Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Auto: 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED: $22,830 (base price: $20,700)

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, port fuel injection

Displacement: 110 cu in, 1797 cc
Power (SAE net): 148 bhp @ 6500 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 131 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting

Wheelbase: 106.3 in Length: 178.3 in
Width: 69.9 in Height: 56.5 in
Curb weight: 2821 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 8.6 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 26.1 sec
Zero to 110 mph: 37.2 sec
Street start, 5–60 mph: 9.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.6 sec @ 84 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 118 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 172 ft
EPA city/highway driving: 29/40 mpg
C/D observed: 26 mpg

Hyundai’s newest compact looks great, but there are still reminders of its economy-car roots.

December 2010 

As we gaze out our office window at the 2011 Hyundai Elantra compact sedan, we are prepared to forgive Hyundai for ever uttering the phrase “Fluidic Sculpture,” the company’s intensely awkward tag line for its current styling.
This is because Hyundai’s fifth-generation Elantra is the one car in this reinvigorated class that actually looks like anything at all. That the Elantra’s jutting-jaw face has a passing resemblance to the Montauk Monster, the half-decayed and unidentified creature that washed up on a New York beach and into internet notoriety, is actually not at all a bad thing. We suggest, though, that Hyundai consider describing the Elantra’s styling as “Pelt-ic Sculpture,” since it appears that an extremely strong headwind has peeled back the dermis from its face and sent it flapping and undulating down the side of the body. And somehow, it looks great.
By comparison, the Chevy Cruze does no undulating whatsoever.

And the undulations continue inside the Alabama-built four-door’s cabin. The dash top swoops from the outer edges toward the center stack, tapers beneath the navigation screen, and flares back out to accommodate the shifter for the six-speed automatic that was on our well-equipped Limited model. (A six-speed manual is available on GLS models.) Even the heated leather seats’ perforations are set in a dizzying wave pattern. Too much? No, not really. It’s more exuberant than tacky, and this whole swirling atmosphere is rendered in materials that are quite nice.

At $22,830, our test car sits near the upper reaches of the Elantra line. In recent Hyundai fashion, that price brings a staggering level of standard equipment; our Limited includes stability control, a power sunroof, automatic headlights, remote keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, one of the industry’s most straightforward iPod interfaces, leather seats—and did we mention heated front and rear seats? And the Premium package (a $2000 option) adds a nav system with a high-res seven-inch screen, a rearview camera, and a premium audio system.

Competitive Power and Size

The Elantra now rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase, which, like the rest of its dimensions, is nearly identical to that of the current Honda Civic sedan, or about the same as mid-size sedans of a decade ago.

The Elantra is powered by a new 1.8-liter four-cylinder that makes a competitive 148 hp and is named after the cutest Greek letter of them all, Nu. This all-aluminum DOHC engine with variable valve timing delivers 29 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, according to the EPA, trouncing everything in the class except the expected fuel-economy ratings from the fuel-sipping, low-volume versions of the Cruze and the 2012 Ford Focus. (We got 26 mpg, driving with very heavy feet; drivers with less fire under their butts should get better.) Our Elantra hit 60 mph in 8.6 seconds and stopped from 70 mph in 172 feet, 0.3 second quicker and nine feet shorter than did a Cruze LTZ.

The Elantra is not without faults, though. The new engine makes the kind of high-pitched racket at high rpm that barges into your ear canals screaming, “Hey, I’m still an economy car!” And the Elantra’s ride is unnecessarily stiff and noisy.

These are shrill reminders that, underneath all the dramatic bodywork and luxury-car equipment, this Hyundai remains an economy car, one with no shortage of strong competitors. These include the two new American-brand entries, both of which have more sophisticated NVH control and ride-and-handling attributes. But the Elantra sure is a looker.

Elantra 4dr Sdn Man GLS (Alabama Plant) *Ltd Avail* 

Brake Type Pwr
Brake ABS System 4-wheel
Brake ABS System (Second Line) N/A
Disc - Front (Yes or ) Yes
Disc - Rear (Yes or ) Yes
Front Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness 11.0 x -TBD- in
Rear Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness 10.3 x -TBD- in
Cargo Area Dimensions
Trunk Volume 14.8 ft³
Cooling System
Total Cooling System Capacity 2.2 qts
Maximum Alternator Capacity (amps) 90
Engine Type Gas I4
Displacement 1.8L/110
Fuel System MPI
SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM 148 @ 6500
SAE Net Torque @ RPM 131 @ 4700
Exterior Dimensions
Wheelbase 106.3 in
Length, Overall 178.3 in
Width, Max w/o mirrors 69.9 in
Height, Overall 56.5 in
Track Width, Front 61.5 in
Track Width, Rear 61.5 in
Min Ground Clearance 5.5 in
Fuel Tank
Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx 12.8 gal
Aux Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx N/A gal
Interior Dimensions
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Volume 95.6 ft³
Front Head Room 40.0 in
Front Leg Room 43.6 in
Front Shoulder Room 55.9 in
Front Hip Room 53.5 in
Second Head Room 37.1 in
Second Leg Room 33.1 in
Second Shoulder Room 54.8 in
Second Hip Room 52.7 in
EPA Fuel Economy Est - Hwy 40 (est) MPG
Cruising Range - City 371.20 mi
EPA Fuel Economy Est - City 29 (est) MPG
Fuel Economy Est-Combined 33 (est) MPG
Cruising Range - Hwy 512.00 mi
EPA MPG Equivalent - City N/A
EPA MPG Equivalent - Hwy N/A
EPA MPG Equivalent - Combined N/A
Battery Range N/A mi
Steering Type Pwr
Lock to Lock Turns (Steering) 2.9
Turning Diameter - Curb to Curb 34.8 ft
Suspension Type - Front MacPherson Strut
Suspension Type - Rear Torsion Axle
Suspension Type - Front (Cont.) w/Coil Springs
Stabilizer Bar Diameter - Front 0.91 in
Front Tire Size P195/65R15
Rear Tire Size P195/65R15
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Trans Type 6
Trans Description Cont. Manual w/OD
First Gear Ratio (:1) 3.31
Second Gear Ratio (:1) 1.96
Third Gear Ratio (:1) 1.26
Fourth Gear Ratio (:1) 0.98
Fifth Gear Ratio (:1) 0.78
Sixth Gear Ratio (:1) 0.63
Reverse Ratio (:1) 3.58
Clutch Size N/A in
EPA Classification Mid-Size
EPA Greenhouse Gas Score N/A
Weight Information
Base Curb Weight 2661 (est) lbs
Front Wheel Size 15 x 6.0 in
Rear Wheel Size 15 x 6.0 in
Front Wheel Material Steel
Rear Wheel Material Steel


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