2017 Hyundai Elantra in Evansville, Indiana

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is the hottest new thing in the automotive industry. With a starting price of $17,985, it enters the market as the second-cheapest compact sedan in the United States-not bad for a vehicle that, as we'll see, offers a combination of style, performance, quality, and efficiency that its competitors struggle to match.

Its design is superb, there's no denying that. Its pointed, somewhat angular noise, modern Hyundai grille, and aggressive headlights are instant eye-catchers that guide your look toward its sleek profile and low stance.

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Under the hood is a 2.0-liter Atkinson four-cylinder that produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, tuned just right to deliver maximum power in the RPM range you're most likely to find yourself in. Just because it's fun to drive doesn't mean you should be emptying your pockets at the pump, though, which is where the Elantra's EPA-estimated 38 MPG on the highway comes in handy.

Inside, you'll find lots of standard features like smartphone and USB compatibility, auxiliary input jacks, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Opting for higher trim levels or some of the available packages-including Popular Equipment, Tech, and Ultimate-unlock features you might expect to see in entry-level luxury vehicles, such as a 7-inch Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, a rearview camera, heated front seats, and blind spot detection.

Speaking of safety, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra is no slouch in that category, either. In addition to seven airbags and side-impact beams, the Elantra offers numerous active safety features like Automatic Emergency Braking with segment-first Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, and more. 

The 2016 model earned the highest five-star overall score for vehicle safety in government crash testing and we expect the 2017 model to do the same.