Every Big Change To The Hyundai Elantra In 2023

The Hyundai Elantra isn't just one of the most affordable vehicles in Hyundai's range, but one of the most affordable sedans in the U.S. altogether. Priced from $20,650 (plus $1,095 destination) for the 2023 Elantra SE, the stylish four-door may not have excessive power or even electrification, but that doesn't stop it from being excellent value. Especially for new car shoppers looking to be clever with their dollars.

Hyundai has ambitions to be a key player in the all-electric vehicle business, and so unsurprisingly some of the automaker's biggest developments are on that side of the dealership forecourt. Cars like the Ioniq 5 and the new Ioniq 6 promise similar range to EVs from Tesla and others, but often at more aggressive price points.

In contrast, that means Hyundai's gas-powered vehicles aren't necessarily evolving quite so rapidly. Model year changes, such as the difference between the 2022 Elantra and the 2023 Elantra, are relatively minor. That can be both a positive and a negative.

Little new from the outside

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for confusing the 2023 Elantra and the car from the previous model year. Hyundai's design language has stayed the same, a riot of angles and sharp crease-lines. You'll either love it or hate it, but at least it's far more memorable than the automaker's prior sedans.

Hyundai's base SE trim is unexpectedly well-equipped for the price, especially when it comes to active safety tech. Standard across the board is collision-avoidance assistance with pedestrian detection, blind-spot collision-avoidance assistance, lane keeping assistance, lane following assistance, and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist. All Elantra trims get high-beam assist, driver attention warnings, and safe exit warnings, too.

Spending more, though, gets you extra comfort features and technology. Hyundai has made a key change there for 2023, removing the SEL Premium package that was offered on the model year 2022 Elantra SEL. Instead, there's an updated version of the old SEL Convenience package, now a $1,900 option for the Elantra SEL trim, and adding most of what the old SEL Premium package used to include.

The Elantra SEL Convenience package adds toys

The SEL Convenience package brings the Elantra SEL a little closer to the experience offered by the 2023 Elantra Limited trim, including 17-inch wheels rather than the standard 16-inch alloys, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, a matching 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, heated front seats, and wireless phone charging.

Heated outside mirrors and Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go are also included in the package, and Hyundai adds cyclist and junction-turning detection to the standard forward collision-avoidance assistance.

It brings the cost of the 2023 Elantra SEL to $23,800 (plus destination), up from the $21,900 starting price of the SEL trim. That's still less than the 2023 Elantra Limited, which starts at $26,500, though you do miss out on front LED headlamps, a sunroof, the ability to use your phone as a key, 64-color ambient cabin lighting, leather seat surfaces, and an 8-speaker Bose audio system.

The manual option gets even more exclusive

The most significant change is to the N-badged versions of the 2023 Hyundai Elantra. The 2023 Elantra N is the most potent version of the sedan, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter gas engine good for 276 horsepower. What stands out, though, is that for the 2023 model year, it's the only way to get an Elantra with a manual transmission.

Previously, Hyundai offered a stick-shift on its more affordable Elantra N Line, the top trim of the regular Elantra range, with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Now, though, it's saving the manual for the enthusiasts willing to pay for the Elantra N. Alternatively, if the six-speed isn't to your taste, there's a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic transmission option, too.

While the changes to Hyundai's Elantra range may be relatively minimal for 2023, that's potentially good news for those looking to get a good price. Though new car stock has been frustratingly low during the pandemic, there's the possibility of a deal to be made on any remaining 2022 Elantra stock out there, without feeling like you're missing out on the very latest features in the process.