In short, Hyundai Elantra can be described like this: a cheap, economy car. And if you’re looking for more than this, then you should keep looking. Its true the car is no Genesis , but hopefully Hyundai will do something about it. While not impressive, the 2010 model adds a few changes: improved EPA fuel economy, chrome grille and rear chrome trim and black interior choice. The 2010 Elantra comes in three trim levels: Blue, GLS and SE, with prices ranging from $14,145 to $17,845.
The 2010 Hyundai Elantra is offered only with a 2,0 liter four-cylinder engine that develops a total of 138 hp and 136 lbs-ft of torque. A manual transmission is offered as standard, but a four-speed automatic one comes as an option. Fuel economy is 26 mpg city, and 35 mpg highway.
At the safety chapter, Elatra offers six standard airbags, ESC, Traction Control and Brake Assist, but also a fully independent suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars and motor-driven rack-and-pinion steering.
UPDATE 07/01/2010: Hyundai released a rendering of the revamped interior of the 2010 Hyundai Elantra. Check it out after the jump!
Full details in the press release after the jump.
The award-winning Elantra enters 2010 an improved weapon against gas prices, with the all-new Blue model achieving an estimated highway fuel economy rating of 35 miles per gallon. Smart engineering enhancements to the rest of the 2010 Elantra lineup improve fuel efficiency by up to four percent. These new fuel economy numbers give Elantra an advantage in price-per-MPG ratio, making it an even stronger value for 2010.
2,0 liter DOHC CVVT engine, 138 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 136 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
To make the Elantra “Blue,” engineers added a “smart” alternator management system, lower friction engine components, revised transmission gear ratios, engine calibration changes and a shift indicator to last year’s Elantra GLS manual. This new high mileage Elantra will be indentified with unique “Blue” badging. From the Blue edition, the rest of the Elantra line receives its lower friction engine components, “smart” alternator management system and an improved lock-up torque converter to maximize fuel economy at highway speeds.
Elantra also returns this year with the convenience of Hyundai’s iPod®/USB auxiliary inputs, a new “waterfall” grille, rear chrome trim, chrome interior accents and a monotone black interior color choice for SE models.
Music lovers will welcome the 2010 Elantra’s inclusion of XM Satellite Radio and standard auxiliary input jacks (3.5 mm mini-jack and USB input) to accommodate and charge audio devices such as iPods. When an iPod or flash drive is connected through the USB port, not only does it play music through the vehicle’s six-speaker audio system, but it also charges the iPod. The new audio display included with this system also allows both driver and passengers to easily view four lines of song/artist/title information and control the music from the audio head unit rather than from the iPod itself.
NEW EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2010
- High mileage, low price “Blue” edition
- Improved EPA fuel economy estimates for all other models
- Hyundai’s iPod/USB auxiliary inputs
- Waterfall chrome grille
- Rear chrome trim
- Chrome interior accents
- Black interior color choice
Still standard on the Elantra SE, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is the industry’s most significant new safety technology since the seatbelt. ESC compares the driver’s intended course with the vehicle’s actual response, then brakes individual front or rear wheels and/or reduces engine power as needed in certain driving circumstances to help correct understeer or oversteer. According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) research, if all vehicles were equipped with ESC, as many as 10,000 of the 34,000 fatal passenger vehicle crashes that occur each year could be prevented.
In addition, the Elantra has also received a five-star frontal and four-star side crash rating in the compact passenger car segment from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and earned a “Good” rating in the IIHS’s frontal offset test, the Institute’s highest rating. Finally, the addition of a standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System, which alerts drivers if tires are under inflated through an illuminated readout on the dash, rounds out Elantra’s safety features to make it one of the smartest purchases in the compact class.
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES
All Elantras have six standard airbags, including two advanced front airbags, two front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and two side-curtain airbags protecting front- and rear-seat outboard passengers. The combination of side and curtain airbags, which help protect the head and body during side impacts, can reduce fatalities by more than 45 percent according to IIHS. In addition the Elantra SE comes with standard ESC, Traction Control and Brake Assist.
Accident avoidance technologies start with Elantra’s chassis, which features a fully independent suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars and motor-driven rack-and-pinion steering. Elantra’s safety is taken even further with the addition of ESC. The Elantra’s standard power braking system has front and rear discs with a four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that includes Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). ABS helps the driver maintain vehicle steering control during braking in slippery conditions and in emergency maneuvers. EBD is integrated into the ABS, automatically adjusting the front-to-rear braking force based on the vehicle’s loading conditions. Brake Assist is standard on the Elantra SE along with ESC. Brake Assist detects panic braking situations (by sensing brake pedal application speed) and increases braking force to shorten overall stopping distances and help avoid accidents. Four-wheel disc brakes are a key leadership feature for the segment, as traditional rear drum brakes are still found on the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cobalt.
