Cheap and cheerful no longer defines the compact car segment.

The elegant Hyundai Elantra proved this by hitting 241,706 new homes last year. In the small car world, that’s hot on the heels of the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, two names that have been around for a long time.

The Elantra is significantly more attractive than those two Japanese cars, a likely reason why it has been so popular. This year, Hyundai is upping the ante to provide a car that not only looks great, but has all the equipment and safety tech you’d ever want in a car, at an equally attractive price.

Starting at $17,985 including destination, the Elantra is already catching the eyes of the budget-oriented. Along with a low starting price, the car comes with a fairly frugal engine. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine uses multi-port direct injection and an Atkinson cycle to keep emissions down, though the output seems low too at just 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. When paired to the new six-speed automatic transmission, expect to see 29 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway and 33 combined mpg.

The new engine may be low on power compared to other compacts, but it is notably smooth and responsive, and the new transmission changes gears quickly to get you up to speed. A drive mode button by the gear shift allows you to put the car into Eco or Sport mode, changing the way the throttle and transmission responds, and there’s even a small change in the steering effort, too. But for those looking for a sportier, more powerful compact, will find it with the Elantra Sport that will debut later this year.
Read more about the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Review at AutoGuide.com.