You might think that the compact class of cars is a dying segment, but one look at the newly redesigned 2021 Hyundai Elantra will show that it’s alive and well. The updated Elantra now sports a sharp, edgy look on the outside and a sophisticated and grown-up look on the inside, in addition to a bevy of tech-savvy features. And if you’re in the market for an Elantra, then you might be wondering which trim level could give you the best value. Let’s take a closer look.
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra comes in four different trim levels
For the 2021 model year, you can pick from either the gasoline-only Hyundai Elantra or the Elantra Hybrid. If you’re really into saving fuel, then we would tell you to go for the latter. However, most buyers will likely pick the gas-only version, so we’ll concentrate on that one.
For starters, the 2021 Elantra comes in four different trims levels: SE, SEL, N Line, and Limited. To get things out of the way, if you’re looking for more power, then the Elantra N Line is what you want considering it comes with a 201-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter engine. But if you don’t care too much about eager acceleration or 0-60 mph times, the other trim levels come with an adequate 147-hp, 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine.
The Hyundai Elantra comes well-equipped and capitalizes on luxury
Every 2021 Hyundai Elantra comes standard with Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatibility in addition to Hyundai’s SmartSense suite of driver-assist features. An 8-inch color display, Bluetooth, and HD radio are standard on the lower trims, while the top-trim Limited comes with a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Stepping up to the SEL from the SE gives you a proximity key with a push-button start, 16-inch wheels, and a remote trunk release. While opting for the highest-trim Limited will open a more luxurious in-cabin experience thanks to leather seating surfaces, a 10.25-inch instrument panel, and heated seats.
The Elantra N Line is reserved for the sport-minded drivers
But if you don’t care too much about driving a luxurious compact car, then the Elantra N Line might be more your speed. In addition to the aforementioned turbocharged engine, the Elantra N Line can be equipped with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and is outfitted with a tighter multi-link independent rear sport suspension, larger brakes, and stiffer engine mounts.
Car and Driver were able to scoot the Elantra N Line from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds and down the quarter-mile in 14.5 seconds. That’s pretty quick for a solid commuter car.
Which Hyundai Elantra trim level gives you the best value?
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra starts at $20,655 and tops out at $26,455 for the Limited trim, but if you’re looking for the best value, then the SEL trim (priced at $21,905) could give you the best value.
While the SEL trim doesn’t have leather seats like the Limited model, it does have the basic necessities for everyday driving, including all of the technology you would need.
However, we would also opt for the SEL Convenience package for an extra $950, which adds the 10.25-inch instrument panel, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, wireless smartphone charging, and heated front seats. With all of those features, spending the extra money for the Limited trim doesn’t make much sense.