2017 Hyundai Elantra
When we last left the Hyundai Elantra, its styling may have impressed us; but when it came to road manners, we thought it was more of a step back in time for this fastly progressing brand. Well, Hyundai certainly hasn’t gotten to where they are today by ending with a cliff hanger. Well, now there’s a new gen Elantra for ’17. So let’s tune in, and find out what happens next.
The Hyundai Elantra sedan has had its ups and downs since going on sale here in the early 90s. And despite our misgivings over the last generation, sales have skyrocketed of late to well over 200,000-units per year. Sounds like a lot, but that’s about 100,000 less than either the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. So needless to say, Hyundai is eager to boost their sales further with this 6th-generation 2017 4-door.
Styling is perhaps not as daring as last gen, but it’s still a compact looker and fully in line with larger 4-door stablemates, Sonata and Genesis. Especially up front, where it now shares their larger grille and available signature DRLs.
Same basic platform as before, but it’s had a complete onceover; with a stiffer structure, progressively more isolated suspension, and a modest increase in overall size.
It’s 1.0-inch wider; and just shy of an inch longer, though wheelbase remains the same. 17-inch alloy wheels come with Limited trim, base SEs are equipped with 15-inch “steelies”.
Most appreciably, things are a lot quieter inside, thanks to thicker glass and additional sound deadening materials.
Helping too is a new, standard 2.0-liter I4 that’s a bit more powerful than the previous gen’s 1.8-liter; at 147-horsepower and 132 lb-ft. of torque.
It’s smoother, quieter operation is readily apparent at cruising speeds. A 6-speed manual transmission is available, but only in base SE trim. A 6-speed automatic is fitted to our Limited tester.
A 128-horsepower 1.4-liter I4-powered Eco model is also available for maximum efficiency, up to 40-highway; though truth be told, the 2.0-liter is not bad in that regard either.
2.0 Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 28-City, 37-Highway, and 32-Combined. We averaged a very good 35.6 miles-per-gallon of Regular. Thus the Energy Impact Score is a good one at 10.3-barrels of oil used annually with C02 emissions of 4.7-tons.
Front seats are plenty wide and offer above average for its class comfort. Likewise in the rear, there’s adult-size room and adequate coziness.
Trunk space is fine at 14.4 cubic-ft., but it’s cheaply finished and the deck lid feels very flimsy. However, we liked the hand-free opening smart trunk.
Limited trim delivers a display audio system with 7-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android auto. Adding the Tech package ups it to 8-inches and adds navigation and Infinity premium audio, as well as heated seats.
Gauges are clean and simple with a 4-inch color TFT info display. The interior has definitely moved upscale in appearance, with the Ultimate package adding seat memory plus the latest in safety including blind spot detection, cross traffic alert, and even emergency braking.
Useful room is up too, so like Civic and Corolla, the Elantra is now classified as midsize by the government.
But middling is how we found full-throttle acceleration, taking 9.3-seconds to hit 60 miles-per-hour with lots of 4-cylinder wail. But, acceleration does remain steady; thanks to minimal lag between shifts. So the Elantra feels faster than the numbers; which were 17.3 in the ¼ at 83 miles-per-hour.
Things certainly have improved in the handling department. There is plenty of grip at a moderate pace; and a playful amount of understeer when pushed harder. The car reacts quickly to steering inputs; and a nicely responsive throttle enabled us to easily keep it right on the edge, inspiring confidence as speeds increased.
Brakes were another pleasant surprise. Panic stops from 60 took a good 123–feet with minimal fade; along with a nicely firm, short travel pedal.
So with all of the improvements, the Elantra’s value proposition is also stronger than ever, as base SE pricing is actually reduced by 90-bucks to $17,985. Limited trim starts at $23,185.
Far more competent, more refined, and more consistent with Hyundai’s increasingly upscale ambitions; plus an outstanding warranty; all things that help make the 2017 Hyundai Elantra a vehicle worthy of your compact consideration. One that might finally be ready to give Corolla and Civic a real run for your money.
