2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Sedan Revealed With Estimated 50 MPG
Look out, Honda Insight and Toyota Corolla Hybrid, because there’s a new hybrid compact sedan in town. The 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid marries its equally new, gas-powered sibling’s svelte looks with a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain incorporating a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a 1.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
Yes, we know this model is geared toward fuel economy, but let’s start off with the Elantra Hybrid’s power, shall we? The hybrid setup produces 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, which are sent to the sedan’s front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (rather than the more common-for-hybrids continuously variable automatic type). Compared to the standard Elantra’s 2.0-liter inline-four, the Elantra Hybrid is down 8 horses but up 63 lb-ft of twist, the latter of which is surely the result of the electric motor’s plentiful low-end grunt.
An electric-only driving mode allows Elantra Hybrid drivers to take advantage of the motor’s power without burning any fuel. That said, the relatively small capacity of the model’s battery pack, which lives under the car’s rear seat, surely makes its electric-range decidedly limited. Those in search of greater emissions-free driving range from a compact Hyundai gasoline-electric hybrid model can always take a look at the Ioniq PHEV and its 8.9-kWh battery pack that offers an EPA-rated 29 miles of driving range before firing up its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine.
Consumers looking to flaunt their fuel-conserving credentials may also want to pass on the Elantra Hybrid, which looks nearly identical to that of the gas-powered model. That said, the trend among compact hybrids these days is to avoid Prius-like visual weirdness in favor of normal, almost under-the-radar styling—look no further than the Elantra’s key competitors, the conventional-looking Honda Insight and Toyota Corolla hybrids. We also appreciate that Hyundai chose not to futz with the Elantra’s striking exterior design much, given how snappy the regular Elantra’s styling is. It seems the Elantra Hybrid’s interior is much the same as the standard Elantra’s, too (also good), and the model appears to incorporate minute differences, such as power-flow graphics within the central infotainment screen and gauge cluster.
Although the EPA has yet to release fuel economy figures for the model, Hyundai estimates the Hybrid will achieve a combined fuel economy rating of 50 mpg when it goes on sale later this year. Expect the South Korean automaker to price the model near its Honda and Toyota competitors, which start at $23,885 and $24,055, respectively.
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