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Hyundai Elantra Not What I Expected

By Jepan Mihai

You get plenty of equipment: driver’s airbag, CD player, air-conditioning, front fog lamps, power windows and mirrors, and key less remote central locking. But there’s value beyond the standard equipment list.

The Elantra is really quite roomy. Not only do you buy a very large boot, but you get excellent interior space, too. Rear leg room is plentiful (but foot room isn’t) and all but the tallest of passengers will find comfortable spot in the back for that annual journey to hell-at-the-relatives.

But it ain’t all roses. As you point the car in the direction of the mother-in-law’s, memories of the Accent come flooding back. The Elantra’s clutch is completely devoid of any feel – there isn’t a clearly defined take-up point, just a dead pedal. Neighbors will reckon you’ve been sampling the bubbly a little too early in the morning as you jump through the neighborhood. The only alternative is to rev the engine so hard the EPA is bound to pay a visit.

If somehow you get the action of clutch and throttle synchronized, you’ll find even more Accent. The gear change quality is very rare, in that it’s possible to crunch the shift in all five slots. The first-second and second-third shifts are worst, particularly if your trying to gently swap cogs. And the gap in revs between first and second gears is very large, which can be problematic. On a hot day with the air-conditioning working overtime and a load on board, the Elantra struggles to hold second on steeper inclines.

It isn’t the engine’s fault; the twin-cam 2.0 litre four is a willing power plant. It gets a bit noisy when revved, but it’s a mid-range engine anyway. Changing up at 4000rpm gives strong forward momentum, while delivering reasonable fuel consumption.

The Elantra’s suspension carries a little of that trademark Hyundai softness, but it’s a supple, controlled body roller rather than a nasty nose scraper. Bumps are absorbed quite gently, although the front suspension feels a little coarse. It’s at home on the freeway, where the car tracks straight but wants for slightly more sophisticated aerodynamics.

The standard safety package is acceptable; driver’s front airbag, five head restraints and height-adjustable front seat belts with tensioners. If you want more, you’ll need the extra safety pack, which includes passenger airbag and ABS. And we’re pleased to say the center-rear seat passenger also gets a lap/sash seat-belt.

The Elantra is a competent, capable vehicle. It isn’t inspiring or exciting, but if you’re after a spacious everyday car and can live with a few automotive indiscretions, you won’t be disappointed.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Mihai, Jepan "Hyundai Elantra Not What I Expected." Hyundai Elantra Not What I Expected. 22 Jun. 2010. 13 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Mihai, J (2010, June 22). Hyundai Elantra Not What I Expected. Retrieved August 13, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Mihai, Jepan "Hyundai Elantra Not What I Expected"

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