- Engine: 2.0 liter I4
- Horsepower: 147
- Torque: 132 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 9.3 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 17.3 seconds @ 83 mph
- EPA: 28 mpg city / 37 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 10.3 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 4.7 tons/yr
- Transmission: 6 spd auto
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT
It’s An SUV On A Track, Deal With It
When we started testing cars 43-years ago, hot rod SUVs like this Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT were not on our radar. Back in those days, utility vehicles were trucks and Porsches were cars. But times have changed, and the only place to make sense of it all is at a racetrack, so hop in and join us for some high-performance haulin’.
Now, most would say the high-performance SUV is a relatively new phenomenon, but we’ve been testing them for over 30-years now, going back to the GMC Typhoon. If you don’t remember that one, we’d suggest Googling it, purely for the nostalgia of it, as this 2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT is on a totally different level.
This SUV is an SUV in shape only, as a lot of its hardware as well as the driving experience are much more akin to a pure sports car… ah la the 911.
Starting with the Coupe version of Porsche’s largest SUV, which benefits from a mid-cycle styling refresh for ’24, the Turbo GT adds a carbon-fiber roof, big wing with side planes, rear diffuser, and a sport exhaust system with titanium tailpipes.
Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control is also included, making body-roll almost non-existent; and with the help of a new two-valve air suspension setup it was all traction all the time through the high-speed turns of Savannah’s Roebling Road Raceway. Though unlike last gen, if you’re aggressive enough with the throttle, you can get the rear to step out on you a little. Rear-axle steering is also included and the best praise we could heap on steering feel and feedback through corners is that it feels like a Porsche.
Tires are also wider than before: 315/35 Pirelli P Zeros in back, mounted on 22-inch GT Design wheels. The brakes behind are comprised of enormous carbon-ceramic composite discs with monster yellow calipers…
…and they truly were impressive on track, hauling this 5,000-pound, luxury-minded performance utility down from triple-digit speeds lap after lap without wavering.
This SUV is an SUV in shape only, as a lot of its hardware as well as the driving experience are much more akin to a pure sports car... ah la the 911.
Equally impressive is the powerplant that initiates those high speeds, Porsche’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 which cranks out 19 horsepower over last year for a total of 650; torque output remains the same, at 626 lb-ft. All-wheel drive is standard, as is an 8-speed automatic trans, which helps the Turbo GT get up to speed in a hurry; 3.1-seconds to 60, to be exact. That’s a couple of tenths slower than the first-gen Turbo GT we tested 2 years ago, but we’ll chalk that up to testing that one on a well-prepped drag strip versus this trip down Roebling Road’s slippery front straightaway on a 40-degree day. And it gained time back quickly, as our 11.3-second quarter-mile time was only a tenth slower, finishing at 124 mph.
Other notable changes for ’24 include a new dash and control layout for the interior. The highlight is a new 12.6-inch curved digital gauge display; it’s joined by a central touchscreen that sits higher up and is nestled into the dash more than before.
No more actual shifter in the console, as it’s been replaced with Porsche’s toggle switch gear sector which resides on the dash to the left of the touchscreen. That means a new console layout with additional storage space and new controls. While none of that helps lower lap times, it all provides a much more useful and better overall environment than before, for that time spent behind the wheel commuting or just sitting in traffic.
Front and rear seats are comfortable yet sporty feeling; and while it does do a lot of SUV-like things pretty well, the coupe body shape does limit rear cargo capacity to 20.3 cubic feet, expanding to 52.4 with rear seatbacks folded; and the central-mounted exhaust does negate adding a tow hitch.
No matter how you look at it, the Cayenne Turbo GT is an insane vehicle, but it also comes with an insane price tag, starting at $197,950. So essentially, that’s six-figures worth of high-performance hardware jammed into an already impressively capable standard Cayenne… an SUV made much better with comprehensive updates front to back for all ’24 Porsche Cayennes.
It easily remains the standard bearer for luxury-minded utility vehicles, evidenced by recently earning our Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Luxury Utility. But it’s this 2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT that really impresses the most as the ultimate track-focused SUV money can buy. You may not need it, but you know you want it!
- Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8
- Horsepower: 650
- 0-60 mph: 3.1-seconds
- Starting Price: $197,950
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 625 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 11.3-seconds at 124 mph