2023 Hyundai Elantra facelift update finally ‘fixes’ the sedan’s controversial looks

The seventh-generation Hyundai Elantra has a very divisive appearance – you either love it or hate it. We fortunately fall into the former category, but if you’re not a big fan of its looks, the 2023 facelift is sure to change your opinion.

That’s because the new facelift update, unveiled via these first official photos for South Korea, has finally ‘fixed’ the model’s controversial design – particularly on the front end. Gone is the big catfish front fascia, and in its place, a sleeker and shorter parametric front grille, flanked by the reworked headlights.

On the latter, they now feature a more “typical” design without the swept-back look of the pre-facelift model, and they’re also now joined by a new lighting strip that runs across the top of the grille, tying the two headlight housings together via the daytime-running lights.

Other changes on the exterior come in the form of reworked bumpers that look a lot more aggressive than before, alongside the newly-designed wheels. Fortunately, the unique jewel-like character lines survives the facelift update.

Inside, there doesn’t seem to be many obvious changes to the 2023 Hyundai Elantra facelift. The seats do seem to have a new green-coloured upholstery, but that’s pretty much as far as our eyes could see.

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The Elantra’s powertrain should also still be unchanged from before. Similar to us here in Malaysia, the C-segment sedan for the South Korean market is also offered with a Smartstream 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated inline-four engine, pushing 123 hp and 154 Nm of torque to the front wheels via the marque’s own Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) gearbox.

A more powerful N Line variant is also available for the Elantra, which packs a turbocharger onto the Smartstream 1.6-litre engine for an output of 204 hp and 265 Nm, paired to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

But car enthusiasts will of course be most excited about the range-topping Elantra N, which gets a larger 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four engine making 280 hp and 392 Nm, alongside a bunch of mechanical updates to make it a proper driver-focused “sports” car.

We expect the latter two variants to also be similarly updated following the official launch of the 2023 Hyundai Elantra facelift in Korea.


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