2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport

Episode 3712
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Call us skeptics all you want, but whenever a carmaker tacks the word “sport” onto an existing model, we instantly look for reasons to cry foul. And when it comes to Hyundai, well they haven’t really delivered too much in the way of “sporty” goods lately. Well, let’s see if that changes with a new Elantra sport.

When we last left the 2017 Hyundai Elantra, we predicted its increased refinement and competency would do wonders to help it become increasingly competitive against more established rivals from Honda and Toyota. 

Well that has indeed been the case, so adding a Sport version into the mix, should only help the cause even more. Right?

And, hiring a BMW M engineering veteran to help put an all new multi-link suspension under the rear of this sedan is certainly a good way to start. The Elantra Sport’s new setup really makes it feel well-balanced and nimble; yet there’s no harshness to it, as overall ride quality remains quite good. 

Front and rear spring rates are increased, thicker stabilizer bars are in place, and standard wheels are 18s. The total result is nicely solid grip through the cones. It stayed surprisingly flat as well, with enough steering feel to bring a smile or two to our faces. So, yea!

Hyundai’s 1.6-liter I4 turbo deals out the power; with horsepower at 201; torque, at 195 lb-ft. And there’s even a 6-speed manual transmission standard. A 7-speed DCT is available.

With the manual, we launched the Sport to 60 in 7.0-seconds flat; two seconds quicker than our last Elantra sedan test. Engine noise is, however, fairly pronounced; making us wish the more pleasing notes coming from the exhaust were louder. 

We love the manual tranny. Shifter throws might be a little long for some, but come on, this is not a high-dollar performance car; just enjoy the fact that you get to have some interaction with a car for a change. 

The ¼-mile was almost two seconds quicker too, at 15.6-seconds at 92 miles-per-hour. Quite a difference; and combined with the handling attributes, we think Hyundai has done more than enough to earn the Sport moniker. 

The exterior gets an upgrade as well, with a more aggressive body kit; featuring a new front fascia with a black grille and unique lighting, sill extensions down the sides, and dual chrome exhaust tips for the diffuser-style rear fascia. 

Inside, there are sport seats with more bolstering and red stitching, as well as a new flat-bottom steering wheel. The logical layout is familiar Hyundai, and there even seems to be some shared switchgear with Kia. 

But that’s not all that’s new on the Elantra home front however, as 2018 brings a new Elantra GT hatchback.

As before, this Elantra is based on the European Hyundai i30. So it’s actually quite different than the sedan; especially inside where you’ll find a whole new dash and control layout, one that we’re quite fond of.

"This Hyundai Elantra GT represents the brand’s latest thinking about small cars, and is clearly aimed at those that might want a small utility vehicle instead. You sit rather high and the boxy hatchback rear end means plenty of cargo versatility. I like the fact the tablet-style media interface uses not only a touchscreen but there’s plenty of knobs and switches to control it. So, it’s not only modern it’s smart."

That SUV-style cargo volume measures 24.9 cubic-ft. seats up, 55.1 with rear seat backs folded. The downside, rear seat leg room that isn’t as generous as the sedan. 

Power for the Elantra GT comes from a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter I4 with 161-horsepwer and 150 lb-ft. of torque, though a GT Sport model, with the 1.6-turbo is available as well.  

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 2.0-liter Elantra GT automatic are 24-City, 32-Highway, and 27-Combined. For the Elantra Sport manual, they’re 22-City, 30-Highway, and 25-Combined. 

Still, that’s only an average Energy Impact Score with use of 13.2-barrels of oil annually with CO2 emissions of 5.9-tons. 

Elantra Sport pricing starts very sensibly, at $22,485; $4,500 over the much less entertaining base SE model.  Elantra GTs begin at $20,235. 

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport may fall short of performance-only machines like the Focus ST or Impreza WRX, but it’s certainly a bigger step in that direction than they’ve previously made. So, it offers a quite rewarding driving experience without compromising daily family car livability. As for the 2018 Elantra GT; it offers a sporty alternative to small front-drive crossovers; making a great case for the compact hatchback. 

So, as we see it, the latest Elantra, in all its forms, is indeed more competitive, and now more entertaining, than it’s ever been. 


  • Engine: 1.6 liter
  • Horsepower: 201
  • Torque: 195 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 15.6 seconds @ 92 mph
  • EPA: 22 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 13.2 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 5.9 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7 Driving

2023 BMW X7

Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.

When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.

There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…

…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.

2023 BMW X7 Interior Dashboard

Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.

The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.

At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!

New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.

In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.

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Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.

There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.

Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.

It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.


  • Engine: I-6
  • Horsepower: 375
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
  • EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined