The Hyundai Elantra hatchback model was first introduced in the early 2000s as a compact hatchback. It offered an affordable alternative to other hatchbacks on the market with competitive features, fuel efficiency, and a versatile interior design. The Elantra hatchback was available in North America from the 2001 to 2006 model years before being discontinued in favor of the Elantra Touring model.
Over its production run, the Elantra hatchback was offered in a range of trim levels including the Base, GLS, and GT models. There were a few different engine options available as well, mostly 4-cylinder engines ranging from 2.0L to 2.4L. The Elantra hatch aimed to provide practicality and efficiency in an affordable package. It was a popular choice as an entry-level hatchback during its time on the market.
Base Models and Trim Levels
The Elantra Hatchback is currently available in two trim levels, SE and SEL. The base SE model comes well equipped with features like a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual transmission, 15″ alloy wheels, air conditioning, 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, 5″ touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and more (Source 1).
Moving up to the SEL trim adds several upgrades like 17″ alloy wheels, heated front seats, proximity key with push button start, dual zone climate control, 7″ touchscreen display, and Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system. Optional packages are also available on the SEL trim to add features like a sunroof, premium audio system, and adaptive cruise control (Source 2).
Previous generations of the Elantra Hatchback followed a similar trim level structure. The base model focused on the core essential features while the higher trims added more premium options and advanced tech. Generational differences came down to updates in safety, power, efficiency, and styling.
Performance and Engine Options
The Hyundai Elantra Hatchback has offered a range of engine options over the years to suit different performance needs:
Fourth Generation (2000-2006)
The fourth generation Elantra Hatchback came with a 1.6L 4-cylinder engine producing 105 horsepower and 106 lb-ft of torque. An optional 2.0L 4-cylinder engine was available producing 135 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque.
Fifth Generation (2007-2010)
The fifth generation model came standard with a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine producing 124 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of torque. A more powerful optional 2.0L 4-cylinder was available putting out 138 horsepower and 136 lb-ft of torque (Horsepower Specs).
Sixth Generation (2011-2016)
The sixth gen Elantra Hatchback had a 1.8L 4-cylinder producing 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque. Sport trims came with a more powerful 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder with 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
Seventh Generation (2017-Present)
The latest seventh generation model comes equipped with a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. Performance can be boosted with an available 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder making 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque (Performance Chip Tuning).
The fuel economy of the Elantra hatchback has improved over the years. According to fueleconomy.gov, the 2004 model with a 2.0L engine and 5-speed manual transmission gets 24 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined .
By the 2017 model year, fuel efficiency had increased significantly. The 2.0L engine with automatic transmission achieved an EPA rating of 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined according to Auto-Data.net .
Over more than a decade, the Elantra hatchback gained 2 mpg in combined driving estimates. The highway rating improved slightly, while the city rating decreased somewhat. Overall, the fuel economy reflects the gradual efficiency improvements in engines and transmissions over this time period.
Dimensions and Capacity
The Hyundai Elantra hatchback offers generous interior space and seating capacity for a compact car. According to Edmunds, the 2004 Elantra hatchback had an EPA interior volume of 122.3 cubic feet with seating for up to 5 passengers. Cargo capacity was measured at 12.2 cubic feet with all seats in place.
The following year saw a slight reduction in interior space, with the 2005 Elantra hatchback GT trim having an EPA interior volume of 115.1 cubic feet. However it maintained seating for 5 and cargo space of 12.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats.
According to Car.info, more recent Elantra hatchback models continue to offer interior room for 5 passengers comfortably, with decent cargo space that can be expanded by folding down the 60/40 split-folding rear seats when needed. The interior dimensions make the Elantra hatchback competitive among other compact hatches.
Safety Features and Ratings
The Elantra Hatchback earned top safety ratings when it underwent crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2017 Elantra received the top rating of “Good” in all IIHS evaluations, including moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. It also received the highest possible rating of “Superior” for front crash prevention with optional equipment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 Elantra an overall crash test rating of 5 stars.
IIHS noted that a particularly dangerous type of crash for small cars involving a front corner impact was especially well handled by the Elantra’s structure. The hatchback version of the Elantra comes with six standard airbags, including driver knee airbag and passenger seat cushion airbags. Available advanced safety features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a driver attention warning system. The Elantra hatchback also has hill start assist control to help prevent rollback on inclines.
Infotainment and Technology
The Elantra hatchback models offer advanced technology and connectivity features. Here’s an overview for different model years:
These early Elantra hatchbacks had a standard 5″ touchscreen with Bluetooth, USB input, and satellite radio capabilities. Higher trims offered optional navigation and premium audio systems from Infinity or Harman Kardon.
For example, the 2016 Elantra GT Sport had an 8″ touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, and a Harman Kardon premium sound system.
Technology was upgraded in 2017 with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto even on base models. The available 8″ touchscreen gained enhanced voice recognition and available wireless device charging.
Recent Elantra hatchbacks feature a standard 8″ touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, multi-Bluetooth support, and available navigation. A premium Bose audio system is optional on higher trims.
Advanced safety tech like forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control are also now available.
Pricing and Availability
The Hyundai Elantra hatchback starts at an MSRP of $19,650 for the base SE model for the 2022 model year, according to Hyundai’s official website (https://www.hyundaiusa.com/us/en/vehicles/elantra-hatchback).
Higher trim levels like the SEL have an MSRP starting at $21,100, while the Limited tops out around $25,450 (Hyundai). Used Elantra hatchbacks from previous model years typically range from $15,000 – $22,000 depending on mileage and condition, based on pricing data from J.D. Power (https://www.jdpower.com/cars/hyundai/elantra/hatchback).
The Elantra hatchback is widely available at most Hyundai dealerships across the country. Inventory levels can vary by location, but the hatchback remains one of Hyundai’s most popular models alongside the sedan, so finding a new or used model from a local dealer should not be difficult for most buyers.
Reviews and Awards
The Hyundai Elantra Hatchback has received generally positive reviews from experts for its value, fuel efficiency, roomy interior, and generous list of standard features. In 2020 test drives, Car and Driver praised the Elantra Hatchback’s “sharp handling” and called it “a great value.”
Reviewers at Edmunds appreciated the Elantra’s “spacious rear seat” and “user-friendly tech interface,” though they noted the engine could feel underpowered at times. The 2020 Elantra Hatchback earned an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars on Edmunds.
Owners of the Elantra Hatchback have praised its styling, comfort, and tech features. On J.D. Power, the 2020 Elantra Hatchback earned an overall owner rating of 8.5 out of 10, with high marks given for driving experience and infotainment system.
The Elantra Hatchback has also earned its share of awards over the years. The 2018 model was named a 10 Coolest Car Under $20,000 by Kelley Blue Book. The IIHS named the 2017-2019 Elantra Hatchback models Top Safety Picks as well. While not a hatchback, the redesigned 2021 Elantra sedan was named North American Car of the Year, showing the continued appeal of the Elantra line.
The Hyundai Elantra hatchback provides a sporty, versatile, and fuel-efficient compact car option. With multiple trim levels available, there is an Elantra to fit most budgets and feature preferences. The hatchback models maximize cargo space and practicality compared to the Elantra sedan. Though not the most powerful in the segment, the 2.0L 4-cylinder engine offers adequate pep while achieving 35+ mpg on the highway. An appealing balance of performance, efficiency, tech, and value make the Elantra hatchback a smart choice for shoppers wanting a practical daily driver.
Hyundai packs the Elantra with connectivity and infotainment features including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration even on base models. Available active safety tech like forward collision warning and lane keep assist boosts protection on the road. The IIHS awards the 2022 Elantra hatchback its Top Safety Pick+ rating – the highest possible. With sporty driving dynamics, sleek styling, and unmatched warranty coverage, the Elantra hatchback earns its place as a top pick in the compact segment.