It‘s hard not to love Hyundai and what they have done with the 2017 Elantra Value Edition.

Already recognized for delivering top-notch quality and a bevy of safety and technology features at an amazing price point, the company has taken it one step further by creating a new trim level that adds even more bells and whistles to the Elantra’s list of standard features, while keeping the sticker price well below that of its top-of-the-line Limited model. Blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, 7-inch touch screen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, power sunroof, heated seats, LED running lights and hands-free trunk release are just some of the items which are typically found in costly option packages but are included in the Elantra Value Edition’s incredibly modest $21,365 price tag.

It is basically like buying an Elantra with Hyundai’s optional Popular Equipment and Tech packages and getting lane-change assist, power driver’s seat with lumbar support and the power sunroof (a $1,215 value) for free.

Of course, all of the free options in the world mean nothing if the car isn‘t economical, well-designed and fun to drive. The 2017 Elantra Value Edition gets high marks across the board.

The Elantra’s 2.0-liter engine generates 147 horsepower and gets impressive EPA fuel economy ratings of 37 m.p.g. highway, 28 city and 32 combined driving. Adding to the car’s cost-saving cache is America’s best warranty: five years/60,000-miles overall, 10 years/100,000-miles on the powertrain and five years/unlimited miles of roadside assistance.

I have always been a fan of Hyundai’s approach to design. They establish a clear visual philosophy and apply it consistently across their entire product line. The 2017 Elantra’s exterior reflects the automaker’s company-wide evolution from the swooping, flowing lines of their Fluidic Sculpture language, introduced in 2009, to Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, which is marked by a more sophisticated and understated look. The large trapezoid-shaped grille is the focal point and gives the car a commanding presence.

On the road is where the new Elantra really shines. Thanks to the aforementioned 2.0-liter engine and very responsive 6-speed automatic transmission, the Elantra has surprisingly good acceleration, making it fun to drive, both on the freeway and on city streets. 

I was also impressed the lack of road and wind noise in the cabin. This is no accident, as Hyundai has made improvements such as the use of adhesives and a higher percentage of high-strength steel in the chassis, creating a subframe to isolate the the front suspension and using denser carpet foam and thicker door glass, all aimed at making the interior of the 2017 Elantra quieter.

The 2017 Elantra is an affordable, handsome, exciting compact sedan that is packed with the latest safety and technology features. With the introduction of the Value Edition, Hyundai has found a way to throw in a few extras at no additional cost.

You gotta love that.

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