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2007-2010 Hyundai Elantra
USED CAR REVIEW
Elantra continually impresses with its combination of content and
Hyundai Elantra resale values lag behind those of competitors.
The Elantra was introduced in the fall of 1991 to augment Hyundaiís line-up that at the time consisted of the entry-level Excel, sporty Scoupe and mid-size Sonata. A complete makeover for the 1996 model year resulted in a car that was larger and more attractive than the original and included a wagon as well as a four-door sedan.
The third-generation model, launched for the 2001 model year, was available in sedan and GT hatchback. This was followed by a fourth-generation sedan for the 2007 model year that was joined by a wagon ó called the Touring ó two years later. Both featured a 138-horsepower 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.
After only four seasons, a brand new Hyundai Elantra sedan made it to market for the 2011 model year.
THE GOOD STUFF
Hyundai injected plenty of goodness into this version of the Elantra. The cabin was roomy and reasonably quiet at highway speeds, the seats were quite comfortable for four passengers (five in a pinch) and trunk space was on the generous side. The carís stiffened chassis also made for a comfortable and quiet ride.
As with virtually all Hyundais, there were plenty of standard features as well as numerous optional luxury upgrades. The standard four-cylinder powerplant was equal to that of the Elantraís top competitors, in terms of both power and fuel economy, with either the standard five-speed manual transmission, or optional four-speed automatic.
Although strong enough and relatively fuel-efficient, the Elantraís 138-horsepower 2.0- litre engine tended to be somewhat noisy, even under light loads. The five-speed manual transmission, with its extra forward gear compared to the automatic, made the Elantra a lot more willing. On the road, the soft suspension and numb steering killed any sporty nature.
Overall build quality was the carís strong suit, but its featureless soap-dish styling and excessively plastic interior detracted from ultimate desirability.
As each successive generation rolls on by, the Elantra continually impresses with its combination of content and overall competency. The level of fit and finish is equal to products from Europe and Japan, and Hyundaiís extra-long warranty coverage (five years) is a definite bonus.
The current version, which is all new for the 2011 model year, could be considered a breakout model that shows, in particular, design leadership over all other brands.
Engine: 2.0-litre DOHC I4 (138 hp)
Transmissions: Five-speed manual; four-speed automatic
Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Body: Four-door sedan.
PRICES AT A GLANCE
Elantra resale values lag behind those of competitors but not by as much as in previous editions. Note that the Touring wagon currently remains in production and is therefore not included here.
Model year Approx. price range*
*The low end of a given price range represents higher-mileage, low- option vehicles. Prices as of April 2011.
©CarTest.ca. Posted June 14, 2011. Source: Wheelbase Communications.