For those of you who write in every week bemoaning the fact that all we seem to do around here is test incredibly expensive cars and EVs that only the very well to do can afford, this one’s for you. It’s a commuter and budget friendly mainstay from Hyundai, the compact Elantra sedan. And, it has been nicely updated for 2024.

We clearly do enjoy driving high-performance machines and ultra-luxury rides around here, but like most of you, when it comes time to drive home at the end of a long workday, we do so in something much more practical and affordable, like this 2024 Hyundai Elantra sedan.

If you’re thinking the front end has gotten more aggressive, you’re right. Hyundai calls it a “Shark Nose” theme, and we’re guessing they were thinking more Great White than Hammerhead, though Megamouth shark would also apply. It helps for a low and wide look; more substantial than the typical compact. Other additions for ’24 include slimmer daytime running lights, revised stainless steel Hyundai emblem, reshaped front fenders, sport sedan-style rear diffuser with silver trim; a parametric pattern added to the C-Pillar, and new LED taillights that take up a lot more space on the highly sculpted decklid. Plus, new wheel designs in sizes ranging from 15- to 18-inches.

Standard engine in SE, SEL, and Limited grades is this naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I4 with 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. Even with no hybrid assistance, it gets substantial Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 31 City, 40 Highway, and 34 Combined; we averaged a great 38.6 mpg of Regular.

Those high fuel economy numbers mean acceleration times are pretty high as well. It was in no particular hurry to get off the line at our test track, as after a slight jolt of power, it felt pretty sluggish going down the track, taking us a lengthy 9.4 seconds to hit 60 mph. Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission has some realistic simulated gear shifts built in, and they not only provided the feel of a true automatic, but kept engine noise from becoming overbearing. And while this 2.0-liter may not be a house-on-fire off the line, it has no problem keeping up with traffic, and feels like just the perfect amount of power for a practical and safe commuter car.

There are other engine options too. Two choices if you want to go faster, a 1.6-liter turbo with 201 horsepower in the Elantra N Line, and a 276-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter for the Elantra N; plus, one with even better fuel economy, a 1.6-liter hybrid with a 139 horsepower total output.

And despite some significant understeer, there was good feel through the cones of our handling course, both in steering and chassis feedback. We wouldn’t quite call it “point and shoot,” but it responded to inputs fairly quickly, with only moderate body roll. All-in-all, when it comes to performance, it doesn’t claim to bring a whole lot to the table, but does clearly overachieve with what it does bring.

And Hyundai is always overachieving when it comes to packing in features, yet has found a way of keeping things refreshingly simple with a good mix of touchscreen and manual controls. Lots of space too, both up front in the surprisingly wide front buckets, and in the rear bench with ample room for three. Updates for all Elantra interiors include softer materials on the door panels, upgraded instrumentation and additional charging ports, plus a surround view monitor and new H-Tex simulated leather for Limited trim.

Elantra pricing starts with an SE at $22,775, the SEL comes in at $24,725, Limited begins at $28,215, and the sporty N Line starts at $29,615. If you’re interested in the hybrid, base Blue starts at $27,400 with Limited at $30,600.

Some might say there’s not a whole lot that’s earth shaking about the 2024 Hyundai Elantra, but that’s mostly why we like it so much. When it comes to just delivering good, basic transportation with a high dose of unexpected amenities, Hyundai delivers once again.


  • Engine: 2.0-liter I4
  • Horsepower: 147
  • 0-60 mph: 9.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 111 ft (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 38.6 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: IVT
  • Torque: 132 lb-ft
  • 1/4 Mile: N/A (Track Maintenance)
  • EPA: 31 City / 40 Highway / 34 Combined