on 02.14.2008 20:32
Hyundai had a busy booth at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, with the freshened Sonata sedan and i-Blue fuel-cell vehicle capturing much of the spotlight. However, the compact Hyundai Elantra Touring is worth a closer look. More than just a hatchback variation of the Elantra sedan, the Touring is based on a European model with a longer wheelbase and a more sporting character. Think better-equipped Mazda3 with a lower price and longer warranty...
The powertrain will be shared with the sedan, meaning a 2.0-liter, 138-horsepower four-cylinder with decent power and fuel economy. An interesting novelty: the manual transmission is a short-shifting B&M Racing unit. The car's character comes from the handling dynamics. The front springs are 24 percent stiffer than those on the sedan, and the rear springs are 39 percent stiffer. (Of course, part of the difference addresses the additional weight and cargo capacity for the Touring.) Both front and rear stabilizer bars are also significantly firmer.
In the sporting spirit, this small car has 11.8-inch front disc brakes and 10.3-inch rear discs. ABS and electronic stability control are standard, along with traction control and six air bags. That's a lot of safety gear for an affordable car...
Inside, there is also abundant standard equipment, including air conditioning, power windows/locks, heated mirrors, steering wheel-mounted cruise control and audio controls, and eight-way adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support. An integrated 172-watt AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers, USB input and auxiliary input jack are also standard. The Premium-Sport package adds a power sunroof, heated front seats and 17-inch alloy wheels. Remote keyless entry with alarm is included on all Touring models.
In total, the Elantra Touring should provide an appealing option for those shopping for an affordable, efficient, versatile vehicle. The 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring will go on sale late 2008.
Research the Hyundai Elantra.