Test Drive #6 Hyundai Elantra

2010 Hyundai Elantra                       

More of a recent interest and another one that I had to check out through the Consumer Report to validate its worthiness to test drive. Hyundai’s track record has been mixed since its beginnings, but word has spread of a much more reliable car in the last few years.  Even with promising reviews and praise, one cannot discount the fact that Hyundai has been more or less a laughing stock when brought up in serious car discussion. The only car they may get less consideration in my opinion, was the Kia, but times change and the Elantra fit my price range and with any good hunch, one must check out the unknown.

The Elantra looked pretty well stocked with options and seemed reasonable in price.  Fuel economy ranging from 26-34mph (city/hwy) was quite attractive. I couldn’t find a manual transmission to test drive for this review and like the Mazda 3, another test drive must occur before final verdict can be awarded.  I liked this car pretty much right away, looked underneath the hood and saw the least obstruction I have seen in any new car in getting access to the spark plugs, wires, air filter, etc. (all necessaries for basic maintenance). There was space to work in and out of around the engine which was promising.  My big test and concern for this car was sitting in the drivers seat and seeing what it felt like and it had plenty of room surprisingly.

Once I knew I fit in the car, I didn’t think the car could let me down in actually driving it and didn’t. For what it is, economical car with decent features, it doesn’t comes off as nothing flashy but doesn’t proclaim anything more than what it really is. Of course it doesn’t have the name, the power or whatever else you choose to distinguish a car by, but it was a pleasant surprise to drive in.

Out of a possible 50 points. (10 for each category)

Performance/Driving: Not V6 power, but did have tight turning radius and eased into 80 without much work. Small cars are always going to leave you with wanting more…this is no different. 8.5/10

Space/Room: Trunk shape makes space a little goofy to fit outsize cargo in the back, but the seats roll down quite easy. Sitting in the back was pretty comfortable and underneath the hood was impressive to say the least. 9/10

Appearance: It’s a cute little car, but really not much of an eye turner. You could probably sport it up a little bit with a spoiler, but you are not going to turn this car into something sporty if that is what you are looking for.  7/10

Cost: Best bang for the dollar from all of I have seen so far.   10/10

Comfort: Out of any car I have sat in and drove, this one made start to think, “Hey now, this might be the one.” This car made me feel not so rushed or panicked to keep test driving other cars.    9/10

Overall: This is a good car I believe and has more of my confidence in buying. What keeps me from pulling the trigger and naming this car the winner you ask? If I had to buy a car tomorrow, the Elantra would more than likely be it, but if I wait down the road 6 months or more when I can afford something better…why settle for an Elantra? I could buy something instead with a V6 potentially or a car that better suites my desires and personality as opposed to my practical nature. I like you Elantra, but commitment from me in the long term….well let’s talk about this later and just see how things go.  Total Score: 43.5/50

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