The midsize sedan game is one of the most competitive areas in the automotive industry. There are so many players and not much room on the all-star team and as of now, the only Hyundai that has ever made its way onto this exclusive team is the wonderfully styled Sonata, a vehicle that has become the benchmark in terms of sedan styling.
The newest redesign from Hyundai comes in the form of the new Elantra. It might not be a sports car, but this machine is in no way boring. It looks brilliant, packs a decent motor, and can offer best in class fuel economy. Hyundai’s goal with this new vehicle is to continue to dominating the sedan game and with two strong players, they just might.
The new Elantra was just unveiled to the public and we have prepared a little preview of what you can expect in the new sedan.
UPDATE 12/19/10: It’s configurator time again! That’s right, boys and girls; Hyundai has just released a new configurator for the 2011 Elantra, which means that you can once again put your ’Configurator Caps’ back on and treat yourself to a fancy car and trim building exercise. Who knows, you just might end up liking your work too much you end up buying the car in the end.
Hit the jump to read on.
Exterior and Interior
Hyundai’s current Elantra sedan has always been a decent car, but it’s not exactly good looking.
The conservative styling of the 2010 Elantra, however, is being thrown out to make way for the next-generation model featuring a gorgeously sculpted body. It’s clear that this model is something beautiful, but it should also be recognizable as a Hyundai.
The Elantra features huge headlights and taillights that give the car a real aggressive look. The headlights reach far up the hood, leading to a greenhouse that sweeps up toward the C-pillar. The upper and lower grille recall Hyundai’s new Tucson compact SUV, while the fog lights look different than on most models. From the side, the new car’s deep character line heads toward the taillights. The new Elantra, as good as it is from the front and side, is best observed from the rear. A better-defined trunk lid and LED lights top off the gear futuristic look.
The interior of the Elantra reminds us of a Subaru, as it features a large screen with a clock and information display right above it. We really like the overall look of the cabin. It has a futuristic look to it, but remains classic and simple to use.
The 2011 Elantra will be powered by an all-new 1.8-liter inline-four that produces 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. We had hopes that Hyundai would use direct-injection in their new Elantra, but that hasn’t worked out.
When connected to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Elantra will return 28 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Hyundai says that 40 mpg is attainable on the full range of Elantra trims, not just ECO models.
The 2011 Elantra will rival the Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Forte, Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza, and a few others. When it comes to styling, the Elantra makes all these models look dated and old, with the Cruze being the exception. Fuel mileage numbers swing in the Hyundai’s favor as well, as only certain ECO models from Chevrolet and Kia can come close. Ford and Honda are bringing out new versions of their rival vehicles for 2012, so it should be interesting to see how they compare.
When Will It Come Out?
Pricing has not yet been announced, but we should hear something at the LA Auto Show. Expect to see the Hyundai in showrooms before the end of the year.