Inside the news is even better, as the ride in the Elantra Eco was comfortable, plus roomy both in front and back. That’s not true for all compact sedans, especially in regard to the back seat. The materials in the Elantra Eco are not fancy, but the price is low so that's not a surprise. For what you’re paying, they’re about what you would expect. You do get a couple nice touches included -- a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, plus heated front seats.
The Elantra Eco featured a decent size trunk, with the rear seats folding down to increase storage space. There are also well-designed and easy-to-use controls on both the steering wheel and center console.
The powerplant on the Elantra Eco is a 1.4-liter, turbo 4 cylinder engine; paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission. Numbers are 128 horsepower and 156 lb.-ft. of torque, and the vehicle is front-wheel drive.
While I would not be able to call the ride in the Elantra Eco thrilling or exciting, it did come across as more enjoyable than most of the hybrid or electric vehicles I have tested. Overall, I would say it drives impressively when compared to other gas-powered compact sedans, and gets you moving better than I expected, especially when you choose to engage Sport Mode.
It’s not a driver-focused car, but it’s also not a turtle like so many eco-friendly vehicles tend to be.
In the center of the Elantra Eco, you’ll find a 7-inch display audio system featuring AM/FM/HD Radio and a six-speaker system. Satellite radio is offered with a 90-day free trial (and I would recommend keeping it). The Elantra Eco is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible, and also offers Bluetooth connection for streaming audio plus USB connections.
You also get some impressive safety features offered, including:
-- Electronic stability control with traction control
-- Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
-- Blind Spot detection with rear cross traffic alert
-- Anti-lock brakes with brake assist
This amount of advanced safety features is more than you’ll find included on most small vehicles in this price range.
On the government testing topic, the Elantra Eco gets mostly four star safety ratings (out of five) and one five-star rating. These are pretty good ratings for a smaller vehicle.
The official fuel mileage numbers on the Hyundai Elantra Eco are 32 city/40 highway/35 combined. I averaged about 37, so the numbers looked accurate to me.
Compared to its main competitors in the compact sedan segment (Honda Civic, Mazda3, Kia Forte, Toyota Corolla, Chevy Sonic), the Elantra beats everyone except the Civic, and it only loses that battle by one mile per hour. And I must say that between the two vehicles, I prefer the overall package Hyundai’s Elantra offers over the Honda Civic.
The Elantra Eco I tested came in about $21.5K; and the base price is just over $20K. But the good news is that Hyundai offers aggressive incentives that can push the final price of an Elantra Eco down close to $18K. Even more impressive is the base price on the non-Eco Elantra, which after incentives comes to less than $15K. It’s to find any vehicles in that price range these days.
Still, I would go with the Eco trim level. While it’s a few thousand more up front, it makes up for it on the fuel mileage savings over the long haul.
Warranties are another strong point of the Hyundai lineup. You get a 60K mile new vehicle warranty; a 100K mile powertrain warranty; and five years of roadside assistance.
If you're seeking a compact sedan with impressive fuel mileage, a roomy back seat and strong tech features, the 2018 Hyundai Elantra Eco will suit you just fine.