The Elantra compact sedan should appeal to value- and safety-conscious buyers, as its price undercuts many in its class. Its trim levels are the entry-level GLS and better-equipped SE; competitors include the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevy Cobalt.
New for 2009
A sport-tuned Elantra Touring hatchback, equipped similarly to the uplevel SE sedan, is new.
(Skip to details on the: Elantra Touring)
A CD audio system, optional on the GLS and standard on the SE, adds USB and auxiliary ports to integrate with iPods or other MP3 players. All models get revised gauges.
At 177.4 inches long and 69.9 inches wide, the Elantra casts a slightly bigger shadow than a four-door Civic. The Elantra is 58.3 inches tall, which is about 2 inches taller than the Civic.
- 15-inch steel wheels (standard on GLS)
- 16-inch alloy wheels (standard on SE)
- Optional fog lights (standard on GLS)
- Standard heated power mirrors
- Standard body-colored mirrors and door handles
The Elantra's interior is noticeably larger than the previous generation's, with enough backseat legroom for a 6-foot adult. Trunk volume, at 14.2 cubic feet, leads both the Civic and Toyota's redesigned Corolla.
- Cloth or leather upholstery
- Heated seats (optional on SE)
- Standard keyless entry, power windows and locks
- Optional air conditioning and cruise control (standard on SE)
- Optional CD stereo with iPod integration (standard on SE)
- SE also adds leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and telescoping adjustment, plus a trip computer
Under the Hood
The Elantra is powered by a four-cylinder engine teamed with a manual transmission. An automatic is optional on all trim levels.
- 138-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 136 pounds-feet of torque
- Standard five-speed manual transmission
- Optional four-speed automatic transmission
- Sport-tuned suspension on Elantra Touring
Safety features include:
- Standard front, side-impact and side curtain airbags
- Standard active head restraints
- Standard four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
- Elantra SE and Touring add electronic stability system
Hyundai has added a hatchback version of its Elantra compact sedan to battle it out with cars such as the Dodge Caliber, Toyota Matrix, Mazda3 hatchback and Nissan Versa.
Standard equipment includes four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, six airbags, a tire pressure monitoring system and stability control, which isn't standard among its competition. Other features new to the Touring model are standard USB and auxiliary audio inputs. The center stack design also has been changed.
Power still comes from the same four-cylinder engine, but for an economy car it isn't completely anemic. Hyundai tuned the suspension and steering for better handling versus the Elantra sedan.
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