Elantra’s standard front-seat active head restraints help prevent whiplash by automatically reducing the space between a front occupant’s head and the head restraint during certain rear collisions and are highly recommended by safety organizations such as the IIHS.
All seating positions feature three-point seatbelts and adjustable head restraints. The shingle-style, rear-seat head restraints are designed to improve visibility when there are no rear-seat passengers, while protecting these passengers when in the vehicle. There is also an energy absorbing steering column, front seatbelt pretensioners and adjustable-height shoulder anchors. A Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system in the rear seat area provides secure attachment for child seats.
In low-speed impacts, the Elantra’s five-mph front and rear bumpers help minimize damage. In higher energy collisions, its steel unibody structure is engineered to dissipate crash energy as its crumple zones deform, while bodyside reinforcements help maintain the integrity of the passenger compartment. Hood buckling creases and safety stops help control the deformation of the hood in a frontal collision.
EXPRESSIVE AND CONFIDENT DESIGN
Elantra’s front appearance and rising beltline create a premium statement. For added distinction and assertiveness, chrome headlight bezels, a new waterfall chrome grille and chrome rear trim are standard. The Elantra profile features sculpted surfaces, an expressive bodyside character line that is shared with other Hyundai models and neatly integrated bodycolor door handles and mirrors. The rear styling complements the front design with tail lights that echo the theme of the headlights and nicely complete the bodyside character line.
Elantra has a low coefficient of drag to improve fuel efficiency at highway speeds and reduce interior noise. Elantra’s coefficient of drag is 0.32, which is significantly “more slippery” than the 2008 Nissan Sentra’s 0.35.
A “CLASS ABOVE” INTERIOR – MORE ROOM THAN CIVIC, COROLLA AND TL
Elantra is truly a “class above” Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla when it comes to interior room. Elantra is so roomy the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies it as a mid-size car, not a compact car like Civic and Corolla. Elantra’s total interior volume of 112.1 cubic feet easily beats the 2010 Civic sedan (102.9 cu. ft.), 2010 Nissan Sentra (110.8 cu. ft.) and 2010 Corolla (104.3 cu. ft.), and, surprisingly, even surpasses the interior volume of the near-luxury Acura TL (110.4 cu. ft.). Elantra trunk volume at 14.2 cubic feet also beats Civic and Corolla.
Thoughtful design touches bring harmony and substance to Elantra’s interior. The dashboard slopes downward to give a feeling of more space and to promote greater visibility, while offering a modern look. The contrasting beige or gray two-tone color scheme and now monotone black color scheme, combined with new chrome finishes, complement the sophisticated and upscale Elantra exterior styling. Other optional interior amenities include heated seats as well as steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls; the steering column also tilts for improved control. Cool blue back lighting adds a modern, easy-to-read ambience at night.
The center console features dual level storage compartments and a comfortable armrest. An overhead sunglass holder has built-in map lights, while pockets are integrated into the front door panels, and seatback storage pockets provide additional room for small items. Storage can also be found in the dash, center stack and console. A convenient handbag strap holder, dual front cupholders and rear center armrest with cupholders round out the interior appointments and provide everyday utility.
The Elantra’s comfortable and versatile seating includes a multi-adjustable driver’s seat, including variable height settings, adjustable head restraints and a standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback to accommodate larger cargo.
Conveniences like a standard cabin air filter, rear window defroster, tilt steering wheel, tinted glass, two-speed variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist function, power heated mirrors, power windows and door locks, and remote keyless entry with alarm and trunk release add to Elantra’s remarkable value position. XM Satellite Radio is a standard feature on all Elantra audio systems.
Option packages enhance this value. The Elantra Blue Comfort Package offers a 172-watt AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers and iPod/USB auxiliary inputs. Also included is air conditioning and cruise control.
SUPER CLEAN ENGINE
Thanks to advanced clean engine technology, most Elantras sold in California, Oregon and several Northeast states are certified as Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (PZEV) by the EPA. The PZEV Elantra is as clean as many hybrid electric vehicles and helps Hyundai meet its environmental commitments. Outside of these “green” states, the Elantra is available in Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) configurations.
Hyundai’s advanced 2.0-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine powers the Elantra. This sophisticated 16-valve powerplant employs Dual Over Head Camshafts (DOHC) and Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) for a very broad power spread, coupled with high fuel efficiency and low emissions.
