Hyundai’s all-new compact Elantra is following the Sonata’s lead for 2011, wearing the same fluidic sculpture design language. By comparison, though, the Elantra almost makes the mid-size Sonata look conservatively styled, with talon-shaped head and tail lights wrapped around the most curvaceous fenders in the segment.

Although it will go go head-to-head with compacts like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, the Elantra’s passenger space is nearly mid-size, much like the Chevrolet Cruze.

Like the exterior, interior style runs high, with an un-cluttered center stack, very Sonata-like gauges and steering wheel trim, and upscale seating for five. Seat heat is available, front and rear.

“The new Elantra really blurs the line between economy car and a premiumly-equipped sedan. Every feature inside is perfect to the touch, it’s real comfortable to drive, and you’re saving tons of money at the pump.” – Ben Davis

Hyundai expects the Elantra’s new 1.8-liter, 148-horsepower I4 to achieve a 40 miles per gallon highway rating with the 6-speed manual transmission. A 6-speed automatic is optional.

Though it has reverted to a twist-beam type rear axle in order to keep a low price point and save weight, the Elantra drives like a three-quarter size Sonata- and that’s a good thing.

On sale now, the 2011 Elantra starts under $18,000.


"The Vue Two-Mode Hybrid proves that power and efficiency can coexist, and in a modern crossover you can have them both without skimping on any ability." – Ben Davis


  • 1.8-liter I4:
  • 148 horsepower:
  • Starts under $18,000: