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2017 Elantra has refinement of larger and pricier cars

The previous generation of the Hyundai Elantra was already impressive and more refined than one might expect. An all-new 2017 Hyundai Elantra provides compact sedan buyers with more conservative styling, a quieter and even more refined cabin and a long list of available safety and infotainment technologies.

The new sixth-generation 2017 Hyundai Elantra’s cabin looks and feels more upscale. In fact, Elantra’s redesigned cabin features styling akin to that of its larger sibling, the Sonata. I find nothing wrong with that, and I like the soft-touch materials and premium feel. This interior design makes you feel as though you are sitting in a much more expensive car.

Exterior styling for the new Elantra is more conservative, though, with softer lines that again resemble those of the Sonata.

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is available in three trim levels: SE ($17,150), Eco ($20,650) and Limited ($22,350). All models are offered as front-wheel-drive only. Two new powertrain combinations are offered for 2017.

A 147-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine propels SE and Limited models. The SE comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional in the SE and comes standard in Limited models.

The least fuel-efficient powertrain combination is the SE with the manual transmission. It is rated at 26/36 mpg city/highway. Models with the six-speed automatic are rated at 29/38 mpg (SE) and 28/37 mpg (Limited).

The most fuel-efficient Elantra is the Eco model. It features a 128-horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed automated manual transmission. The Eco model is rated at 32/40 mpg.

The $17,000 entry-level Elantra SE is nicely equipped and includes air conditioning, full power accessories, tilt-and-telescoping steering column and a six-speaker CD audio system with SiriusXM. Bluetooth is optional in the SE but standard in the two upper trim levels.

The SE Popular Equipment package ($800) adds 16-inch alloy wheels, HD radio with 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, back-up camera with dynamic guide lines, automatic headlamps, steering wheel audio controls, cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity and heated outside mirrors.

The SE Tech package ($1,300, requires Popular Equipment package) adds smart key with push-button starting, dual-zone automatic climate control, hands-free smart trunk, heated front seats, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and more.

Elantra Eco models have the previously mentioned SE and package features plus 15-inch alloy wheels.

The Limited model, which features a 2.0-liter engine and six-speed automatic transmission, adds 17-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, leather upholstery, power driver’s seat, Hyundai’s Blue Link connectivity system and more.

The revised Elantra feels more like a mid-size sedan than a compact. Because Elantra offers a pleasing ride, spacious cabin, loads of amenities, a class-leading warranty and budget-minded pricing, it is one of my top picks in this segment.