Cool Design: 2020 Hyundai Elantra Sport (Review)

The Elantra Sport is one of six trims with the 2020 Elantra sedan.

The Hyundai Elantra is a compact, front-wheel-drive car, with room for five. It is available in sedan and hatchback body styles, the latter is also offered in N Line trim.

We reviewed the Elantra GT N Line recently, which is the sportiest version of the hatchback. You won’t find that trim on the sedan, but you will find the same engine on the model known as the Elantra Sport. That’s precisely the model Hyundai offered us recently for testing and thus will remain the focal point for our review.

2020 Hyundai Elantra Sport Review

Styling Chops

Compact on the outside, the Elantra is especially roomy inside. It is the sportiest of six trims offered.

One of the first things I noticed about the Elantra Sport wasn’t its sporty front fascia, curvy lines, or handsome lighting elements. Each plays an important factor in its overall appearance, but they’re not the most evocative.

Instead, it was the wheels. Indeed, the alloy material is one thing, but the pentagram design is a statement maker. In other words, it takes an otherwise ordinary design and makes it look extraordinary.

Inside, Hyundai enhances the Elantra’s style with red elements, which match the hands on the analog dials. Red stitching on the seats, the steering wheel, and shifter cover are sporty touches we like.

The requisite metal pedals simply maintain that verve. Standard features include a flat-bottom steering wheel, heated front seats, full power accessories, and leather trim. Most certainly, sportiness meets refinement in the Elantra Sport.

Sufficiently padded front bucket seats with just the right amount of bolstering are up front. The rear split fold-down bench seat is quite comfortable and suitable for three. That’s not something many of the Elantra’s competitors can claim.

The trunk measures 14.4 cubic feet, which is average for the segment. Folding down part or all of the rear seat supplies more space, which we found the ideal for toting home a pair of new fishing rods we had just purchased.

See Also – Efficient Hatchback: 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Technology & Safety

The cabin is comfortable front and back. The Elantra Sport’s instrument panel is easy to read and includes digital and analog displays.

While the standard 7-inch touch-screen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility is certainly enough, opting for the $2,050 Premium Package makes for a tantalizing upgrade. With it, you get an 8-inch screen, navigation, an 8-speaker Infinity audio package, BlueLink connected services, and HomeLink.

Even if you don’t make the upgrade, Hyundai equips the Sport with Bluetooth, two USB ports, satellite radio, and HD Radio.

Hyundai brings forth many safety features to the Elantra Sport. Beyond the rear-vision camera with dynamic guidelines, you’ll find blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic collision warning, forward collision avoidance, and lane-keeping assist.

The only feature missing is adaptive cruise control with full stop and go. That’s available as part of an Ultimate Package upgrade with the Limited trim only. We look forward to when Hyundai makes this system widely available across the entire model line just as Toyota does with the Corolla.


Hyundai could have easily left well enough alone by offering the Elantra sedan with one or two naturally aspirated engines, which is the direction some of its competitors take.

But they added a third engine choice, a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder banger with 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Here, customers have a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Our test model included the latter.

Although we cannot gauge the manual transmission, the dual-clutch gets the job done. The engine is at all times willing, delivering ample step-off acceleration and passing power. Under hard acceleration, it acquits itself, by delivering the right cog for the moment.

Previous iterations of the transmission were wonky, according to some reports, but we had no qualms. Paddle shifters allow for special “hands-on” engagement. You also have drive mode select, which supplies movement between normal, eco, and sport modes.

When operated in sport mode, everything is optimized: engine response, shift points, and suspension tuning.

And it is the suspension which plays a pivotal role in overall performance and handling. New to this model beginning in 2019 is a multi-link rear suspension, which enhances stability and is especially notable when cornering.

Hyundai improved the front and rear springs by making both stiffer and also upgraded damping, which reduces body roll significantly.

Does this mean the little Hyundai is free of understeer? No, absolutely not. At the same time, it isn’t an annoyance. In fact, it adds a measure of fun when tackling twisty roads — you’ll soon see how adept you are with handling the steering wheel as you leave curves and pull out of corners.

Elantra Sport Considerations

I must admit my bias to all things Elantra GT. I like the overall styling better as well as the available utility the hatchback affords. That said, the sedan is certainly workable if you need some extra space with the rear seat folded.

It’ll be interesting to follow what Hyundai does with the Elantra sedan, especially as “N Line” goodness comes to the GT. The potential is there and shoppers disappointed by the loss of the Ford Focus and Mitsubishi Lancer may very well be enticed by an enhanced model.

Add in available all-wheel drive and the Elantra name would soon transcend its current boundary.

See Also – The Head-Turning, Attention-Getting Hyundai Palisade

2020 Hyundai Elantra Sport Specifications

Hyundai 2020 Elantra Sport  
Segment Compact Sedan
Price $23,800 (Sport)
Destination Charge $930
Standard Engine 1.6-liter, turbo I4
Horsepower 201 @ 6,000
Torque (lb.-ft.) 195 @ 1,500~4,500
Transmission 6-speed manual; 7-speed DCT
Seating 5
Curb Weight (pounds) 3,131 to 3,153
Wheelbase (inches) 106.3
Length (inches) 181.9
Width (inches) 70.9
Height (inches) 56.5
Headroom (f,r…inches) 40.3; 37.3
Legroom (f,r…inches) 42.2; 35.7
Shoulder room (f,r…inches) 56.2; 55.3
Hip room (f,r…inches) 53.4; 51.9
Storage (cubic feet) 14.4
Gross vehicle weight (pounds) 4,057
Towing (pounds) NR
Payload (pounds) 904
Fuel Regular
Fuel Tank (gallons) 14.0
EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined) 26/33/29
Manufacturing Plant Montgomery, Alabama

Data compiled by Tom Keegan. Specifications supplied by the manufacturer. Photos copyright Auto Trends Magazine. All rights reserved.

See Also – Highlights of the 2020 Hyundai Accent

Matthew Keegan

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