This week Vancouver saw its second dump of snow in the month, and this time it was 10-20cm, with staying power. Luckily we were equipped with the 2024 Hyundai Elantra Preferred and saw no issue in traversing the icy and treacherous weather conditions. Although looking at it, it might not be the first winter ready car you immediately think of.
The Elantra Preferred looked more track or showroom ready than the gritty vehicle needed to take on salted roads. Its sleek body lines included a lifted rear and a lower front stance, paired with an aggressive grill with angles that resembled sharpened teeth. This was a very streamlined build, with a design that looked as aerodynamic as it drove. The Elantra cuts into the air, working with the current to propel it forward. Out of place was the plastic trim. I have yet to see the plastic used on the exterior of a vehicle like this, especially with the back panel patterned in a zig zag triangle design.
Inside, what appears to be a sports car is more a base model sedan. Equipped with all the standard features like heated seat and wheel, which came in handy during the cold chill. This was much like its all wheel drive capabilities, and the ability to maneuver out of deep ruts. The Elantra also had the convenience of USB and c-cable charging, but no wireless charging pad. There was a compartment to toss your phone into, but what looked like a non-slip rubber mat was actually dimpled plastic.
The gear shift was an asymmetrical take on stylish. It was more from than function, not having an ergonomic feel for the palm. This off-centred look matched the centre console with its lopsided barrier. An additional edge and grip on the side closest to the passenger. We weren’t quite sure who the handle was for, as it was not quite in reach of either driver or passenger. This added an awkward compartmentalized passenger experience. Like the borders on a first class seat on an airplane.
Even more curious was the decal on the very left side of the dash, before the driver. This was a circle of lines with one running horizontally at its centre. We couldn’t figure out what it was for, so we Googled to learn that this was merely for design sake. A decision to fill negative space in order to have the dash screen run to the very end seamlessly.
Most impressive from the 2024 Hyundai Elantra was the slew of safety features, showing Hyundai’s focus on the driver and their human cargo first. Their standard safety innovation detects rapid closing distances to the vehicle ahead, and pedestrians and/or cyclist in your path. If either is the case an audible and visual warning notifies across the dash. And if the driver does not react to avoid this impact, the system can and will apply emergency braking to protect the vehicle and its occupants.
There is also Adaptive Cruise Control with traffic stop and go, High Beam Assist, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance, Driver Attention Warning, Highway Driving Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Rear Occupant Alert, and Safe Exit Warning. We first hand witnessed the traffic guide that announces speed limit and red light cameras ahead.
Where it lacks is in it music quality with a tiny speaker and no surround sound. There is an electric sunroof opener, but a very small sky light to look out of.
In short, this generation of the Elantra is a great introductory car, one that parents and their driving aged kids can agree on. A stylish vehicle you would be proud to be seen in, with all the modern conveniences we are use to, and all the safety features to give any novice driver and their parents some piece of mind.