2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring

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Key Specs

of the 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    27 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    138-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Interior amenities
  • Value for the money
  • Safety features
  • Front-seat roominess
  • Trunk size
  • Warranty

The Bad

  • Engine noise
  • Highway comfort
  • Uninspired styling
  • Highway acceleration
  • Some basic features not standard
  • So-so mpg with hatchback

Notable Features of the 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring

  • Sport-tuned Elantra Touring hatchback
  • Manual or automatic
  • Six airbags and ABS standard
  • iPod-compatible stereo

2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring Road Test

Joe Wiesenfelder
Editor's note: This review was written in March 2009 about the 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2010, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

New for 2009, the Elantra Touring is a four-door hatchback (the Elantra's first hatch since 2006) that's treated as a separate model. It might seem strange to separate it, but there are more differences between the two than just the substitution of a hatch for a trunk. Backseat passengers get more headroom and legroom, and the wheelbase is longer despite the Touring's 1-inch-shorter exterior length. (See them compared side by side.)

The name "Touring," on the other hand, is a strange approach. It has meant many things over the years, starting in the 1920s when it represented a larger car — one with four or five seats and, typically, a removable roof. Nowadays it usually represents a trim level, as it does on the competing Mazda3, which comes in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims. As Mazda's usage suggests, "touring" often describes the opposite of sport: A car geared more for comfort than for excitement. Whether that was Hyundai's intent with the Touring name or not, it's produced a competent touring car, one with both the versatility and the comportment of a good daily driver.

There's only one option package available, the $1,500 Premium Sport Package, and it includes 17...
Editor's note: This review was written in March 2009 about the 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2010, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

New for 2009, the Elantra Touring is a four-door hatchback (the Elantra's first hatch since 2006) that's treated as a separate model. It might seem strange to separate it, but there are more differences between the two than just the substitution of a hatch for a trunk. Backseat passengers get more headroom and legroom, and the wheelbase is longer despite the Touring's 1-inch-shorter exterior length. (See them compared side by side.)

The name "Touring," on the other hand, is a strange approach. It has meant many things over the years, starting in the 1920s when it represented a larger car — one with four or five seats and, typically, a removable roof. Nowadays it usually represents a trim level, as it does on the competing Mazda3, which comes in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims. As Mazda's usage suggests, "touring" often describes the opposite of sport: A car geared more for comfort than for excitement. Whether that was Hyundai's intent with the Touring name or not, it's produced a competent touring car, one with both the versatility and the comportment of a good daily driver.

There's only one option package available, the $1,500 Premium Sport Package, and it includes 17-inch wheels, heated front seats and a moonroof. (Touring and Sport all at once? I think I just pulled an eye muscle.)

Just Don't Say 'Wagon'
The Elantra Touring looks more like a wagon than do many of today's hatchbacks. This differs from the previous Elantra hatch — which resembled a Saab 9-3 — and from the Mazda3 hatchback, a close competitor. The Hyundai might not look as slick, but the squared-off rear end provides far more cargo space than you get in the 2009 Mazda3. (Full specifications aren't available yet for the redesigned 2010 Mazda3, but it hasn't grown significantly.)

2009 Compact Hatchbacks
Base MSRPExterior length Cargo volume (behind backseat/ seats folded) EPA-estimated mpg (city/highway)
Hyundai Elantra Touring$17,800176.224.3 / 65.323 / 31
Dodge Caliber$16,460173.818.5 / 48.024 / 30
Mazda 3 hatchback $18,625176.817.1 / 43.822 / 29
Subaru Impreza$17,995173.819.0 / 44.420 / 27
Suzuki SX4$15,939162.816.0 / 54.022 / 29
Source: Manufacturers

Hatchbacks always have more cargo volume than sedan versions of the same model, but there are clear differences among models, as the table shows. The Elantra Touring's base and maximum cargo volumes are greater than the others', including the Mazda3, which is longer from bumper to bumper.

Sticking It to Stop-and-Go
A manual transmission is almost no one's first choice for stop-and-go traffic, but you could do far worse than the Elantra Touring. If you insist, Hyundai provides an optional four-speed automatic, but for a five-speed stick my test car was uncannily easy to drive — even in the late-winter gridlock that comes with ill-timed pothole repairs and lane closures. I thank the seat, the clutch and the gearing.

