Sunday, July 12, 2009

2007 Hyundai Elantra

Oh boy, I'm behind. The last two weeks have been very busy due to the holidays and I mostly just went to bed for much of the week. I don't think I'll be able to make daily updates with the way things are going, I'll try for weekly instead.

Introduction: The Elantra went for a redesign for the 2007 model year into its fourth generation. The car's primary target once again was the Corolla and Civic. Hyundai attempted to increase the size of the car, but left out the hatchback option in North America until recently with the new 2009 Elantra Touring.

If you remembered my last review of the old Elantra I didn't really like it. I drove this version shortly after that one with low expectations. To start, I didn't like the way it looks.

Performance: The fourth generation Elantra uses Hyundai's Beta II engine which was no change from the last generation this engine produces 138 hp and 136 lb.ft of torque. Once again the manual transmission is the best option to go for to get the most of its power being at least 2 seconds quicker than the auto which does 0-100 km/h in about 10 seconds. The changes in performance are basically nil from the last generation. The drone is not as bad this time around due to a marginally better interior.

My Score: 5/10 - Like last time, a decent engine but nothing special.

Handling: I don't know what Hyundai was doing here, while the changes to the handling have been very minimal the steering feel of the Elantra has changed for the worse. Last time the wheel was light but I never got the sense that it was over boosted but rather somewhat numb. This time around the wheel is very light and the feel is completely missing. During the winter the lack of any feel meant this car was very easy to slide without warning. Hyundai wanted to outdo Toyota with the lack of steering feel...too bad for Hyundai, Toyota was able to do much worse.

My Score: 2/10 - Worse than last time, the steering feel is absent this time around

Interior: The last Elantra interior was very generic, that didn't change so much this time around either. The difference however is the materials are a bit better than last time and unlike last time there is a little bit more styling involved as well. The stereo still remained the same bad pre-2009 unit which was rubbish. The interior is bigger this time around however and is more spacious than before. The build quality on this version is better, despite coming from the same factory as before. On a whole this Elantra does have an improvement when it comes to the interior.

My Score: 6/10 - Still generic, but with better materials, better build quality and more space

Styling: No no no no no. This is a very bad attempt at styling, copying an already generic car to further dilute the market with cars that look nearly identical. Its clear that the person styling this Elantra took a Corolla and traced it. They didn't even really bother to make this car look unique.

My Score: 0/10 - There just isn't any styling here and thus a zero, the Elantra Touring is a significantly better example of what this car should have looked like.

Value for money: Once again the Elantra comes very well equipped compared to the likes of the Corolla and Civic. The power is comparable, the space is a smidgen larger and the price is much lower than those two vehicles. This is a generic car and for this sort of money, you couldn't blame someone for buying it.

My Score: 8/10 - Despite me not liking a lot of this car, the amount of value this car has still is impressive for its price.

Overall: 21/50 - The score is worse this time around just for the plain fact that Hyundai did nothing about the styling thinking tracing is a better idea and made the steering feel go away. The better interior just wasn't enough to bump its score to average.

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