We spend so much time praising our Four Seasons Hyundai Genesis that it's become easy to forget that Hyundai is still best known as a purveyor of cheap, no-frills transportation. This Elantra Blue, decent though it may be, is a clear reminder of the Korean brand's humble roots.
I'll agree with Rusty and say the Elantra feels quite a bit cheaper than its Japanese competitors. I noticed it mainly in ride and isolation. It's not overly loud or harsh, but on the highway it just doesn't feel like there's all that much suspension between the hard, unsupportive driver's seat and the road. Of course, the Elantra is a good deal less expensive than a similarly equipped Civic or Mazda 3, so it's hard to complain.
The Elantra's biggest competition may now come from its cousins over at Kia. The new Forte gets right down in the mud with the Elantra in terms of base price and has the same ten-year warranty, but it offers more refinement and power along with a dose of style.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor