2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited Review - Striving for Better

Sometimes, circumstance hands you a perfect metaphor.

While driving Hyundai’s redesigned and all-around updated 2017 Elantra, a brand-spankin’-new Honda Civic bolted out from a side street, led me for a short while, then put the hammer down before it took off into the distance.

Up ’till that moment, the electric blue Elantra tester (in option-heavy Limited form) had proven itself a comfortable, roomy, good-handling compact by soaking up the worst potholes, frost heaves and patches that early spring could throw at it. But here, all of a sudden, was its main competitor — the award-winning Civic, the car to beat in the compact class — and I could almost feel the worry emerge from the Korean plastic and steel that encased me.

No car exists in a vacuum (thank you, capitalism!), so the Elantra’s mandate can’t simply be to improve on its own past — it must present a compelling argument against the Civic. Is it up to the task?

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LA 2015: Hyundai Goes Further With 2017 Elantra

Shortly after the debut of its Avante brother in South Korea, the Elantra was revealed for the first time in North America last week at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Going into its sixth generation, the Elantra looks offer even more in its class with the addition of new safety kit and technology that makes even class-above vehicles blush.

But, even though the new Elantra is much improved over the outgoing model in almost every conceivable way, it’s hard not to think it looks a bit, well, familiar.

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