Kia Forte, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic
Looks like: Not much different than the current Elantra, now with more LEDs
Drivetrain: Carryover 145-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder (Elantra SE and Limited sedan); new 173-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder (Elantra Sport, GT and coupe).
Hits dealerships: February 2014
Hyundai's highly popular Elantra trio (sedan, coupe and GT hatchback) is getting a mild update for 2014, and the automaker chose the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show to show off the production versions.
All three models get a slight appearance massage, a new engine option and some updated audio units, while the sedan has its trim levels shuffled a bit, adding a new Sport model and replacing the GLS with the SE trim.
The most extensive changes come on the Elantra sedan, and include new front and rear bumpers, headlights, taillights, fog lights and a bit of chrome along the sedan's beltline. The new headlights in particular are quite striking - projector beams for the sedan that also include LED light-pipe technology that looks like something seen on a concept car just a few years ago. LED taillights out back are new, with the overall effect of classing up the Elantra a bit. Steel wheels are gone, with the Elantra now only offering alloy wheels across the board in 15, 16 or 17-inch variants.
The only changes to the coupe are new head and taillights, while the GT receives only new taillights.
Inside, not much has changed for 2014. New audio systems are available with revised head units and screens, and a backup camera display is now standard in the midgrade and navigation audio systems. One new color is added for the Elantra sedan, a two-tone black-and-beige package.
On the electronics front, Hyundai's Blue Link multimedia service is now available in the Elantra lineup as part of the premium Technology Package. It will include three years of Hyundai Assurance Connected Care, which includes remote services like automatic collision notification, roadside assistance, automatic diagnostic trouble code notification, a monthly vehicle health report and in-vehicle car care maintenance scheduling.
Under the Hood
Hyundai has updated the Elantra's powertrain, adding a new 173-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to the mix. The Elantra sedan retains the 145-hp, 1.8-liter motor, while the Elantra coupe, GT hatchback and new Sport trim sedan get the more powerful 2.0-liter motor. Hyundai says that the extra power and refigured torque curve lop nearly 1.8 seconds off the zero-to-60 time for the sedan, dropping it from 10.8 seconds to 9.0 seconds. While not neck-snapping performance, it should certainly be noticeable. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on the Elantra coupe and sedan, while the GT offers a six-speed manual transmission as well.
The Sport model for the sedan is particularly interesting. While the SE and Limited trims get optional electrically adjustable steering effort, only one tune is available on the Sport. It also comes with a thicker front stabilizer bar and softer springs but stiffer shock absorbers for sportier handling. Those optional suspension changes on the sedan become standard on the coupe, but the GT is unchanged, still offering the selectable mode steering and carry-over suspension.
Elantra's safety systems are largely unchanged for the 2014 update, with the sole addition of a blind spot mirror.
No updated pricing has been announced for the Elantra lineup, but the first model (the sedan) will appear in dealers around February 2014, according to the company, with the updated coupe and GT to follow shortly thereafter.