Hyundai updated its Elantra compact sedan for 2019 and, although there’s a lot to like about the car, we’re lukewarm about it in two key areas: safety features and fuel economy. For 2020, the Elantra is back with improvements in both areas.
Related: 2019 Hyundai Elantra Review: Pleasant, Poised and Primed to Take on Rivals
The 2019 Elantra featured forward automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind spot warning and a driver attention monitor as standard equipment on all but the base SE model. For 2020, all those goodies are standard across the entire lineup. Other additional safety features, like blind spot warning and lane change assist, were only available on the top Limited model, but for 2020 are available on all trims except the base.
The 2020 model made mileage gains, as well. The new Elantra gets a combined rating of 35 mpg, up 2 mpg from the previous model and better than base automatic sedan versions of the Chevrolet Cruze (28/38/32 city/highway/combined mpg), Honda Civic (30/38/33 mpg) and Toyota Corolla (29/36/32 mpg).
The gains are thanks in part to Hyundai’s new Intelligent Variable Transmission, which the automaker says differs from a traditional continuously variable automatic in that shift response is enhanced so it more closely replicates automatic transmission-like shifts. The Eco and Sport models still use the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, but the manual transmission has been discontinued; it was standard on the SE trim and on the Sport model.
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With the gains in fuel economy, safety features and the new standard transmission comes a price bump, however. The 2020 Elantra starts at $19,870, including a destination charge — up significantly from last year’s $18,120 base price. It’s still a bit lower than automatic-equipped versions of the Civic and Corolla, however.
The 2020 Elantra goes on sale later in the spring.
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