This 2015 Hyundai Elantra review explains changes for the model year, provides a summary of the 2015 Elantra, and includes Hyundai Elantra safety, reliability, and fuel economy ratings.
What is a 2015 Hyundai Elantra?
The Hyundai Elantra competes against other compact sedans, and is slotted into the automaker’s lineup between the smaller Accent and larger Sonata. Hyundai also sells a car called the Elantra Touring, a five-door wagon based on the European Hyundai i30 and completely unrelated to the Elantra Sedan.
What’s New for 2015?
Last year, Hyundai completely redesigned the Elantra to great critical acclaim and burgeoning sales. So changes for the 2015 model year are minimal, including an ActiveEco revision to the engine and transmission software for smoother acceleration and to increase real-world fuel economy to better resemble the 29-city/40-highway mpg rating on the window sticker. Other minor changes include slightly recalibrated electric steering, an optional roadside assistance kit, and new fog lights for the GLS Preferred Package.
Trim Levels and Features
The 2015 Hyundai Elantra gives you your choice of two trim levels and several option packages, ranging from the bare-bones $16,000 GLS economy sedan to a near-luxury Limited with the Premium Package that tops out at about $23,000.
And by saying bare bones, we mean bare bones. Standard equipment for the Elantra GLS includes 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, a six-speed manual transmission, a rear defroster, a 60/40 split folding rear seatback, a tilt steering wheel, power heated mirrors, power windows and power door locks with remote keyless entry. Surprising features on this economy sedan include a six-speaker audio system with a CD player along with a USB port, an auxiliary audio input jack and XM satellite radio. You may be taken aback by what’s missing from this list: air conditioning and cruise control.
For those items, you’ll have to pony up for the Popular Equipment Package, which also includes 16-inch wheels with full wheel covers and a telescopic steering wheel. The Preferred Equipment Package adds air and cruise plus some upgraded interior materials and comfort features like a sliding center armrest and lights for the vanity mirrors. It also gives you Bluetooth hands-free calling, audio controls on the steering wheel, and fog lights. Meanwhile, the Navigation Package adds a touch-screen system with a rearview camera display, along with automatic headlights and a better sound system.
Step up to the Elantra Limited if only for the sharp-looking 17-inch alloy wheels. It’ll also give you a standard automatic transmission, front fog lights, side mirror turn signal indicators and a black chrome grille. Step inside to find leather upholstery along with a power moonroof, and, incredibly, heated seats for all of your passengers. Try finding that feature in a car under $50,000. The top-of-the-line Elantra Limited can be equipped with the Premium Package that adds premium audio, navigation with rearview camera, and keyless entry and ignition.
Under the 2015 Hyundai Elantra’s Hood
Powering the 2015 Hyundai Elantra is a zippy 148-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine matched to your choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission driving the Elantra’s front wheels. This year the Elantra gets revised engine and transmission mapping to limit jackrabbit starts for those suffering from right foot leaditis, which should prove to be a relief for passengers and provide better fuel economy. The EPA rating is still an impressive 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway with either transmission, but the software revision may help make those lofty numbers closer to reality.
Safety and Reliability
Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Elantra includes a host of airbags: dual front, dual front side, and dual side curtain. Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, traction control, and stability control are also standard.
At the time of this writing, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have performed crash tests on the 2015 Elantra, but the IIHS did bestow upon the Elantra its prestigious Top Safety Pick designation for the 2015 model year.
Same story for Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Associates; neither has rated the 2015 Elantra but both have given the 2015 Elantra an above average score when it comes to predicted reliability.
Even though the 2015 Hyundai Elantra is considered a compact car in both price point and popular perception, technically it’s rated a midsize car by the EPA, a fact that becomes perfectly clear as soon as you slip into the rear seat and become amazed by its roominess. Your rear passengers will also be impressed by the available seat heaters, as no other vehicle in its class even offers to warm their neglected buns.