2020 Hyundai Elantra Ditches the Manual, Ups the Content

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2020 hyundai elantra ditches the manual ups the content

Exactly a year ago, your suddenly fearful author found himself in the market for a new car. Hating the shopping experience, and with little free time, the choice soon boiled down to two scorching models: a base Chevy Cruze manual, or a similarly sparse Hyundai Elantra, also with a manual.

Twelve months later, neither vehicle exists in the United States. The Cruze is dead, and for the 2020 model year, Hyundai Motor America has decided to ditch the six-speed manual transmission, outfitting the recently updated sedan with a new continuously variable transmission.

The loss of both the six-speed manual and six-speed automatic might not please the small contingent of buyers who demand a third pedal, but it will bring a smile to the face of environmentalists and those with a deep dislike of slushboxes. Hyundai’s “Intelligent Variable Transmission” (IVT) utilizes a chain drive, improving efficiency and responsiveness over conventional CVTs. We’ll have to drive one before we can sing its praises, but the automatic Elantra offered a fast trip to Yawnville.

The difference at the pumps amounts to a 2 mpg boost, with the SE model returning 35 mpg combined. SEL, Value Edition, and Limited versions of the newest Elantra see a combined rating of 34 mpg.

Also boosted? The Elantra’s starting price. The model’s price floor rises $1,850 to a pre-destination MSRP of $18,950. Blame added standard content, which includes both the IVT and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Driver Attention Warning.

Engines remain the same, with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 147 horsepower and a tepid 132 lb-ft of torque in entry-level guise. The Eco model remains, offering 128 horsepower and a healthier 156 lb-ft, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch. That tranny will also be your only choice in the Elantra Sport, Hyundai’s value-priced alternative to the Honda Civic Si. The Sport’s output remains the same.

You’ll notice we specified that the stick-shift Elantra is dead in the United States, not North America. That’s because the base 2020 Elantra continues to offer a six-speed manual in Canada, with IVT optional.

As well, the entry-level “Essential” model does not don the new safety content seen on the U.S. SE trim. These two factors mean the cheapest Canadian Elantra comes in at $1,851 less than the base American model (before destination and fees), rising only $100 over the refreshed 2019 model. Information on the Elantra Sport model is not yet available for the Canadian market.

[Images: Hyundai]

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3 of 24 comments
  • Slavuta Slavuta on May 16, 2019

    FU Hyundai, you will never see my business

    • Oberkanone Oberkanone on May 16, 2019

      Hyundai is devastated to lose your businiess. Just wrecked....

  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on May 16, 2019

    This article seriously lacks important product information. For example, what is the recharging time, how much is range reduced by cold weather and using the heater, and how often does this model spontaneously explode in parking garages?

  • Cprescott Yawn.
  • 28-Cars-Later Wrangler people are crazy.
  • 28-Cars-Later "Transition" to layoffs, this guy is the Bob(s) from Office Space.
  • Vap65689119 As a release engineer I also worked in quality, if they are serious they should look at Toyotas business model which has their suppliers as genuine partners, thats how you get a quality product
  • Mike-NB2 I seem to have landed in an alternate universe. $12,000 for a Jeep that's going on a quarter-century old and with an automatic transmission? Wow.