The 2011 Hyundai Elantra is the next generation in the line, with new body, interior, features engine and transmissions. The all-new 2011 Elantra is offered only in four-door sedan configuration with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. (Note: the 2011 Elantra Touring model is a hatchback wagon based on the previous-generation.)
New bodywork highlights the 2011 Elantra sedan and makes the old one resemble a deformed jellybean with lights and door handles. Taking influence from the larger, recent Sonata, this Elantra is crisp, clean, downright sporty looking for an economy car. It is lighter, larger in many respects, with gains inside that appear larger than those outside.
The cabin has added enough volume to be classed by EPA a mid-size car and by key dimensions like head and legroom, and real-world space and comfort we would consider it a roomy compact. The fastback roof doesn't offer the rear-seat headroom of a hatchback.
The 2011 Elantra leads the class in power output and promises decent performance and good fuel economy aided by light weight. Only a diesel Golf or hybrid is likely to do notably better. Fuel economy is 29/40 miles per gallon City/Highway, according to the federal government.
We found the new 2011 Elantra a nice car to drive and a nice one to ride in, with some driver involvement and good control of noise and bumps.
Value has long been a Hyundai staple and this Elantra shouldn't disappoint, although air conditioning is not standard. The least-expensive model includes XM radio and iPod/auxiliary inputs, heated outside mirrors, and a trip computer. The loaded Elantra Limited model features leather seats, heated front and rear, Bluetooth audio streaming, navigation with traffic, moonroof, and proximity key, a great value for less than $23,000.
By sales volume the Elantra competes in one of the largest classes in the world. If you have a Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Fiesta or Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda 2, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla or Volkswagen Golf on your shopping list, we think the Elantra should be on it too.