Which 2018 Hyundai Elantra Is Right for You?

a white 2018 hyundai elantra in a showroom

After choosing to do a complete redesign in 2017, Hyundai created a great vehicle in the Elantra. What could possibly change for 2018? The newest model is cheaper than before, and Hyundai even added another trim option. We sort through each offering to help you find the best one.


The SE is the least expensive 2018 Hyundai Elantra with a starting MSRP of $16,950. It’s a great choice for drivers on a budget. It has some features that you may not find in similar sedans of the same price point, including Bluetooth. However, it lacks many of the frills you’ll find in the more expensive models. With cloth seats and air conditioning, the SE does have the basics, but it lacks a strong feature set to encourage more buyers.

The Hyundai Elantra SE is equipped with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine which produces 147 horsepower. With its fairly small engine, the SE delivers an estimated 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway when choosing the automatic transmission. It’s worth noting, though, that the SE’s standard transmission is a 6-speed manual. Drivers can upgrade to an automatic for an extra $1,000.


The SEL is a new trim and starts at $18,850. What the SE lacks, the SEL provides. It includes a number of quality features that sway buyers to pay a little more. The first thing drivers will notice is a seven-inch display that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities. While the multimedia system is great, what really makes the SEL better than the SE is the addition of safety features. These include a Blind Spot Detection system with Rear Cross Traffic Alerts and Lane Change Assist. It also has a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines.

Value Edition

The Value starts at $19,850 and is a much better option for those looking for an affordable Hyundai Elantra. This trim offers a well-curated collection of features that drivers may want, without charging them for features they could live without. Some of the highlights include a hands-free smart trunk, heated side mirrors, a power sunroof, and heated front seats. These features, plus the ones found in the SEL, make the Value Edition a great choice for someone who wants a little more without paying thousands.


The Hyundai Elantra also has an Eco trim available for $20,550. The Eco gets much better fuel economy than any other trim. The 1.4-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine also delivers 128-horsepower. This engine helps it get up to 32 mpg on the highway and 40 mpg on the highway. The Eco removes some of the standard offerings from the Value Edition, including the sunroof and auto-dimming rearview mirror. Apart from those omissions, it includes everything that the Value Edition features.


The Hyundai Elantra Sport starts at $21,800 and has one huge appeal: speed. This trim has a 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine, which is capable of 201 horsepower. Despite the engine upgrade, it doesn’t suffer for fuel economy. The Sport gets up to 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

While the previous 2017 trim dropped essential safety features, the 2018 Elantra Sport keeps Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist. In addition to the safety focus, the Sport also adds side mirrors with turn-signal indicators and some significant cosmetic changes. Finally, the Sport trim includes leather seating for a more luxurious feel.


The Limited is the most expensive trim at $22,100. This trim closely resembles the Value Edition, especially since it uses the 2.0-liter engine with 147-horsepower. If safety is your concern, the Limited is the only trim that allows the driver to add further safety features, though at an additional cost. These optional features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and smart cruise control.

There aren’t many exterior changes on the Limited, as most of the upgrades happen on the inside. The biggest change to the exterior is HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light. The interior adds a power driver seat with power lumbar support and three months of complimentary Blue Link Connected Care. Ultimately, the Value Edition may be the better option for some drivers, unless they are looking for a leather interior.

(Featured image via Facebook.)