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Old 12-05-2010, 11:10 PM   #1
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First Drive: 2011 Hyundai Elantra

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Hyundai, First Drive

Korean compact is a no-gimmicks eco-warrior

2011 Hyundai Elantra - Click above for high-res image gallery

Were we the betting type, we'd put money on looming CAFE standards as the single biggest issue to keep auto execs awake at night. Organizations from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to the California Air Resource Board and the Environmental Protection Agency have all made noise about increasing corporate average fuel economy standards to lofty figures that reside anywhere between 47 and 62 mpg in around 14 years - a blink of an eye in terms of product development. If you've been wondering why manufacturers continue to roll out a bevy of fuel-efficient, economical vehicles despite relatively stable fuel prices and luke-warm demand, wonder no more.

Hyundai, with its small-engined fleet of fuel-savvy bruisers, seems downright giddy at the news. The Korean manufacturer has announced that by the time 2025 rolls around, the company will have a corporate average fuel economy of 50 mpg. The groundwork for that dramatic increase is being laid right now with vehicles like the Sonata Hybrid and the most recent addition to the Hyundai stable, the 2011 Elantra.

The first-generation Elantra debuted four short years ago, but in meantime competition in the American small-car market has increased by leaps and bounds. Additions like the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and the upcoming 2012 Ford Focus have proven that domestic manufacturers are just as serious about producing compact, high-quality vehicles with excellent fuel economy as the long-reigning titans of the segment from Honda and Toyota. With its 40 mpg highway, stylish exterior and excellent drivetrain, the 2011 Hyundai Elantra is set to put the rest of the segment on notice.


Gallery: 2011 Hyundai Elantra: First Drive



Photos copyright (C)2010 Zach Bowman / AOLContinue reading First Drive: 2011 Hyundai Elantra

First Drive: 2011 Hyundai Elantra originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Dec 2010 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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Old 12-06-2010, 11:36 AM   #2
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Posted via FF Mobile Bastards....i was gonna post this just now LOL.

Healthy competition...it really is a great little car, or should I say midsize. I wonder if insurence companies will consider it such, if so it should have a lower rate then other compacts. I really like all the styling and love the HVAC control layout with the knobs ontop of one another. And heated seats front and rear is very nice too. Of course then theres the mpgs. If i was into sedans and just wanted a inexpesive commuter I would be looking at this. The focus sedan looks better still, but this is close second in the world of compacts.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:51 AM   #3
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interior is pretty. other than that its meh
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:59 PM   #4
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Hyundai began selling the Elantra this month, and technically, you can drive away with a base GLS with a manual-transmission for $14,830, though expect to make a few sacrifices at that price point. The bottom-of-the-line Elantra doesn't come with creature comforts like air-conditioning, though power windows and power locks are standard equipment. The vast majority of buyers are more likely to opt for the GLS with what Hyundai calls the "Popular Package." Alongside frosty A/C, the equipment package throws in cruise control and a telescoping steering column for $16,080. For an extra grand, buyers can have that excellent automatic gearbox and 16-inch alloy wheels instead of the 16-inch steelies and wheel covers on the manual-transmission vehicle.
It looks like it will beat the 2012 Focus on price.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:11 PM   #5
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Seems to be nothing more than an economy car really, nothing special. I'd actually rather have a cruze since I don't feel like downgrading to a torsion beam suspension.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:43 PM   #6
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Looks good, for now. I wonder how fresh and interesting those looks will be just 3-4 years from now. Time will tell.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:47 PM   #7
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Seems to be nothing more than an economy car really, nothing special. I'd actually rather have a cruze since I don't feel like downgrading to a torsion beam suspension.


Posted via FF Mobile The cruze is even less special if you ask me and its more expensive then both the focus and the elantra. It can also top out at 26 grand...and you wont get anywhere near the tech the focus has. Also theres nothing wrong with a trosion beam, the fiesta has it and is a great drive. And btw...the cruze has one too. Yes the american version is a z watts linkage, but its still a torsion, just with a few arms, you'd still be downgrading. Id take the elantra.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:55 PM   #8
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the cruze translates to crap in real world. chevy needs to realize that throwing navi and power seats into a crappy car doesn't make it premium, it just makes it a crappy car with navi and power seats. so therefore it cannot charge premium prices.

and then when you try to move away from the pricing category, you realize that this crappy car does nothing to stand out in the sea of compact cars, theres nothing special about it which brings you right back to why is this damn thing so expensive.

the elantra also gets 40mpg no matter the trim you buy; fully loaded, spartan, doesnt matter. with the cruze you have to buy the eco model which is essentially a base model with the 1.4 liter slow as hell turbo and a manual transmission, so plastic hubcaps, lesser equipped interior, plain jane exterior.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:22 PM   #9
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It looks like it will beat the 2012 Focus on price.
That's honestly not that hard to do.
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:42 PM   #10
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What the other magazines had to say..regarding handling

Cars.com
http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2...rst-drive.html

Hyundai's drive route, which took us close enough to Mexico that we could see the tall border fence a few hundred yards from the road at one point, featured miles of serpentine roads. One of the Elantra's most interesting qualities is its willingness to tackle this kind of blacktop. The car resists body roll, even when pushed hard into a corner, and lifting off the gas slightly had the effect of helping bring the rear end through the corner more quickly, enhancing the car's already nimble feeling. While the Mazda3 still ranks as one of the more engaging compact cars available in the U.S., the Elantra's suspension tuning makes it one of the sportier choices in its class.

In more mundane driving situations like cruising on the highway, ride comfort skews more toward a Civic than a Corolla. The suspension is taut, but not as sensitive to rough pavement as a Civic's or as isolating as a Corolla's. Suspension rebound over dips and bumps is controlled, and there's solidity to the setup that was missing in some earlier Hyundais, which had noisy suspensions. The Elantra's electric power-steering system offers good straight-line tracking stability, but it grew numb in the switchbacks.


Motortrend

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...nsmission.html

It's a difference you can feel on the road. With less weight to carry around, the Elantra is quick and nimble in town, on the highway or even your favorite back road. The MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension aren't anything fancy, but they allow the Elantra to corner confidently while making it surprisingly difficult to induce under- or oversteer. While late-braking into a turn gets the back end a bit light, it quickly settles in without getting squirrely.

Sportiness is really just a bonus. The Elantra's main mission is to serve as an affordable commuter, and it performs its duties well. The car rides nicely, feeling planted without being too stiff on rough pavement. Wind and engine noise are well-controlled, though tire noise can be intrusive on rough pavement. As seems to be a trend among newer Hyundais, the electric power steering feels elastic and artificial, like a high-end video game steering wheel, but it's quick and accurate with no slop. As a bonus safety feature, in the event of a skid, it will try to force you to turn into the slide by reducing boost in the direction of the slide and increasing boost when turning against the slide.


AUTOGUIDE
http://www.autoguide.com/manufacture...rive-1480.html

Truthfully, none of the Elantras are corner carvers. The car certainly feels light, and doesnít have the overbuilt feeling that the Cruze does, but itís really difficult to imagine a single Elantra buyer driving one in anger.

Thatís not to say you canít have fun with this compact car. The old maxim extolling the fun of driving a slow car at its limits applies directly to the Elantra.
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