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Technology review: 2021 Hyundai Elantra

The infotainment system is an important part of modern vehicles. It’s one of the features an owner will interact with the most, meaning the whole experience must be as easy as possible. Every automaker has its system and not all are created equal. Some stand out more for good reasons, others for added complication. In the case of Hyundai’s latest infotainment system, it’s the former. Found in the 2021 Hyundai Elantra lineup, every version of this interface stands out.

2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL digital cluster 01 1
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

Hyundai’s latest user interface comes in two flavors: one with an 8.0-inch touch screen and another with two 10.25-inch displays. The latter is found only on the Limited trim of the Elantra regardless of the powertrain. SEL models equipped with the base 2.0-liter I4 can be equipped with the 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster if you opt for the Convenience and Premium packages. However, it doesn’t get the larger main touch screen. One of the biggest differences between the layouts is the availability of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Somehow, only the models with the smaller screen get it. We hope that Hyundai fixes that inconsistency soon and gives the larger display that capability.

One of the standout features of Hyundai’s latest infotainment system is how consistent and user-friendly it is across the board. Models with the smaller 8.0-inch touch screen feature shortcut buttons flanking it while cars equipped with the dual-screen layout have them just below the display. Regardless of which one your car is equipped with; you get instant responses to your inputs. The majority of features are easily accessed, too. Nothing is buried deep within submenus, meaning even features you only access once in a while are found quickly.

2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL main touchscreen 03 1
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

Hyundai’s interface has one of the best layouts, making it even easier to use. Big icons complement the shortcuts buttons and allow you to simply glance and press when on the move. The slight angle toward the driver enables you to reach every corner of the display regardless of which touch screen your car has. Models with the 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster add another layer of customizability without making things more complex. You can pick from four themes for the gauges and there are multiple options as to which data is shown in between them. All information is legible and laid out clearly so that it’s easy to read.

The 2021 Elantra lineup’s infotainment system is proof that you no longer need to spend luxury car money to get one with crisp, vivid graphics. Regardless of which version you get, the main touch screen is clear and modern. You’re not penalized for getting a lower- or mid-grade model with a smaller display. Models with the dual-screen layout get built-in navigation with nicely configured and uncluttered maps. There’s no built-in Google Maps capability but you can access it via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Once you do, you get extra functionality including satellite view, giving you a feature usually reserved for more expensive vehicles.

If you get a 2021 Hyundai Elantra with the optional Bose audio system, you’ll be in for a great listening experience. The eight speakers are strategically positioned, allowing for better sound immersion throughout the cabin despite not featuring surround sound capability.

If a good infotainment system is important to you, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra lineup should be on your shopping list. You get a fantastic user interface that’s intuitive, easy, and modern. Hyundai continues to prove that it’s a leader in the multimedia department. This latest iteration blends all of the latest gadgetry without increasing the level of complexity, proving the newest multimedia technologies are no longer exclusive to expensive luxury cars.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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