|The Elantra gets a much-appreciated redesign for 2007.|
The last Elantra was a marshmallow. One of the least-expensive offerings in its class, it was fairly competent but offered a very, very soft ride. Body roll was everlasting; agreeable for some who like a cushy suspension setup, and irritating for those who like a little more sportiness in their daily commute.
Much better road manners
The new Elantra is still soft compared to rivals such as the Mazda3 and Ford Focus, but its ride strikes a much better balance for floating over pockmarked roads as well as a highway off-ramp. The car's dynamics are much improved.
|The engine is still the 138-hp, 2.0-litre 4-cylinder.|
The 4-speed automatic's reflexes are a little slow, which is typical in recent Hyundai products I've driven. I managed a fuel consumption average of 10.5 L/100 km, which isn't bad, since about three-quarters of the kilometers I traveled in the Elantra was during city driving. Still, I was excepting better.
While the base Elantra GL's standard features list is short, the rest of the model range is well-equipped. The GL Comfort Plus I'm testing includes heated seats, side airbags, side-curtain airbags and 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock.
|The flush-mounted controls on the steering wheel mimic those found in Hondas and Mazdas.|
Comfortable seats are bolted in a spacious cockpit that looks good. The quality of the materials is slightly below what the Japanese compacts offer, but is way ahead of the domestic-brand compacts and the old Elantra. There's plenty of room inside, since the Elantra is one of the biggest sedans in the compact category.