For many people, getting from point A to point B in an automotive appliance is just fine. But you can do better.

Start with the Elantra’s handling, which is safe and secure, but it never feels inspired to provide any driving thrills. Comfortwise, the ride absorbs lesser road bumps, but hit a sharp dip and the suspension loses its composure.

No trim level feels loaded with power, whether it’s the SE’s and Limited’s 147-hp 2.0-liter or the “Eco” version’s 128-hp, 1.4-liter turbo. Acceleration is leisurely for the compact segment, and getting up to speed requires pushing the engine hard, which elicits an unpleasant buzz. On the flip side, our tested SE model turned in an exemplary 33 mpg overall.

Another sour note: Road noise is pronounced, making the car feel less substantial.

2017 Hyundai Elantra front

HIGHS: Relatively roomy, easy controls, fuel economy
LOWS: Engine noise, ride, front-seat comfort
POWERTRAIN: 147-hp, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine; 6-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive
FUEL: 33 mpg
PRICE AS TESTED: $20,090 

The standard cloth seats lack lower-back support; we’d pick the Limited’s more supportive power leather seats.

The Elantra’s interior remains a bastion of straightforward controls with a clear, uncomplicated infotainment touch screen. Bluetooth and a rearview camera come with the Popular Equipment package, topping off at a still-reasonable $20,090.

Though the new Elantra is roomy, frugal, and user-friendly, driving this ordinary car lacks any gratifying experience.

Read our complete Hyundai Elantra road test.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the September 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.