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Beating the EPA: The 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited front 3/4 view

We're just days away from the refreshed 2024 Hyundai Elantras going on sale---but I want to tell you about the '23---and specifically the Elantra Hybrid.

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited rear 3/4 view

The incoming '24s differ from the '23s only in some changes to the front and rear fascia, updated lighting elements, new wheels, a couple of new paint colors, standard side-impact airbags and rear-seat reminder on all trim levels and haptic feedback via the steering wheel for lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. So why am I telling you about the '23? Well, three weeks ago, I retired from the day job and the first thing on the list was an extended trip to Georgia to see the grandkids, who, when I was working, I'd be lucky to see for four days each year. The fine folks in the Hyundai press fleet and at Prestige Auto in Atlanta arranged for me to be able to drive and review a '23 Elantra Hybrid Limited they had on hand.

And it's in this car that I did something I've rarely done in 27 years of writing about cars---I beat the EPA fuel economy estimate. And not just by a little.

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid trip computer

In the 75-mile drive from the Atlanta airport to the kids' house in Jackson County, plus a 54.1-mile rural road route similar to the ones I use in suburban Sacramento (a mix of elevations, road surfaces, straights and twists), I got 61.2 miles per gallon.

The EPA fuel economy estimate for the 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited? 49 city/52 highway----50 combined.

Beating the EPA estimate is rare. Generally the test driving, while not reckless or illegal, isn't optimal for economy. Beating it by 11.2 mpg? I'd say it was unheard of, but going through my archives, I found I did 11.2 mpg better than the EPA combined estimate two years ago in a Corolla Hybrid.

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited hood up

2023 Hyundai Elantra hybrid powerplant

All that hyper-miling comes from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor that makes a total of 139 horsepower. The transmission is a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

The price of astronomical gas mileage in this case is patience. Getting to 60 from a standing stop takes 8.7 seconds. However, that's three-tenths of a second quicker than a non-hybrid Elantra, so this is the one to get.

There is a "sport" mode, but it makes more noise than speed. It does, however, also firm up the steering responses, which came in handy on some of the twistier bits of rural Jackson County, Georgia backroads.

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited trunk open

2024 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid trunk

There's a healthy-for-its-class 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space...

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid rear seat

...and an extremely generous 38.0 inches of rear seat legroom.

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited front seats

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited front seat detail

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited instrument panel

Just as impressive as the gas mileage (both the EPA estimate and my observed fuel economy) is the price and feature content. The base price of the 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited is $30,095 including destination---and it comes with a long list of standard equipment---a comprehensive suite of active safety features, 17-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, LED headlights and taillights, heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation and a Bose premium audio system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 90-day SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription, dual automatic temperature control, an electronic parking brake, leather-trimmed seating with heated and ventilated front seats, driver's seat memory and lumbar, wireless device charging, and dynamic voice recognition.

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited steering wheel and instrument display

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited center console

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited center stack

The only extra-cost option on our test car? Carpeted floor mats at $210. So the bottom line on the window sticker reads $30,305.

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid front view

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid side view

2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid rear view

That's an incredible value. Fold in Hyundai's legendary warranty coverage (5 years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, 10 years/100,000-mile powertrain, hybrid system and hybrid battery) and then the money to be saved at----or above---the EPA combined fuel economy of 50 mpg and the only real question is:

Why wouldn't you?


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