The ULEV variation is rated at 138 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 136 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm. PZEV engines are available only with a four-speed automatic transmission, and are rated at 132 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 133 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm. The Elantra Blue’s estimated mileage is 26 mpg city, and 35 mpg highway. With the four-speed automatic transmission found in the Elantra GLS and SE, the estimated rating is 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.
SUSPENSION AND STEERING
Elantra delivers a comfortable ride and responsive handling, thanks to a front MacPherson strut suspension with coil springs and gas shock absorbers, and a multi-link independent suspension with twin-tube gas shock absorbers in the rear. A 23.0 mm diameter front stabilizer bar and 17.0 mm rear stabilizer bar help reduce body roll when cornering. The SE-tuned suspension features 18 percent stiffer front spring rate, 24 percent stiffer rear spring rate and unique shock valving. The SE suspension also has a 24.0 mm diameter front stabilizer bar and 20.0 mm rear stabilizer bar for even better cornering. To enhance stopping power, the front and rear brakes are generously sized at 10.8 inches (275 mm) for the front and 10.3 inches (262 mm) for the rear.
Stiffer body construction allows Hyundai chassis engineers to tune the suspension components for precise steering and handling together with a well-controlled, yet comfortable ride. Additionally, a rigid body structure and the vehicle’s optimized door sealing strategy contribute to reduce road noise (two decibels below a comparably equipped Honda Civic — based on internal testing).
Advanced, electric motor-driven, engine-speed-sensing rack-and-pinion power steering offers many benefits, including lighter weight and reduced engine drag for higher fuel economy, while delivering a more precise steering feel. The Elantra steering system also offers excellent parking and turning maneuverability. At 33.9 feet, Elantra’s turning diameter is better than Civic’s 34.8 feet, Corolla’s 36.3 feet, and Mazda3 sedan’s 34.2 feet. The SE’s steering is tuned for even quicker response and feel.
THREE TRIM LEVELS
The Elantra is now available in three distinctive trim levels with the addition of Blue to the line up.
ELANTRA BLUE – THE PERFECT COMPACT CAR
In keeping with Hyundai’s Blue Drive strategy the Elantra “Blue” edition delivers outstanding fuel economy without adding thousands of dollars to the price. In fact, Elantra Blue is the lowest priced Elantra in the lineup. The Elantra Blue also practices Hyundai ’s high-value approach to standard equipment. Elantra Blue has a remarkable array of desirable features for a model with an excellent price-per-MPG ratio. The Elantra delivers outstanding standard safety technologies in its segment, with six airbags, ABS, 4-wheel disc brakes, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), active front head restraints and adjustable head restraints for all seating positions. A partial list of other standard features includes: power heated mirrors, power door locks, power windows with driver’s one-touch down, remote keyless entry with alarm and trunk release, variable intermittent windshield wipers, multiple storage areas, 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback, tachometer, tinted windows, two 12V outlets and tilt steering wheel. Air conditioning, 172-watt AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system with tweeters and in-glass antenna, iPod/USB auxiliary inputs and cruise control are available options as part of the Comfort Package.
The Elantra GLS takes all the equipment from the Elantra Blue equipped with the Comfort Package and adds a four-speed automatic transimission, dual front illuminated vanity mirrors with sunvisor extensions, fog lights and a windshield shade band. The only option is a power sunroof.
ELANTRA SE – ADDING A SPORTY FLAVOR
The sport-oriented SE adds all the equipment in the GLS plus ESC with Traction Control and Brake Assist, 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55R16 tires, sport-tuned steering and suspension, leather shift knob, telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel audio controls, B&M shifter and trip computer. The SE Premium Package adds a power sunroof and heated front seats.
- Type DOHC CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing)
- Materials Cast iron block and aluminum head
- Displacement 2.0 liters / 1,975 cc
- Horsepower 138 @ 6,000 rpm (ULEV) 132 @ 6,000 rpm (PZEV)
- Torque 136 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm (ULEV) 133 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm (PZEV)
- Valves per cylinder 4
|Gear ratios||BLUE MT||GLS AT||SE AT|
- Front Independent, MacPherson struts with coil springs, strut tuning and 23-mm stabilizer bar (SE: 24-mm stabilizer bar)
- Rear Independent, multi-link, shock tuning and 17-mm stabilizer bar (SE: 20-mm stabilizer bar)
- Type Power-assisted rack-and-pinion, motor driven
- Overall Ratio 15.37:1
- Turns, lock to lock 3.13
- Turning circle 33.9 ft. (curb to curb)
- Front 10.8-in. ventilated disc
- Rear 10.3-in. solid disc
- ABS 4-channels, 4-sensors with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
- Tires BLUE/GLS: P195/65R15 SE: P205/55R16
- Wheels BLUE/GLS: 15-in. steel with full wheel cover SE: 16-in. alloy
- Wheelbase 104.3 in.
