Hyundai keeps sharpening its pencil to such a point, this little razor could become a samurai sword. With its value-priced positioned Elantra Touring hatchback attracting favorable nods, Hyundai introduces something even better for 2010: an all-new Touring GLS trim priced $2,500 less than the 2009 models.
The Elantra Touring’s new GLS starts at $15,995 and comes with electronic stability control, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, heated mirrors, plus power windows and door locks. Hyundai believes that functional five-door vehicles – hatchbacks — will continue to grow in popularity, citing that sales of these types of vehicles doubled from 2001 to 2006. So the automaker has wisely decided to broaden the segment with a new affordable version for the 2010 model year. The GLS is not only well equipped, but also designed to protect occupants with a total of six airbags.
And if GLS buyers want more they can opt for the “Popular Equipment Package,” which adds a host of convenience features such as a telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, eight-way driver’s seat, fog lights and even a cooled glovebox.
The 2010 compact hatchback Elantra Touring is also offered in an SE trim with a starting price set at $18,995. This is the model I drove and its bigger price reflects the inclusion of the GLS Popular Equipment Package, plus a power sunroof, heated front seats, B&M Racing sport gear shifter, leather-wrapped steering wheel and 17-inch wheels. Fifteen-inch wheels are standard on the GLS.
One engine is offered on the sporty looking SE and functional GLS trims. The Elantra Touring features a 2.0-liter, 16-valve four-cylinder engine. Buyers have a choice of mating the engine to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
My tester had the manual, which required more shift effort and work than I preferred, so it didn’t add much to the performance ability of the 138-horsepower engine. Torque ratings on this Hyundai are 136 lb.-ft.
If buying this car, I would give the automatic transmission consideration, as its convenience outweighs any driving joy derived from the tough-shift, short-throw manual. Fuel economy ratings on the SE manual tester were listed at 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The automatic is rated at 23/30 mpg, so there’s no significant trade-off in mileage between the two types of transmissions.
One of the strong points on the Elantra Touring SE is its exterior styling. The larger wheels give the model an assertive stance and the standard fog lights add sincerity to Hyundai’s portrayal of the SE as the sport-oriented model. Inside, the ergonomic layout of the controls along the dash panel is refined and uncluttered. The contoured fabric seats are sturdy, making you feel bolstered and secure.
More useful than a four-door sedan, a five-door vehicle is desirable for its functional and convenient cargo access. With the second row seats folded the cargo capacity is 65.3 cubic feet. The hatch gate opens tall and wide, allowing the easiest of times for hustling packages and gear into the back.
Another strong asset claimed by the Elantra Touring is its audio offering. A 172-watt, six-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system with XM satellite radio, USB and MP3 equipment is standard.
Hyundai’s wisdom about the needs of the value-focused car buyer is razor sharp. Decent pricing could attract drivers to its 2010 Elantra Touring lineup. — by Connie Keane, Motor Matters
Next New On Wheels: 2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring
Next New On Wheels (Bonus Wheels): 2010 Volkswagen CC and Touareg
2010 HYUNDAI ELANTRA TOURING SE
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger FWD compact hatchback
BASE PRICE___________________ $18,995 (as tested: $19,845)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 138 at 6000 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 136 at 4600 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 5-speed manual
WHEELBASE____________________ 106.3 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 176.2 in.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 2,937 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 14 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
2011 MERCEDES SLS AMG: The 2011 Mercedes SLS AMG supercar features a lightweight aluminum space-frame body with gullwing doors and a 563-horsepower dry-sump V8 engine. With its front-mid engine and dual-clutch seven-speed, the compelling SLS AMG boasts ideal weight distribution and race-car-like handling. The new SLS AMG joins the elite few high-performance cars that can break the 4-second barrier for 0-60 mph acceleration. It can accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in only 3.7 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 197 mph. (Source: Mercedes-Benz)
ASK AUTO DOCTOR: I use premium 93-octane gasoline in my 2005 Corvette. Why has an error message been coming on to “service” the fuel system? Answer: The problem is fuel level sensor- or pressure sensor-related. Today’s vehicle computers monitor the entire fuel system for any evaporative leaks. An evaporation leak will set a “service” light. (Source: Ask the Auto Doctor, Motor Matters)
CAR BUYING SAVINGS SITE: Harness the power of the social media at motozuma.com to sign up for the new car of your dreams and ask friends and family to contribute. It works somewhat like a bridal registry. After you open an account, you have access to tools that help you create a customized profile page to showcase the vehicle you would like to buy. Then you can create a marketing campaign using e-mails and posts to Facebook or Twitter to ask for contributions. The new site has attracted more than 3,000 registered users in three weeks. (Source: Down the Road, Motor Matters)
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2009