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The new 2014 Elantra gives some updates that should keep the King of the Compacts high on the hill. For now we only have details on the Korean version but with the Elantra climbing more upmarket into the mid-size category it isn't out of the questions that we will see many of the new features on our shores.
Exterior refresh includes a new front fascia that is slightly longer and sweeps back a little more. New fog lights bezels, and headlight LED eye-brows are the most noticeable. In the rear we have an integrated exhaust pipe and the diffuser/ bumper cap from the Elantra Coupe. The rear LED-piped taillights will make the biggest difference to the eye.
Additionally, we also see chrome door handles and a chrome accented belt line to bring the profile up-to-date. Four new wheel designs indicate there might be three packages available (GLS, SE, Limited) where there are only two now (GLS, Limited).
Hyundai's CEO John Krafcik has denounced any rumors of building more manufacturing plants and has instead stated Hyundai will focus on build quality. The 2014 Elantra should be part of the introduction of this new phase for Hyundai inside the cabin. The previous generation Elantra has been criticized about the center stack air vents position being too low. The 2014 has moved them upwards on the dash to quiet the hecklers.
A new OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display in the center gauges and radio display bring a nice tech feel to the interior, with blue lighted gauges keeping things cool. A redesigned center stack separates the old "wedding cake" HVAC controls and on the limited models digital readouts are available with dual-climate control.
Driver Selectable-Steering found on the Elantra GT and Santa Fe will be added and perhaps even a heated steering wheel. Softer leather surfaces and from the looks of the leaked photos a wine-leather option similar to the Sontata could make it over on the boat. We can hope for a center rear seat vent to keep the temperature down in the rear on the Limited model. A new dual horn will bring a louder and less mouse-like sound to the road!
Powertrain upgrades are a little foggy for the U.S. spec model. There is talk of a second engine option, possibly the 2.0l 4-cylinder already found in the Forte. We can speculate and hope for the 1.6 GDi-T or the 2.0, or even the 2.4. There is a mysterious BlueDrive badge on one of the images which may indicate a Hybrid Elantra version or it could mean Stop/Start technology.
Lastly, the 2014 Elantra will get the Bluelink treatment. Bluelink is Hyundai's vehicle telematics system that gives smart phone access to features like lock, unlock, remote start, and a vehicle finder. Bluelink also gives the driver direct access to turn by turn navigation, emergency roadside assistance, restaurant ratings, and gas prices.