- Overall length 177.4 in.
- Overall width 69.9 in.
- Overall height 58.3 in.
- Track width (front/rear), BLUE/GLS 60.7 in. / 60.7 in.
- Track width (front/rear), SE 60.2 in. / 60.1 in.
- Minimum Ground Clearance 5.9 in.
- Coefficient of Drag 0.32
- Head room
- Front 40.0 in
- Rear 37.6 in.
- Leg room
- Front 43.5 in.
- Rear 35.0 in.
- Shoulder room
- Front 55.6 in.
- Rear 55.1 in.
- Hip room
- Front 54.2 in.
- Rear 54.0 in.
Prices and Options
|Premium + Navigation package||$2,000|
|Trunk Cargo Net||$50|
|Rear cargo tray||$70|
|carpet cargo mat||$80|
|carpeted floor mats||$95|
|sunroof wind deflectors||$85|
|Bluetooth hands-free phone system||$325|
Competitors and press reviews
"A 138-hp 2.0L four is the only engine offered (132 hp on California’s PZEV model), and although those numbers are far from class leading, the car actually has more than enough verve for most situations. Brakes are strong and easy to modulate without sending your passengers into the windshield at every stop sign. Steering is light and a little numb, which is just fine for those with long, traffic-choked freeway commutes. Even so, more steering feel would be welcome. Speaking of lengthy commutes, the Elantra’s unsupportive seats probably aren’t going to win over any fans." (MotorTrend)
"Overall, the Hyundai Elantra is a good choice for its comfort and convenience, but there is one key area where it falls short. Its base price is about average for the class, but increases very quickly as you begin to add basic features. Base Elantras do offer some features as standard, such as power windows/doors and remote keyless entry. But to get air conditioning and an audio system it’s necessary to opt for the Popular Equipment Package, which will run you around $1,700. More upscale features like leather or heated front seats are only available on the top-of-the-line SE trim ($17,020) and then you have to pay an extra $2,000 to get them as part of the Premium and Leather Package." (US news)
"So, here’s some truth about cars for you: the Hyundai Elantra is an uglier Kia Spectra that costs a grand more in exchange for four-wheel ABS, power windows and locks, and an alarm. Neither car handles, accelerates, brakes, appears or feels superior than anything else in the compact car category. Deciding between the two is roughly akin to cross-shopping oatmeal or wallpaper paste brands. One may be slightly more expensive and have a different package design, but the actual product inside is more or less identical." (The truth about cars)
The 2010 Toyota Corolla went on sale at a price starting at $15,350. The base model is powered by a 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve dual VVT-i 4-cylinder engine with 132 hp @ 6000 rpm and a peak torque of 128 lb.-ft. @ 4400 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and has a fuel economy of 26/34 (city/highway). The car can be ordered with cruise control, touch-screen DVD navigation system or XM Satellite Radio.
2010 Mazda3 is offered with two engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 148 hp at 6500 rpm and 135 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm; and Mazda3 s powered by a MZR 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 167 hp at 6000 rpm and 168 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. Prices start at $15,045 and go up to $22,300.
The 2010 Focus Sedan comes standard with a 2.0-liter Duratec 20 dual-overhead-cam (DOHC) I-4 engine that delivers 140 hp and has a EPA-estimated of 24 city/35 hwy mpg, manual transmission. The car goes on sale at a price starting from $16,690 and can be ordered with SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio, Driver’s Message Center, AM/FM/CD/MP3 capable audio system with input jack and speed-sensitive volume control and Premium Audio with 190 watts, eight speakers and separate 8-inch subwoofer.
It’s a very competitive market out there, especially when it comes to small family sedans. About the Elantra, there’s one thing you need to know: it is one of the most popular in the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Why? There are a few reasons out there: first, it offers the longest warranties in its class, it offers good fuel economy and its cheap. But not that cheap. It’s true a base version starts at only $14k, but don’t get to excited, you get almost nothing for the money. If you want more comfort in your car you will have to go for the SE version and with a few other options added you will easily go to $20k. And this is an area there you have lots of possibilities!
But getting back to the Hyundai Elantra, we have to be honest and admit that the sedan has a few advantages: for example it offers great comfort in the rear seats, enough cargo space and has good handling dynamics. So, is it the car for you? Only a trip to your local dealer will tell you that, but while you are out, try to take a look at a few other competitors, you might be surprised!