The 2012 Hyundai Elantra is the compact sedan that many other compact car manufacturers would rather you didn’t see. From every angle, in every measure and in every comparison, the Elantra offers what other compact car builders have denied consumers for generations.
Designed in Southern California, the 2012 Elantra (MSRP $16,445) incorporates Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design principles; as a result, the Elantra is visually appealing, and also cheats the wind with an exceptionally low 0.28 drag coefficient. That even beats the Chevrolet Volt, which turns in 0.29 in the wind tunnel.
Whether you choose the six-speed SHIFTRONIC® automatic with Active ECO System or the six-speed manual transmission, the Elantra turns in EPA fuel economy estimates of 29 mpg city and 40 mpg highway for a highway driving range of up to 500 miles.
Line up all the usual suspects: Civic, Corolla, Sentra, Focus, MAZDA3 and Chevy Cruze. The Elantra provides a fuel economy advantage over every one from four mpg highway over the Civic, to an astounding nine mpg advantage over the Sentra.
Under the hood, the 2012 Elantra is powered by an all-new 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT) that delivers 148 hp and 131 lb/ft of torque. The all-new six-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC manual shift mode is 11 pounds lighter than Hyundai’s outgoing five-speed. It is considerably simpler, having 62 fewer parts, therefore providing increased durability. It also features a super flat torque converter that shortens overall length by 0.43 inches, and saves 2.6 pounds.
The Elantra might make your passengers the happiest. The Elantra is so roomy that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies it as a midsize car, rather than a compact like the Civic and Corolla. The Elantra has the most legroom in its class, and its total interior volume of 110.4 cubic feet beats the 2012 Honda Civic sedan, 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, 2012 Ford Focus and 2011 Toyota Corolla.
The Elantra rides on a MacPherson strut front suspension with coilsprings and gas shock absorbers. At the rear is a coupled torsion beam rear suspension for enhanced steering stability, and monotube shock absorbers for ride comfort. All Elantra models have motor-driven electric power steering that adjusts instantly to changing driving conditions while improving fuel economy by eliminating the need for the engine to turn a belt. The Elantra’s turning diameter of 34.8 feet is better than Corolla’s 35.6 feet.
The 2012 Elantra GLS has a two-tone interior with a choice of either gray or beige. The Limited trim has a black interior, and heated seats are available front and rear, unusual luxury for this segment. Standard audio is a 172-watt AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system with six-speakers and iPod®/USB/auxiliary input jacks. A 360-watt system with external amplifier is optional. Touchscreen navigation is available on GLS and Limited trims and includes a high-resolution seven-inch screen and voice-activation by a headliner-mounted microphone. Bluetooth audio streams music from select mobile phones to the head unit. The XM Satellite Radio interface is also integrated into the navigation unit and features channel logos, real-time NavTraffic and XM Data services such as XM NavWeather, XM Stock Ticker and XM Sports Ticker. The system also integrates a rearview camera, which cannot be found on the Honda Civic or MAZDA3. Users can even upload personal pictures from a USB rather than a CD to be displayed on the system’s home screen.
Elantra owners can also get premium features such as leather seating surfaces, a proximity key with push button start and immobilizer, a power sunroof and a one-touch driver’s window.
While the Elantra offers all of these comfort and convenience features, it’s also equipped with the best safety equipment in the business. Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) keep the Elantra easily handled during evasive maneuvers. Six airbags—dual front, front seat-mounted side-impact and front and rear side curtain––help protect occupants in the event of a crash. The Elantra also features state-of-the-art braking including four-wheel disc brakes and an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected. Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) automatically adjusts the braking force to front and rear axles based on vehicle load conditions.
The Elantra is an amazing step forward for this class of automobile. It beats the competition in terms of fuel economy and engine power, all the while providing greater comfort and convenience than this segment has ever seen. Stop in today and find out why the competition would like to keep the Elantra a secret.