Hyundai thinks big with ’21 Elantra


LOS ANGELES — Hyundai isn’t ready to give up on small cars, even if some automakers and consumers are.

The seventh-generation Hyundai Elantra is adopting more sculpted styling compared with the clean but somewhat bland outgoing model. While the Detroit 3 quit the compact sedan market, Hyundai is the latest automaker — following Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Mazda — attempting to spark new interest in a segment that remains large but shrank 16 percent in 2019.

A key element of the exterior design on the 2021 Elantra is the union of three character lines at a single point on the front doors, creating what Hyundai calls its “polyhedral appearance.”

“This formation is a daring challenge, which has been avoided in car design, marking Elantra’s disrupter spirit,” the automaker said in a statement.

The Elantra is to be revealed online Tuesday, March 17, from West Hollywood, Calif.

Inside, the focus is on the driver, with side-by-side displays for instrumentation and infotainment. “Low and wide structures go from the door and connect all the way to the center console, while the large interface consisting of two harmoniously integrated displays elevates the racing-inspired feel of the car,” the automaker said.

The redesigned Elantra is longer, lower and wider than the outgoing model, Hyundai said, and features the look of a four-door coupe, with a sloping roof at the rear as part of its “Parametric Dynamics” design theme.

The vehicle also has a vertical light bar at the rear that’s similar to wraparound styling on the redesigned 2020 Sonata midsize sedan. Hyundai wants to create vehicles that have a “family appearance” but that are not just bigger and smaller versions of the same design. The Elantra will adopt a revised corporate grille like the Sonata, but with more integrated headlamps and lower air intakes.

U.S. sales of the Elantra, the fourth bestselling compact car, fell 13 percent to 175,094 last year. Deliveries dropped to 18,315 in the first two months of 2020 from 20,246 in the same period last year.

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