2000 Elantra New Car Test Drive
If the Elantra proves anything, it's this: Hyundai is serious about catching, then keeping, a new generation of owners.
Catching customers starts with a solid, well-equipped subcompact at one basic price. The Elantra's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is larger and more powerful than those in many other subcompacts. And the Elantra's list of standard features is anything but bare-bones basic. Keeping customers is left to a surprisingly complete warranty. The Hyundai Advantage extends bumper-to-bumper coverage to five years or 60,000 miles, while the powertrain is warranted for 10 years or 100,000 miles. To top it off, Hyundai offers Elantra owners free 24-hour roadside assistance.
The impressive warranty wouldn't mean much if the Elantra were otherwise difficult to live with, and in fact, the opposite is true. With improved fit-and-finish and decent performance, the Elantra goes a long way toward changing perceptions of small Korean cars.
Elantra is available as a four-door sedan or wagon. Both come in a single trim level, the GLS. Elantra GLS includes popular features such as air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and door locks, thick cut-pile carpeting, a tachometer and six-way adjustable driver's seat. Better still, Hyundai is providing more stuff for the same price as a 1999 Elantra GLS. The sedan retails at $11,799 with the 5-speed manual, and $12,549 with an automatic; the wagon is $12,499 and $13,249 with the automatic.
With the reasonable base price, and judicious selection of options, a buyer can tailor the Elantra to taste without breaking the bank. We specified our 5-speed sedan with most of the factory options available, including a moonroof, alloy wheels and stereo upgrade, and barely pushed the price past $14,000 with the destination charge. Even with ABS, the $15,000 price barrier is difficult to reach with Elantra.