The 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring is a European-styled hatchback with a very appealing combination of practicality and value. Its genes are actually quite different from the Elantra sedan, as it originated in Europe where it began as the Hyundai i30. As such, it possesses a stronger emphasis on a sportier driving experience.
It also offers other positive attributes, earning high grades for daily functionality, fuel economy and build quality. Overall, it's a well-designed and solidly constructed compact car with surprisingly good road manners, a spacious interior, standard features aplenty and a generous warranty.
With its capable handling and versatile hatchback body style, the Elantra Touring has carved out an attractive niche for itself among small families or singles who need more than average room but would also like an alternative to compact SUVs, while additionally enjoying its peppy performance. And its design even makes it feel bigger than its technical classification as a "compact hatchback".
While the new Hyundai Elantra Touring has a lot going for it, it's always a good idea to check out competitors with similar qualities to help make an informed buying decision. Those attracted to sporty handling abilities may also want to consider the Mazda 3 hatchback. Those seeking more impressive gas mileage may want to take a look at the diesel-powered Volkswagen Jetta TDI and its 40 mpg. And those who value unique styling may find both the Kia Soul and Nissan Cube are worthy rivals.
But all told, the 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring makes a solid choice because it affordably offers some of all of these positives.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2011 Elantra Touring is a four-door hatchback offered in two trims: GLS and SE.
The base GLS model is already well-equipped with standard features including power windows, power doorlocks, power mirrors, keyless entry, air conditioning, 15-inch steel wheels, a tilt steering wheel, a cooled glove compartment, 60/40-split rear seats, heated side mirrors and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and auxiliary/USB audio jacks.
There's also an optional Popular package for the GLS which adds steering wheel audio controls, foglights, a retractable cargo cover, roof rails, upgraded cloth upholstery, a trip computer, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and driver seat height and lumbar adjustments.
Moving up to the SE model gets all the GLS and Popular package features plus leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a sunroof, heated front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and a sport shifter on manual transmission models.
Bluetooth and a rear spoiler are also available on both models as stand-alone options.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Under the hood of the new Hyundai Elantra Touring is a competent 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a standard 5-speed manual transmission while a 4-speed automatic is available as an option. An Elantra Touring with the manual transmission is capable of going from 0 - 60 mph in a very respectable 8.7 seconds.
The Touring's fuel economy is also appealing with an EPA gas mileage estimate of 23 mpg city and 31 mpg on the highway with the manual, while the automatic version gets a nearly identical 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.
Standard safety features for both 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring models include traction control, stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS) with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, front-seat active head restraints and side curtain airbags.
In government crash tests, the Elantra Touring received five out of five stars for frontal-impact protection and four stars for side-impact protection.
A big positive of the Touring's cabin is its surprising roominess for a compact vehicle. Its thoughtful design provides the kind of legroom and headroom that should accommodate even taller passengers in both comfortable and supportive seats, front and rear. Cargo space is also at a premium for a vehicle this size, coming in at a very useful 24 cubic feet with the rear seats up and a generous 65 cubic feet when folded down (more than some small SUVs).
The cabin itself is attractive, well-built and user-friendly. Although not as upscale as the Elantra sedan, most shoppers will be very satisfied. In fact, its comparatively quiet environment and use of some soft-touch materials bests most rivals in its price range.
With its relatively quick acceleration, the drive of the 2011 Elantra Touring is more spirited than one would expect from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Its European heritage is apparent both around-town and on the highway thanks to its well-tuned suspension, responsive steering, tight turning radius and surprisingly quiet cabin.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try the Wholesale Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them at no cost in your own area.
2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring Hatchback:
GLS, manual: list price: $15,995, invoice price: $15,525
GLS, auto: list price: $17,195, invoice price: $16,671
SE, manual: list price: $19,495, invoice price: $18,673
SE, auto: list price: $20,295, invoice price: $19,429