up to Zahle. If you choose Eco, you will surely get better results in terms of fuel consumption.

It was definitely an enjoyable ride to Zahle, and I didn't feel like I had gone almost 200 kilometers. Still, my only concern is the price tag of the top of the range model, which is $32,200 USD on the road, although the base model price is $20,900 USD. The Elantra is quiet, comfortable and delivers plenty of equipment; but those are not the ingredients for a car I really want to drive on a twisty back road. Check out your nearest dealer to get your complimentary test drive.

Rivals: Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Mazda3, Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Volkswagen Jetta, Ford Focus
Pros: Spacious interior, comfortable seats, infotainment system, fuel efficiency, practical in terms of ergonomics
Cons: No turbo engine offered, underpowered on mountainous roads, bit of hard plastic in the cabin, active safety features available on the fully-equipped model, fully-equipped model is expensive
3.5 stars
one word: refurbished

2.0L, 4-cylinder, 147 hp @ 6,200 rpm, 180 Nm @ 4,500 rpm
6-speed auto, FWD
0-100 km/h: 8 sec, top speed: 201 km/h, fuel consumption: 7.3L/100 km
Weight: (base model) 1,255 kg / (fully-equipped mode) 1,350 kg

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