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2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring GL Sport Review

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Admittedly, when I sat behind the wheel of the all-new 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring for the first time a few months ago, I was impressed. Of course, it didn’t have anything to do with excessive opulence or electrifying performance. No, it was more about day-to-day satisfaction.

While understated, the design of the new Hyundai Elantra Touring has a little something that helps it stand out.

At under $15,000 in base trim, the Elantra Touring deserves everyone’s attention, especially those looking for a pleasant, ultra-cute wagon with performance levels that meet most expectations.

Unique style
While understated, the design of the new Hyundai Elantra Touring has a little something that helps it stand out. Granted, the small-wagon silhouette, similar to the Pontiac Vibe, Mazda3 Sport and the like, feels a bit familiar. However, the heavily-sloping hood and headlight clusters largely cast into the front fenders make for a sporty, aerodynamic profile we’ve rarely seen in this segment.

Add 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and a body kit (as was the case of my GL Sport tester), and you get a car that may not turn plenty of heads but will still draw laudatory stares despite a relatively-modest figure.

Anonymous interior
That being said, while the exterior has some cachet, the interior pales in comparison. Styling is plain, perhaps too plain, and the dashboard barely qualifies as tasteful and well-executed.

I mean, black plastics are everywhere and not always sharp-looking. Only a small silver trim on the steering wheel breaks the excessive monotony of the interior. On the plus side, ergonomics are beyond reproach while fit and finish is up to standards.

Fortunately, my tester came with a bunch of controls on the steering wheel, which made the stereo easier to use than with the smallish, not-so-friendly buttons on the center stack.

The dashboard barely qualifies as tasteful and well-executed.