I'm not wild about the seat's cushions, and a couple of our reviewers found them woefully unsupportive. I also think that the cloth upholstery, while looking pretty good, is rough to the touch. Comfort isn't only about cushions; I like the driver's seat geometry a lot, which includes its height off the floor and its legroom. Identical legroom measurements in different cars can translate to completely different geometries — low to the floor with one's legs straight out in front, or up high with heels dangling. The Elantra Touring's seat is high enough that my knees weren't raised much, and the standard height adjustment let me tune it to suit. I found myself stepping down on the clutch pedal more in this car than in some, where you're pushing radically forward. Everyone's different, but for me this setup, combined with a very light and forgiving clutch, made repeated stop-and-go clutching almost effortless. The weight of my leg helped to push down, and the pedal doesn't require a lot of finesse, so I didn't get fatigued.

The gear ratios are also conducive to creeping along without taking the car out of gear. Second gear is nice and low, so I was able to modulate speed with the accelerator and stay in motion. So long as I was between 5 and 10 mph (we call this rush hour in Chicago), the engine didn't struggle and I didn't have to change gears. At $800 and an estimated loss of only 1 mpg in highway driving, the automatic isn't a bad deal, but if you're someone who prefers a manual yet is hesitant to get one for commuting, this is one to consider.

Touring Evokes Touring
If you're looking for super sportiness, you won't be quite as impressed, even if you get the Premium Sport Package, which my test car had. Though light, the clutch pedal doesn't give much feedback, and the stick is tall of height and long of throw; it does the job, and that's about all. In terms of handling, the Touring once again evokes touring. Body roll is prominent in aggressive cornering, and the steering is a bit numb and very lazy about returning to center after a turn. Most drivers wouldn't think twice about these things, and the steering could actually be a plus in commuting because it doesn't require constant correction on curves. If you're looking for truly sporty, handling-oriented driving, though, the Elantra Touring doesn't come close to the Mazda3.

The 138-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder won't set your heart ablaze, either, but it was more than adequate when teamed with the five-speed automatic. A sixth speed wouldn't hurt, but the ones you get are well-chosen.

Just so I don't scare anyone off, I'll emphasize that the Elantra Touring's roadholding is quite good, and it has the expected degree of understeer and no more. It feels safe and controllable, though body roll is more than I'd expect with the car's ride quality. It's not too firm for daily use, but it's not so mushy as to disconnect you from the road. You know when there are disruptions in the pavement, but there's not too much drama. Anyone concerned about smoothness might try the standard 16-inch wheels instead.

Stretched Cabin
The cabin has been stretched compared to the Elantra sedan — if you consider stretching to include a narrowing around the middle. Hip and shoulder room has come down anywhere from a few tenths of an inch in the front seats to more than an inch in the back. More important, though, the front seat's headroom and legroom are unaffected, and the backseat gains almost 2 inches in headroom and 1.4 inches in legroom over the sedan. Even with its narrowing, the Elantra Touring is roomier in all dimensions than the competing hatchbacks mentioned earlier.

Elantra Touring in the Market
America used to be biased against hatchbacks, but that seems to be changing now that SUVs have broken us in. I think shoppers will welcome another four-door hatch like the Elantra Touring, especially because of its generous passenger space and wagonlike cargo capacity. It doesn't have the most affordable starting price, but it is a characteristically well-equipped Hyundai with plenty of power features and standard safety items, including antilock brakes, electronic stability control with traction control and active head restraints. (See all safety features here.)

The unfortunate unknown at this point is whether the Touring will share crash-test results with the Elantra Sedan. It's similar, but we can't assume anything until we hear from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, our preferred source for this data. Though the sedan rates Good (the highest score) for frontal impact and Acceptable for rear impact, the side rating is Marginal, even though side-impact and side curtain airbags are standard equipment. Of the models rated in IIHS' Small Cars class, 11 score Good in the side impact, three score Acceptable, four rate Marginal and two are rated Poor. The Touring could rate better than the sedan — or even worse — but we won't know until IIHS gives us the word.

Send Joe an email 



2010 Elantra Touring Video

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Latest 2010 Elantra Touring Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.0)
Reliability
(4.4)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Great small car. Good gas mileage. Dependable

by Happy Hyundai from London, ON on July 17, 2018

This car fits my lifestyle perfectly. I can haul things in it and it has not let me down yet. Nice style and drives beautifully. Read full review

(5.0)

Very reliable car.

by Rhondaj from tuttle, oklahoma on April 12, 2018

This car met all our needs at the time, then we bought a newer one for our teenager when she turned 18. She drove this car forever, always reliable, was a safe car to put her in. Over 160,000 when we ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring currently has 3 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Elantra Touring received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker