2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring SE Review


2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring SE (select to view enlarged photo)
2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring SE

SEE ALSO: Hyundai Buyers Guide

THE AUTO PAGE
By JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS: 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring SE

Model: 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring SE
Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC I-4
Horsepower/Torque: 138 hp @ 6,000 rpm/136 lb.-ft. @ 4,600 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Wheelbase: 106.3 in.
Length/Width/Height: 176.2 x 69.5 x 59.8 in.
Tires: P215/45R17
Cargo volume: 24.3/65.3 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)
Fuel economy: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway/30.8 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 14.0 gal.
Curb weight: ~3,000 lbs.
Sticker: $19,845 (includes $720 destination charge and $120 in options (carpeted floor mats and iPod cable))

The Bottom Line: This Elantra is a nice package for a compact car with decent power and economy. It is capable as a commuter, tourer for four or general running around.

Hyundai has introduced some truly wonderful cars over the past few years, Genesis and Equus to name a couple. The Elantra is a nameplate that has been around for several years in Hyundai’s catalog, and there’s a good reason for it. Elantra isn’t a car that will stun you with its performance or styling. It is a car that will serve you well and will save you enough money that you can actually afford to drive it.

We’ve had an Elantra in our family; one of my daughters owned one several years ago. Her initial analysis of the car stands well today; it does the job well and all the controls are where I expect them to be.

Our tester had a 2.0-liter inline four under the hood that delivered 138 horsepower and 136 lb-ft. of torque through a 5-speed manual transmission. This was a decent amount of power in general, although there was one instance when I pulled out into traffic where I had to keep my foot planted firmly on the loud pedal to keep from being grill meat for a Peterbilt. But most of the time there was adequate power, and an owner would learn the distances he or she would need in pulling out.

The engine is somewhat buzzy on hard acceleration, but not annoyingly so. You can live with occasional buzziness when you get more than 30 mpg in average driving conditions that did include some Interstate driving.

I liked the transmission. It is one of the better 5-speeds I’ve used. The gears seemed to be in the right place all the time and I didn’t screw up my shifting as I sometimes do. In addition, there’s a “dead pedal” to the left of the clutch where you can rest your left foot when you aren’t shifting.

The front seats are comfortable and have better side support than I originally expected. They are cloth and heated, two advantages.

In the rear there is good leg and knee room with a fold-down arm rest and a pair of cupholders.

We drove the Elentra in warm-to-hot weather and were pleased with the performance of the heating/air conditioning system. It took its sweet time cooling the car in hotter weather, but once it got the job going, it kept us comfortably cool.

The AC also cools the glove box, so you can keep food or beverages in there. The necessary paperwork with any car can block the vents, so if you’re planning on using the glove box to keep things cool, check the vents first.

Cargo and storage are benefits of the Elantra. In the passenger compartment there are a couple of cubbies, one at the base of the center stack. All the doors have room for water bottles, and there are cup holders for the front passengers just ahead of the shifter.

The trunk is an excellent size for a compact car, at 24.3 cubic feet. That’s one of the advantages of the hatchback design. But drop the rear seat backs and this explodes to 65.3 cubic feet, enough for any packrat.

The cargo area has tie-downs at all four corners to assist in securing any cargo that may need to be secured. There are also hooks on the side to accommodate grocery bags. Under the flat floor there’s a small hidden storage area, and beneath that is the space-saver spare. In addition, there are roof rails that will hold a small amount of cargo that might not fit in the trunk.

The Elantra may not be one of Hyundai’s hot new nameplates, but the fact that it has longevity proves that the original concept worked and is still working in providing a sensible compact car with decent performance and economy.

2010 The Auto Page Syndicate

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