2014 Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai’s highly popular Elantra 2014 car models trio – sedan, coupe and GT hatchback – is getting a mild updates, and the automaker chose the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show to show off the production versions, which actually shares little with the others in terms of body structure.

2014 Hyundai Elantra front view

2014 Hyundai Elantra

Under the skin, a new 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder supplants the old port-injected 1.8 for most Elantra applications. Hyundai found the extra 200 cc of displacement by stroking the engine 9.8 mm to 97 mm. In addition to direct injection, the four employs dual continuously variable valve timing, to aid the engine’s flexibility under varying road load and rpm.

2014 Hyundai Elantra profile view

2014 Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai claims a lightweight intake manifold knocks 30 pounds off the weight of the old version and an aluminum bedplate down below ups block rigidity by 30 percent, which apparently reduces engine NVH. Horsepower climbs from 148 to 173, while torque is up from 131 lb-ft to 154.

2014 Hyundai Elantra rear view

2014 Hyundai Elantra

With its EPA-legit mid-size interior, the 2014 Hyundai Elantra feels bigger than its competition, except the Dodge Dart. It’s a supportive environment too, with ample space in the sedan and coupe, slightly less in the shorter GT. Sedans have fine leg room, but rear-seat head room is tight even for medium-sized passengers. Coupes don’t have a simple single-lever arrangement, which makes it a bit futzier to get into the cramped back seats.

2014 Hyundai Elantra interior - dash

2014 Hyundai Elantra interior – dash

The rear seats fold forward easily, if not completely flat, and that allows longer objects to be loaded into the relatively large, wide trunk. The Elantra’s interior has lots of useful cubbies and storage bins, including a covered one that sits ahead of the shift lever: it also contains the aux jack, a power point, and the USB port in an easy to reach module, perfect for connecting smartphones…