The sharp new 2021 Hyundai Elantra is more than just a pretty face. The Elantra has always been a stand out in the compact-sedan class for style, efficiency, technology, and reliability, all wrapped into an affordable package. The previous Infinity audio system in the 2020 Elantra was nothing to be ashamed of for a budget car, but it certainly didn’t leave us wowed. Our 2021 Hyundai Elantra Bose sound system test shows how far this compact has come.
The 2021 Elantra changes that with its eight-speaker Bose radio. “Only eight speakers?” we hear you scoff. “How could that be worth listening to?” Speaker count never tells the whole story. See our review on the 19-speaker Durango stereo to see the evidence. We’ve seen some good results from the Hyundai and Bose partnership in the stylish new Sonata, and the results are similarly good in the Elantra.
It helps that you can score this Bose sound system for only $25,000 in the SEL trim with the Premium package. With a high-definition 10.3 touchscreen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and even a subwoofer, this is a seriously good sound system for this class. If you want good sound on the cheap, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra should be near the top of your list.
How We Test
Here at Daily Motor, we take audio systems seriously. That’s why we take every car, from a budget sedan like this Hyundai Elantra to supercars like the McLaren 570S, and put them through our rigorous sound-system testing. We use the same lossless, uncompressed WAV audio files on a USB drive plugged into the audio system so that every radio we test starts from the same baseline. To provide a realistic impression for the sound experience, we record with high-quality binaural microphones. We demonstrate every stereo with their sound settings set to their factory defaults, because that’s how the radio’s engineers designed it to sound, but we test all the sound settings on many different styles of music before shooting the reviews. After demonstrating the sound settings, adjustments, inputs, speaker locations, and Android Auto and/or Apple CarPlay functionality, we head out on the road to listen to our sample tracks at highway speeds. Most cars can sound great while stationary, but road, wind, and engine noise can deteriorate music fidelity. At the end of the test, we give an objective rating based on sound quality and overall system useage as well as a subjective rating factoring in vehicle attributes and price.