2018 Hyundai Elantra: Compact Sedan With Style, Value And Performance

Since its initial launch in 1990 as Hyundai’s compact sedan, the Hyundai Elantra has sold nearly three million units in the US market. The 2018 Hyundai Elantra represents the second year of its sixth generation. During July of 2017, the Elantra came in fifth in compact car sales, behind Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, and Ford Focus. 

What’s New In The 2018 Elantra

The 2018 Elantra has added a new SEL trim level, which includes:

  • Blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/HD Radio/SiriusXM sound system with 7” display audio
  • Rearview camera 
  • Android Auto & Apple CarPlay
  • 16” alloy wheels
  • Auto headlamp control

The Sport trim now includes power sunroof, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist standard. All 2018 Elantras also receive all available Blue Link features as standard for three years.

Six Elantra Trim Levels To Choose From

The 2018 Elantra is available in six trim levels: SE, SEL, Value, Eco, Sport, and Limited. Pricing starts at $16,950 for SE and tops out at $22,100 for the Limited.

Three Engines And Three Transmissions Available

The standard engine in SE, SEL, Value, and Limited trims is a 2.0L Atkinson cycle four-cylinder with 147 horsepower. The Eco comes with its own 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder with 128 horsepower. The Sport has a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an output of 201 horsepower. All 2018 Elantra models have front-wheel drive as standard equipment.

Transmission choices include a six-speed manual on SE and Sport, a six-speed automatic on SE, SEL, Value, and Limited, and a seven-speed DCT automatic on Eco and Sport. EPA-estimated fuel economy ranges from 22 to 32 MPG City and 30 to 40 MPG Highway, depending on the model and transmission selected.

Many Safety Features Built Into Every 2018 Elantra

Each and every 2018 Elantra comes standard with seven airbags: two frontal bags and two side-impact bags for driver and front passenger, two side-curtain bags to protect front and rear passengers, and a driver’s knee airbag. Other Elantra safety features that are always there to protect you include vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, and brake assist.

Driver Assistance Features Standard On Most Models

Every 2018 Elantra model except the entry-level SE comes with a suite of driver assistance technologies standard. These include blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, lane change assist, rearview camera, and a tire pressure monitoring system with individual tire pressure indicators.

An optional package on the Limited model adds several more driver assistance features: forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, smart cruise control, and automatic high beam assist.

2018 Hyundai Elantra Is A Very Good Compact Sedan, But It’s No SUV

And therein lies the problem faced by the 2018 Hyundai Elantra, as well as every other compact sedan in the market. The majority of today’s new vehicle buyers would prefer a truck or an SUV. The car share of the market is now down to 37 percent and steadily shrinking. 

As compacts like the 2018 Elantra get better and better, they simply can’t compete with their sit-high siblings in the same showroom. The Elantra doesn’t just have to go up against Civic, Corolla, Sentra, and Focus – it also has to duke it out with Hyundai buddies Tucson and Santa Fe!


About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.