There are two types of vehicles a family needs. The first is that haul-everything-around-everywhere type of vehicle. Maybe it’s a van, or a truck, or an SUV. Whatever it is you choose, it’s big enough to handle carpool, long summer road trips, toy hauling, whatever.

The other vehicle is more of a daily commute type thing. It’s a smaller car that handles driving in and out of the city, but can still pack groceries and gear for a day trip.

We have a Hyundai Santa Fe to handle our the first part of the equation, I drive a Hyundai Elantra for the second part of the equation.

This summer we’ve upped our Santa Fe with a new 2017 Santa Fe XL (review of that forthcoming) and, if I had my way, I’d be upping my Elantra with a 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport Turbo.

I don’t want to say I’m having a mid-life crisis, but I am on the backside of 40 and this ride checked all the boxes for me. It’s simple and efficient enough to use as a daily commuter, but it has the kick and pep and fun to make driving it on the weekends a pure pleasure.

And it has style, boy does it have style.

hyundai elantra

My car experience relies on the superficial. Is it fun to drive? Does it look good? Is it affordable? Can I understand the controls on the dash without using the manual?

Those are the things I look for, and the Hyundai Elantra Sport Turbo ticks all of the boxes.

The turbo kick on the model I tested had the punch that made open roads on a summer Sunday a pleasure. It looks great, as you can see from above. The price point on this model starts in the low 20s and you can get it tricked out and still be in the mid 20s.

And the cabin? It has all the digital bells and whistles you need while still having analog buttons so a grey hair can understand how it works.

elantra interior

When I dig deeper into the reviews by the “car guys” who understand how these things are put together and perform, my conclusion is confirmed.

“The beauty with the Elantra Sport is .. it appeals as much to the hardcore enthusiast looking for an affordable sporty driving experience as it does to the everyday driver who simply wants a fully loaded compact without ruining their budget.” [Jalopnik]

“the Elantra Sport derives its go from a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder delivering 201 hp. Not only does the Sport’s turbo provide a jump of 54 hp, it also ups the torque from 63 lb-ft in the sedan to 195 lb-ft… It has more than enough go for most of us, at a very accessible price. Good-looking, fun to drive and offering plenty of value — what’s not to like?” [Auto Trader]

“mature gearheads will find this car nails a subtle sweet spot between quickness, agility, refinement and slick user-friendliness.” [The Globe and Mail]

This is the midlife crisis car you need. Fun, sporty, stylish, but still responsible.

Here’s a full video review of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport Turbo:

This post is sponsored by Hyundai Canada

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport

Sport enhanced design cues are only the beginning. A 201 horsepower 1.6L turbocharged engine makes the Elantra Sport the most powerful Elantra yet, but power is nothing without precision.

At the core is the SUPERSTRUCTURE™. Constructed of our Advanced High Strength Steel to deliver an ultra-rigid frame that allowed even greater precision when tuning the key suspension components, so that when we outfitted and sport-tuned the Elantra Sport with an independent multi-link rear suspension … you would feel it.

See your local dealer for details.


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  1. Michael Kwan August 21, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I miss having a car that’s fun to drive. It doesn’t even need to be fast. I just want it to be fun again.

  2. James Smitjy August 24, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Great looking car. I love that it’s got a sporty kick with enough of the “responsible parent” feel that means I’d be allowed to buy one by the real boss. I’m not sure if you can count it is a mid-life crisis without leather pants.

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