The Price is Right

2021 Hyundai Elantra lineup starts at $19,650, performance-focused N Line is under $25,000

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra lineup includes two versions of the Elantra Hybrid.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The redesigned 2021 Hyundai Elantra looks to break out of the typical sedan mold but not veer from the budget-conscious pricing structure that has made it one of the best-selling cars in the U.S. It also continues to be fuel-efficient, hitting up to 54 mpg, and now comes in a sporty Elantra N Line variant.

2021 Hyundai Elantra SE (MSRP: $19,650)

The Hyundai Elantra SE base model is much improved over the last model year as part of a generational refresh of the model. Powertrain performance highlights included added idle stop and go functionality, four-wheel disc brakes, and a combined EPA-estimated 37 mpg (up from 35 mpg).

The car rides on 15-inch alloy wheels and has projector headlights with LED daytime running lights.

Hyundai has given the model a long list of standard and available equipment including a 4.2-inch driver's information screen, 8.0-inch infotainment touch scree, HD Radio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and two USB ports. It comes with keyless entry, a hands-free trunk release, heated front seats, illuminated vanity mirrors and sliding sun visors, and Blue Link connected car services.

The car's safety technology offerings are significantly improved and the car now comes with blind spot warning and assist (including rear cross-traffic warning and assist), forward collision alert with assist and pedestrian detection, lane following assist, automatic high beams, and safe exit warning.

2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL (MSRP: $20,900)

The Elantra SEL builds on the Elantra SE and is available with the buyer's choice of two options packages that add tech, safety, and appearance upgrades.

The SEL Convenience Package ($950) adds forward collision alert and avoidance assist with pedestrian, cyclist, and junction-turning detection. WIth it, the model also gains a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, an electronic parking brake, a leather steering wheel and shifter, wireless charging, heated front seats, and heated outside mirrors.

Hyundai's SEL Premium Package ($3,050) requires the SEL Convenience Package and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, dark chrome exterior accents, LED taillights, chrome DLO, sunroof, side mirror turn signal indicators, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, power driver's seat with lumbar, Hyundai Digital Key, and a passenger seat back pocket.

2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL Hybrid (MSRP: $23,550)

2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Elantra SEL Hybrid adds the car's hybrid powertrain option as well as some equipment. It has a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, electronic parking brake, and multi-link rear suspension.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited (MSRP: $25,450)

Hyundai has positioned the Elantra Limited to build on the Elantra SEL when equipped with the Convenience and Premium Package. They've then added rear parking distance warning and rear parking collision avoidance assist technology. Highway Drive Assist is also available.

Additionally, the car gets navigation but its wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have to be replaced with a cabled version. Dynamic Voice Recognition is added.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited Hybrid (MSRP: $28,100)

The Elantra Limited Hybrid builds on the Elantra Limited with Hyundai's hybrid powertrain, six-speed dual-clutch transmission, and multi-link rear suspension. It achieves over 50 mpg.

Hyundai has added a few extras to this model including full LED taillights, driver's memory seats, and ventilated front seats.

2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line (MSRP: $24,100)

The Elantra N Line is the sportiest version of the Elantra. It's packed with equipment and features befitting its status.

The car gets Nn Line exterior design elements including an N Line version of Hyundai's grille with a distinctive red character line, N Line front bumper fascia, black colored side sill moldings, N Line rear fascia with diffuser, lip-spoiler, N Line badging, N Line window accents, chrome twin exhaust, a sunroof, and LED taillights.

It comes with N Line 18-inch wheels wrapped in Hankook Ventus all-season tires when equipped with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and Goodyear Eagle Fi summer tires when the buyer opts for the six-speed manual transmission.

Hyundai has given the interior of the model a unique leather-wrapped perforated N steering wheel, N Line sport seats with leather bolsters and N logos, N Line gearshift with metal accents and leather inserts, N Line analog gauge cluster, and red stitching and trim accents that differentiate the N Line from the standard Elantra. There's also a wireless charging pad, NFC smartphone Digital Key, alloy pedals, and a black headliner.

All prices exclude a $995 destination charge.

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New luxury car

BMW sends its V12 engine off in style

BMW will build its final V12 engine this June.

BMW

Most automakers are focused on building EVs and extracting the best fuel economy from gas engines possible, so it’s not surprising to hear that BMW is pulling the plug on one of its biggest and most iconic engines. In June 2022, BMW will build its very last V12 engine for use in a super-limited-production special edition 7 Series model. The ultra-rare cars will carry a starting price of $200,995.

BMW 760i xDrive The last V12 will power a very special (and very expensive) 7 Series car.BMW

Only twelve lucky customers will have the option to nab a V12-powered BMW, which will be called the M760i xDrive. Displacing 6.6 liters, the twin-turbocharged beast produces a massive 601 horsepower. An eight-speed sport automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. BMW says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty 7 Series car to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds.

The final-run cars will feature little more than a special “V12” badge at the rear to differentiate them from standard 7 Series models. Inside, the car features a serialized plaque with the car’s production number out of the 12 units planned. The engine itself features a nameplate with “The Final V12.”

Beyond the badges, BMW’s 12-cylinder last-hurrah will come standard with 20-inch M double-spoke wheels, a choice of any available BMW full Merino leather color, M Sport brakes with black or blue calipers, a panoramic LED roof, remote control parking, a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system, and adaptive LED headlights.

BMW 760i xDrive Only 12 of the cars will be built, with a starting price of more than $200,000.BMW

Though it hasn’t been BMW’s most popular engine over the years, the V12 has been a part of the automaker’s catalog for 35 years. The first 12-cylinder engine showed up in 1987, producing 295 horsepower in the original 750iL sedan.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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