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
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
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.
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.
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