Hyundais most popular model has fresh styling, larger dimensions and a new lineup for 2001. The slow-selling station wagon body style is gone, and the sedan returns with a new appearance. Next spring, a four-door hatchback is expected to join the roster as a replacement for the wagon.
Side-impact airbags for the front seats are now standard an unusual feature for a car in this price range. Antilock brakes are optional.
The front-drive Elantra is a compact car that fits between the subcompact Accent and the midsize Sonata in size and price in Hyundais lineup.
Hyundai describes the Elantras new styling as more chiseled and European than the previous model, highlighted by strong character lines. The wheelbase is 2.3 inches longer this year at 102.7, and overall length increases about 3 inches to 177.
Hyundai says the longer wheelbase and redesigned interior provides more passenger space in the five-seat Elantra. The three-place rear seat is split 60/40 and folds to expand the trunks cargo volume of 11 cubic feet.
Standard equipment includes air conditioning; power windows, locks and mirrors; a four-speaker sound system with a cassette player; and a rear defogger. A six-speaker sound system with a CD player is optional.
Under the Hood
The front-drive Elantra will use the same 140-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder used last year, though Hyundai says this years version is quieter and smoother because of new internal parts, hydraulic engine mounts and other changes.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional.