What Is It?
  • Image Credit: Autoblog

What Is It?

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra is a compact sedan entering its second year after a significant redesign. The current generation is a massive improvement over the previous, and it has put Hyundai in a position to compete directly with segment heavyweights Ford Focus, Honda Civic and, now, Chevy Cruze. The Elantra boasts numerous attributes that make it an attractive option for consumers shopping in this segment.

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How Much?
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How Much?

$15,195 for the GLS trim. $20,445 for the Limited trim.

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Key Stats
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Key Stats

-1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine
-148-hp, 131 lb-ft of torque
-Six-speed manual transmission standard on GLS, six-speed automatic with Shifttronic standard on the Limited trim and available on the GLS.
-29 mpg City/40 mpg Hwy
-Built in Ulsan, South Korea

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What We Like
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What We Like

Michael Zak: Price. This car offers a lot for a little. My tester came almost everything I could ask for in a car (satellite radio, Bluetooth, MP3 capability, 40 MPG etc.) and the price was still just over $17,000. Couple that with the fact that this is one of the best-looking cars in its class and you have something that's pretty hard to pass up. This segment is geared towards young consumers like myself and I have to say that Hyundai nailed it with the Elantra. The styling is edgy, and the interior feels and looks like a car that costs $10,000 more.

Autoblog: By pushing the Elantra's wheels to each corner and pulling a few clever packaging tricks, Hyundai has managed to provide an impressive amount of space inside. The company's efforts netted the new compact a mid-size designation from the minds at the EPA, and there's room for full-grown adults both front and rear with plenty of space for knees and elbows.

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What We Don't Like
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What We Don't Like

Michael: I had this car for a full week and the only thing I could come up with was that the sunglasses holder didn't function as well as it could have. Sometimes it wouldn't close on the first try. That's all I got. Seriously.

Autoblog: Hyundai may have styled the 2011 Elantra with something of a sporty bent, but make no mistake: This isn't a compact corner carver. The good news is that the automaker isn't trying to paint the vehicle as the next great gift to motor-sport. If we're looking for something that's fun to fling, we're told to wait for the 2012 Veloster.

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Bottom Line
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Bottom Line

Awesome fuel economy, a sporty design, solid interior and low starting price all make this little car a major force to be reckoned with. The new Honda Civic has received less-than-stellar reviews and Consumer Reports even stripped it of its "Recommended" ranking. Knowing that, we have to wonder: Could this be the new King of Compacts? Ford and GM have solid offerings, but Hyundai may be the one to beat.

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