Cars.com's Bill Jackson takes a look at the 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring. It competes with the Dodge Caliber and Toyota Matrix.
(rock music) Hi, I'm Bill Jackson. I manage the Buying Guides for Cars.com. And we're here with the 2009 Elantra Touring, or hatchback to you and me. And we're going to walk you through some of its features.
Like we said, this is a hatchback, so the first thing you notice is, I think this hatch opens a little low. I'm not that short, but still, this is kind of in the headbutt range. But you do get a nice amount of space behind the second row with the seats in place. A lot of times with a smaller hatchback, you lose all the space back there, but that's pretty good room for groceries and whatnot. Now if you need to carry longer items like say a bike, it does come with a 60, 40 split rear seat. But the key is this center seatbelt. It's anchored into the seat. A lot of it, I know a lot of other cars, what they'll do is I'll have them attached to the roof or to the rear floor. And that makes it hard When you want to fold the seat forward. But not with the Hyundai. On the inside, one of the things I really like about the Elantra Touring is everything is pretty clean and pretty simple and very well laid out. These days a lot of car makers are going to fancy touch screens to control everything from the radio to the climate control. This just has simple, easy to use old fashioned knobs, and it's a nice touch. Also, the gauges are easy to see and good, good quality. I think they're nice and easy to read. One of the nicest things though for me is the sunroof. We don't really lose any space and there's still plenty of headroom despite having a sun roof. And that's not always the case. One of the other nice things is this is, you know, a five passenger car and there's actually a fair amount of leg room back here. I'm not the shortest guy and I've got the seats that where I would have it if I was driving and you can see there's still a fair amount of leg room. I mean, I wouldn't want to try to ride to Kansas in this thing, but a it's comfortable enough for a short trip. So with the Elantra Touring what you get is you get a lot more storage than you would get in a sedan or anything like that. We're not talking large SUV space, but if you don't like an SUV and you don't need that big of a car, I think it's something that you should consider. It's got good ride and good room, and it's pretty comfortable. <v Announcer>For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com and our blog KickingTires.