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Hyundai Elantra Test Drive Reports

backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
edited March 6 in Hyundai
Who's driven the all-new Elantra? Tell us all the details! Please mention trim level and options.

Comments

  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    Hello. Anybody here?
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    I own an 05 Elantra and when it was in for service I took an 07 out for a test drive. I felt the suspension was a little firmer. Despite the fact both cars have the 2.0 liter Beta II engine, the 07 seemed a little peppier (yet has better fuel economy). The car is significantly roomier than the last generation, and the interior styling is up there with the best of the new models.

    Nevertheless, I am pretty happy with the styling, both inside and out, of my 05. I wouldn't buy a new Elantra sedan since I prefer hatchbacks, but there is word that a wagon version of the Elantra will be offered soon (similar to the wagon version of the i30 in Europe and a little bigger than the i30 coupe). It's a little like the Toyota Matrix from the looks of it. If it handles like the Matrix, though, I wouldn't like it; it seemed too SUV-like for me.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    Was it a GLS, or a SE (or Limited)? I wonder if the SE and Limited handle a little better (and ride a little firmer) than the GLS because of 16" vs. 15" wheels.
  • tmporttmport Posts: 19
    I test-drove both the GLS and SE. I'm no car expert, but they didn't feel all that different in terms of handling. Then again, the SE was a stick-shift and the GLS was an automatic, so I was probably paying more attention to the transmission. Regardless, they were both a lot of fun to drive.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    I've driven the same configs (both ATs though) and had a similar experience, although I didn't drive them close together as you did. Even the GLS felt nimble to me, moreso than my '04 GT with its "sport tuned" suspension. How did you find the stick and clutch on the SE? Different feel from the '01-'06 generation?
  • tmporttmport Posts: 19
    I've never driven a pre-2007 Elantra, mostly because I haven't bought a car since 1997. So I can't provide any comparison between the two generations, unfortunately. :blush:

    I thought the 2007 Elantra's clutch was quite good, contrary to some reviews I've read. It was smooth to engage, and it was easy to move from a standstill and change gears at higher speeds without revving the engine. I thought the shifter was a tad notchy (compared to my old 1994 Nissan Sentra), but still fairly precise and fun.

    By comparison, I thought the Sonata manual transmission was more difficult. The shifter had the same feel, but it was difficult to find the right engagement point on the clutch and I kept revving the engine a bit. Nothing that couldn't be handled with a little practice though, and it was still plenty fun to drive.

    The Spectra5, finally, had the most difficult manual transmission, though it may have only been the particular car I drove. It wasn't BAD to drive, but you almost had to release the clutch all the way in order to start hitting the gas without revving the engine. Again, though, I think that's a quirk that one could easily get used to after driving the car for a few hours.

    Problem is, I live in DC, and most of my driving will be in heavy traffic. So in the end, I'll most likely buy an automatic, no matter which car I choose. I'll be making the final decision in about 2 weeks...the finalists (heh) are the Elantra, Sonata, Spectra5, and (as a dark horse) the Focus ZX5. My sneaking suspicion is that the Elantra will win out.
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