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2007 Elantra First Impressions



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,632
    I think it was MT that said the interior of the new Elantra would "embarrass the Japanese" competition. I agree it's sharper than the Sonata's interior.

    It is too bad the lumbar adjuster was lost in the new design, although frankly I didn't look for one. The seat seemed comfy enough.

    I wonder if there is leather trim on the door panels on the Limited, as there was on the GT and Limited on the old Elantra? Since I don't really touch the door panels (except to see if they are hard plastic!), that's not a major issue for me. What's more important to me is whether there's a padded surface where elbows land, and the new Elantra does very well there.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    I think the Mazda3 is actually the strongest competitor for the Elantra: great handling, class-leading power, sporty styling, lots of equipment available, decent fuel economy with the 2.0L engine, good reliability and resale value, and reasonable pricing. The only major disadvantage it has vs. the Elantra is interior room, and maybe crash protection depending on how well the Elantra does. And the Elantra will have a price advantage when the inevitable rebates come.

    Based on the handling of the Mazda3, I would rate it clearly MUCH better than the outgoing Elantra and I haven't heard that the new Elantra is a major improvement. However, I bought the Elantra because the Mazda3 was about 20% higher cost (actual purchase price, not sticker) than the Elantra. It's better, but not for the money I was willing to spend last year.

    Also, the roomy cabin of the Elantra is much better than the cramped quarters of the 3.
  • I really am surprised to see fuel numbers this good for the Elantra. The engine/tranny are basically unchanged -- is this what the car was always rated at? Because every review I've read of the previous model, professional or otherwise, always complained about low fuel economy.
  • splx81splx81 Posts: 23
    I think the improvement on fuel economy of 07 elantra is due to lighter weight than the previous version, and also hyundai engineers did good job of optimizing beta engine.
  • z9z9z9z9z9z9z9z9 Posts: 101
    > Did you notice the model of tire, and the trim level of the car [snip]

    Sorry, I didn't check the tire model. It said KUMHO on the sidewalls in absolutely huge letters, and the tires had a 4-rib design. The car was a GLS with 15" tires, so I wasn't that interested.

    I hope 16" Kumhos are available on the SE. If I were to buy an SE with Hankooks, I would try to work out a buyback on the tires with the dealer. About the only charitable thing that I can say about Hankook Optimos is that they hold the car up off the ground.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,632
    There were tweaks to the engine and transmission (automatic at least). The weight of the 2007 model is about the same as the 2006. Also consider the Gen 3 Elantra was the first Hyundai in the U.S. to get VVT. Maybe Hyundai has made some improvements there over the years, now that all their U.S. models have that technology.
  • That's the emissions volume, not the weight.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,632
    You're right--it IS a big difference! ;) The '07 must pollute a lot less than the '06. More good news. I just wish the SULEV version were available outside of the CAFE states.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    hyundai engineers did good job of optimizing beta engine.

    There's something to be said for optimization versus clean sheet design. If the basic engine is sound, it makes a lot of sense ot tweak it to improve its performance. It'll be nice to get a better engine down the road, but it would be higher risk to release both a new platform and a new drivetrain concurrently. This way, Hyundai doesn't take as big of a quality hit (as a result of a completely new design).
  • z9z9z9z9z9z9z9z9 Posts: 101
    Elantra with 16" Kumho KH16 tires: - oshowyear=2006&vehicle=production_hyundai_elantra&aff=msnbc

    (click on wheel picture)

    This is an (old) auto show pic, so there's no guarantee that this has anything to do with production.
  • z9z9z9z9z9z9z9z9 Posts: 101
    UPDATE: I just got back from a test drive, and the SE I drove had Kumho Solus KH16 tires. Looks like a good tire:

    BTW, the 16" flangeless alloy wheels are really nice!

    The electic power steering is not nice. It's light at all speeds, overly sensitive at highway speed, and has almost no road feel. Other than the steering, the car handles nice -- it's not "floaty" like Hyundais used to be. The car is very solid and quiet, but the engine is rough when you push it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,632
    Tell us more! Especially how it compares to the Gen 3 Elantra (if you have driven it) and other cars in this class.
  • That's what I was thinking, too -- bring out the new car now, then change the powertrain a few years down the road to curb any major reliability issues. But maybe Hyundai's not thinking that way -- look at the Sonata. Two new engines, new car, new assembly plant. Now that's risky!
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Kind of, but think about it: Keeping the Beta longer for the Elantra make sense because it is already tooled, the factory is familiar with it, yada yada yada.

    In the case of the new factory, why tool up for an old engine when the workers there are no more familiar with it than they are with any other one?
  • I had the privilege of getting to drive one of the two Elantras that made it into the nearest Hyundai dealership in Austin, TX. I was very impressed with the vehicle in the test drive. The one I got to drive was the GLS with the preferred options package and automatic. I have been researching this vehicle for a month online, even went to the Korean website to get details of things that won't make it to the USA version.

    The vehicle is "rock solid" quiet, and a pleasure to drive. Pictures don't do the vehicle justice. One of our vehicles is a 2005 Camry LE V6, and not only is the new Elantra equal in cabin space, it is just as quiet when being driven. The engine seemed to have plenty of pep to me. I inadvertently got it up to 75 in a 60 zone and didn't realize it. The steering feedback seemed fine to me. We plan on purchasing an Elantra Limited in a few months, when it will be possible to get one WITHOUT a Sun roof! You need a sun roof in Texas about like Minnesnowda needs another snow flake in winter.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,632
    Not sure why you wouldn't want a sunroof in Texas. I'd think it would be pretty useful 7-8 months out of the year, and also cracking it in the summer to let heat out when parked. But then I'm a fresh-air guy. I had the windows open on my rental last week in Austin even though temps were close to 90.

    How was the handling of the Elantra vs. the '05 Camry? I hope it was crisper, and the ride not as floaty as the Camry's.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    The deal with sunroofs in Texas: There is a shade that keeps the sun from coming directly into the cabin, sure, but there is a small air space between the shade and sunroof itself which gets hotter than he||. That little pocket of hot air bleeds through the shade (which isn't very well insulated) and into the cabin. A sunroof heats up a car quite a bit.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,632
    After the interior hits 150 degrees from the sun pouring in the car's eight other windows, what's the difference? ;)
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    That's what window tint is for. Seriously.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,632
    Except on the windshield, and (in many states) the front side windows.

    I suppose you could put heavy window tint on the sunroof glass too, right? :)
This discussion has been closed.