Taking some of its new exterior styling from the Sonata, the Hyundai Elantra really brings a lot of car for the money. The 2011 Elantra starts at a price tag under $15,000 and still comes well equipped with extras like traction control, stability control, six airbags and many other nice additions to the base model. Debuting in late 2010 the 2011 model of the Elantra plans on bringing more economical minded styles, reliability and interior furnishings to this compact sedan model from Hyundai.

The new Elantra also comes with a touring option that will be rolled out in a small crossover looking wagon that will offer front wheel drive and a larger 2.0 liter engine that will give 138 horsepower to the driver. The dual overhead cam and continuous variable timing will be a big upgrade compared to the standard model and five speed manual transmissions should make a very fun to drive package that will surely be a consumer hit. There are also two trim levels to choose from on the standard Elantra that add some luxury features and alternate styling.

Bodystyles: Sedan, wagon
Engines: 2.0L I-4
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Models: GLS, SE

While the present Elantra and Elantra Touring are similarly styled, a new Elantra sedan is coming early in 2011. The new Elantra, a version of which was unveiled in Korea earlier this year, looks a lot like a small Sonata and will come with new powertrain options. In the meantime, the Elantra Touring gets minor styling changes, including new colors and the availability of leather.

The current Elantra and Elantra Touring are decent-looking, no-frills vehicles. Things get a lot more interesting in early 2011, when swoopy lines and Sonata styling take over. But will there be a new Touring model?

The Elantra and Elantra Touring are uncomplicated, value-minded cars with easy-to-use cabins to match. Leather seats are now available on the Elantra Touring SE. Cruise control and a cooled glove box are options.

The current-generation Elantra sedan’s 136-horsepower four will get the car to 60 mph in 10.2 seconds and its stops from 60 mph in 118 feet. Get the Elantra or the Elantra Touring with the five-speed manual, and you can have a bit of fun, but we’d advise waiting for the new Elantra’s powertrain options, which are expected to be both more powerful and fuel efficient. We also expect a hybrid option at some point for the Elantra.

Elantra and Elantra Touring come with six standard airbags (dual front, front side, and side curtain), four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake-force distribution, and tire-pressure monitoring. Traction control and stability control are optional.

GLS Touring, SE Touring: 23 mpg city/30-31 mpg highway

  • Lots of features at a low price
  • Good fuel economy
  • Roomy Touring model
  • Impressive rear-seat room
  • Slow, heavy steering
  • Dull styling (for now)
  • Rough ride

Value-minded, conservative, boring — for now

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