- - Friday, August 15, 2014

For Hyundai lovers, the 2014 Hyundai Elantra has a number of changes that include a bit of a facelift as well as a sportier trim level added with sport-tuned suspension. There are also some impressive new techno options included.

As usual this compact sedan gives you a big bang for the buck like all Hyundai’s tend to do, but better still is the long warranty coverage attached to the brand.

Competition for the 2014 Hyundai Elantra includes the 2014 Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and the Honda Civic, all worthy adversaries, but Hyundai keeps up with the pack running alongside these other sedans front and center.

Available in three trims, the Elantra offers the SE, Limited and Sport to choose from depending on your needs. The standard SE has 15-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, power accessories, cruise control, tilt-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seats and audio components like six speakers and a CD player, satellite radio and USB/iPod interface.

On the SE, you can also choose the optional preferred package adding 16-inch wheels, automatic headlights, and audio connect with voice controls, a touchscreen audio interface, rearview camera and heated front seats.

On the higher end Limited, it’s all the Preferred Package goodies standard and additional 17-inch wheels, fog lights, LED accent and taillights, turn signal on the mirrors, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, heated rear seats and Blue Link.

The Sport trim includes most of the features from the Limited trim with the exception of heated rear seats and Blue Link, but add to this trim the more powerful engine, a sunroof and keyless ignition/entry.

For extra packages, the Limited trim can be had with a technology package that will include a keyless entry/ignition, a seven-inch touchscreen, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system and a bigger and better audio system.

Under the hood the 2014 Hyundai Elantra SE and Limited offer the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine cranking out 145 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. While the six-speed manual is the standard, except on the Limited, which is automatic only, the other two trims can also be had with a six-speed automatic as well.

The safety features on the 2014 Hyundai Elantra include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, hill-start assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags and the optional add-on goodies like a rearview camera for the SE trim, but on the Limited and Sport a standard feature. There is also the Blue Link emergency system on the Limited and this will give you remote access, emergency assistance and theft recovery.

The 2014 Hyundai Elantra offers a smooth ride and inside it couldn’t be more comfortable with a chic design and well placed knobs and dials along with a center stack that fits into the design without overpowering it. The elements throughout integrate sturdy plastic and the Limited luxury feel will appeal to the driver looking for style, comfort and higher-end technological options. The touchscreen is 4.3-inches as the norm and creates an environment of ease in driving since everything is at your fingertips as needed.

Roomy too, the new Elantra styling gives headroom top consideration for the driver and passenger, in the back seat it is a bit more limited, but legroom gets high marks even if headroom in the back is a bit more of a challenge for the taller passenger.

The trunk space is well appointed at 14.8 cubic feet and there is a 60/40-split for even more space to haul.

Of course, the real impression comes from behind the wheel and in this the 2014 Hyundai Elantra will not disappoint. The Sport trim addition just took the entire Elantra family up a notch after all, and the quieter ride in the 2014 coupled with an overall ease of driving puts this new upgraded Elantra design at the front of the class when it comes to driving around town or heading on a road trip holiday.

Should You Need to Know: The 2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited made it from zero to 60 in 9.7 seconds, not the quickest off the starting line, but luxurious either way.

MPG: The 2014 Hyundai Elantra I drove came in with a combined miles per gallon of 31, 27 in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

Cost: The 2014 Hyundai Elantra I drove had a price tag of $25,335 with the technology package added.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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