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Attention, Sport Compact Fans: The Hyundai Elantra Sport Seems Pretty Promising

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author photo by Will Kinton March 2017

As I've mentioned in the past, I love the sport-compact segment because it's full of cars that are affordable to buy, practical to own and fun to drive -- all in one package. Now Hyundai has entered the segment with the 2017 Elantra Sport, and it looks surprisingly promising.

On paper, the Elantra Sport seems to bringing a lot to the table. To create it, Hyundai upped Elantra's power to 200 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque from a turbocharged 4-cylinder -- and giving drivers a choice between a 7-speed dual clutch or a 6-speed manual is a great place to start. Hyundai also added multilink independent rear suspension, bigger brakes and performance tires.

That may not be enough to take down the VW GTI or Ford Focus ST -- but unlike the Nissan Sentra NISMO, it isn't priced to do so. The Elantra Sport starts at just $22,485 -- and while it's hard to imagine the Elantra Sport will offer the same fun-to-drive credentials as the similarly priced Ford Fiesta ST, the Hyundai has a back seat and a more grown-up styling approach.

The Elantra Sport is an example of what Nissan should've done with the Sentra NISMO. It's slower than the "real" sport-compacts out there, but it's also significantly cheaper. Instead of spending way too much money trying to put lipstick on a pig by overhauling the Elantra's chassis for added performance, Hyundai has simply given it enough power to put a smile on your face as you weave through traffic or hit the occasional on ramp with gusto.

Over the past several years, the quality of Hyundai's products has been improving at a nearly exponential rate -- and each iteration of their vehicles seems to be a dramatic improvement over the previous generation. There's still a lot for Hyundai to learn in the performance department -- but I find the Elantra Sport surprisingly promising.

Indeed, even if the Elantra Sport isn't as put together as the GTI or Focus ST, it seems like a bargain -- and if you want to inject a bit more fun into your daily driving experience, it might be worth considering. We're excited to drive one in the near future.

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Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Used 2017 Hyundai Elantra GT Hatchback
Used 2017 Hyundai Elantra
$11,890
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2017 Hyundai Elantra GT Hatchback
Used 2017 Hyundai Elantra
$12,850
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Used 2017 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition
Used 2017 Hyundai Elantra
$15,950
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Used 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE Sedan
Used 2017 Hyundai Elantra
$11,597
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Attention, Sport Compact Fans: The Hyundai Elantra Sport Seems Pretty Promising - Autotrader