Presented by Olympic Auto Sales,
Atlanta’s premier Luxury Buy Here Pay Here
Ten years ago, the Hyundai Elantra was an also-ran in the compact-car sales sweepstakes. It wasn't anywhere near the ranks of the best sellers or best performers—cars like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Ford Focus.
A 2011 redesign changed all that, and today the Elantra is one of our top-rated economy sedans, in the same league as the Focus, Mazda 3, and the brilliant new Honda Civic. The 2011 Elantra scored heavily with its edgy styling, and backed up that promising shape with a spacious cabin and a strong set of standard features.
At the front, it's a success, with a wider, deeper grille giving the Elantra more presence. Boomerang-shaped LED running lights brighten the front-end treatment. With less sculpting down the body sides, the Elantra is simpler, and less distinctive. The C-shaped lines that pulled the rear of the car forward are gone, replaced by more vertical door cuts and a more carefully draped rear roofline, capped by LED taillights.
The Elantra's interior is a dead ringer for the one in the latest Sonata. It's built along horizontal themes, with a large space reserved under a simple dash hood for a touchscreen, canted slightly toward the driver. The gauges incorporate a separate 4.2-inch LCD display on some models for ancillary functions like audio and navigation. Secondary functions such as climate control and audio are controlled with knobs and keys, thank goodness, and the cockpit wears a mix of soft-touch plastics and metallic finishes just as in the Sonata, offset by a fair amount of hard black plastic.
A new Elantra Eco sports a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 with 128 hp and 156 lb-ft, teamed to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission for an estimated 35 mpg on the EPA combined cycle—which would match the new Honda Civic and its 4-cylinder/continuously variable transmission combo for efficiency. Over a 2,900-mile road trip, we averaged more than 41 mpg in highway driving.
Sporty road manners aren't a priority here, not like they are in the Focus or even the new Civic Touring. A basic strut front and twist-beam rear suspension have been tuned to deliver a remarkably supple, composed ride—as much due to their optimized design as to the Elantra's very stiff body. It's made up of lots of high-strength steel and industrial adhesives. The stiff body has helped steering some; it wanders less than in the previous car, but still feels best in Sport driving mode, where lower electric steering assist helps it track more cleanly.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.