For A Few MPG More: The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco.
You may have read, three months ago, how the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited impressed me on one of my favorite stretches of Northern California backroad.  But what if you want a small car for the usual reasons....fuel economy and low purchase price?

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco
2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco.
That, my friends, is a job for the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco.  Base price $1,500 less than the Limited at $20,850...powered by a smaller 1.4-liter, 128-horsepower engine, mated to a seven-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission. The spare tire goes away and is replaced by an emergency tire repair kit and some sound deadening you'll find in the Limited is absent in the Eco....all in the name of weight savings.  EPA estimate 32 city/40 highway (compared to the Limited's 28/37).  That highway number is only 5 MPG less than the Honda Accord Hybrid.

Interior view of 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco
2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco interior.
As always with Hyundai, you get a lot for your money in terms of standard features.  The base price buys you the engine and transmission mentioned above plus electronic stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, blind spot and rear cross-traffic detection, a backup camera, a seven-inch touchscreen audio system with six speakers, SiriusXM and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, hands-free smart trunk opener and keyless entry with pushbutton start.  All that plus Hyundai's legendary 10 year/100,000 mile warranty for $20,850.

The only option on our tester was carpeted floor mats ($125), so with $835 inland freight and handling, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco rang in at $21,610. If price of entry and cost of operation are major factors in your car shopping, this is a major contender.