Sedans & Coupes

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited Is Luxurious, But Really Slow

The Hyundai Elantra was completely redesigned for the 2021 model year and along with a host of updated features, it feels more luxurious than ever before. I had the chance to drive the top-trim Elantra Limited for a week and was blown away by its interior layout and comfort, however, I also found that it’s really slow.

If you like the feel of luxury, then the Elantra Limited is the trim for you

I personally never would have thought that I would be using the word “luxury” and “Elantra” in the same sentence, but with this new iteration, it actually makes sense. For starters, opting for the highest trim level in the Hyundai Elantra lineup give you leather-trimmed seating with heated front seats, dual-zone auto climate control, and a Bose Premium sound system.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited front shot in a parking garage
2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited | Joe Santos

Other luxurious accouterments include a 10.25-inch infotainment display in the center of the dash, which seemingly extends to the additional 10.25-inch display that sits in front of the driving.

That display shows pertinent information like the vehicle’s speed and engine RPM, but it also plays host to other information like the adaptive cruise control settings, lane-departure warning, tire pressures, and radio station readouts. The only thing that is missing is a head-up display, but I’ll forgive it for that since it’s not completely necessary.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited side shot
2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited | Joe Santos

RELATED: Does the 2021 Hyundai Elantra Have a Manual Transmission?

The Elantra Limited’s interior is a nice place to spend time

As you can see, Elantra Limited’s interior space is a pleasant place to spend time, especially if that time is spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic. One of my main takeaways from driving the Elantra Limited is just how quiet the cabin is. When redesigning the Elantra, Hyundai gave it an “immersive cocoon” style layout in which it angled all of the dash switches and gauges toward the driving, but they must have added more sound deadening as well because this car is quiet for a compact sedan.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited interior
2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited | Joe Santos

Either way, the Elantra Limited has such a well-laid-out and comfortable interior that I would hard-pressed to tell what I was sitting in if you were to blindfold me and sit me in the driver’s seat. And I happened to be blindfolded while sitting in the passenger seat while it’s driving, I would probably think I’m in a Hyundai Sonata instead. It’s that good.

The Hyundai Elantra Limited is great, but it’s slow

All of that being said, the 2021 Elantra Limited is quiet and smooth when driving down the road, but my one qualm with it is that it’s slow. It’s not Toyota CH-R slow, but it’s “I need a heavy foot to get it going” slow. Under the hood sits a 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that pumps out 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. Generally speaking, that’s not bad, but you can find more power in a Honda Civic and a Toyota Corolla.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited  engine
2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited | Joe Santos

RELATED: Hyundai Settles Lawsuit for Dangerous Elantra Engine Problems

Car and Driver tested the 2021 Hyundai Elantra and came back with a 0 to 60 mph time of 8.3 seconds. By contrast, they tested the 2021 Honda Civic and were able to get from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. A one-second difference might not sound like much, but you can definitely feel it when merging onto the highway or attempting to pass someone in the next lane.

However, if power isn’t high on your priority list for compact sedans, then I highly suggest the Elantra Limited. But if it is, then you might want to check out its competitors or at least take a peek at the Elantra N Line, which has a more potent engine.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited rear shot
2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited | Joe Santos