2010 Hyundai Elantra Blue new car reviews

Better than: 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring
But not as good as: Hyundai Genesis Sedan
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 69.14

When you want toast, you put bread in a toaster. When that bread pops up, you aren’t expecting anything more than toast. Having a better-looking or fancier toaster is not going to make that toast appreciably better. The point is that sometimes an appliance is simply a device used to get a job done efficiently and with little fuss. It’s not a statement.

And we pay the Hyundai Elantra high praise when we call it a stellar driving appliance.

Starting at under $15k (our loaded test car stickered under $18,000), the Elantra won't be on anyone’s short list of must-drive cars anytime soon. But by delivering over 30 mpg during our mixed driving stint, and by doing so with a minimal amount of fuss and a maximal amount of user-friendliness, the Elantra manages to elevate the status of driving appliance from something to be pitied to something to be admired.

Our tester came loaded with a decent stereo plus iPod and aux stereo jacks. Its five speed shifted smoothly except for a bit of a one-to-two crunch, indicating that whoever had the car before us got their money’s worth. The ultra-low-emission 2-liter produced 138 horsepower. While the Elantra probably won’t be your favorite track weapon, it packs more than enough power to handle the commute without having to shoot any gaps to maintain momentum.

Another plus is the fact that visibility to all corners is better than average for a modern car. The overall packaging and ergonomics of the car are excellent. A wide variety of drivers got comfortable in our tester and found every button, dial and switch they needed to go about the business of driving.

Look, the Elantra isn’t a sports sedan, but it isn’t trying to be. It’s a pure driving appliance, and we respect its honest, no-nonsense approach to that job. It makes delicious toast.

Other staff views

Tom Heath Tom Heath
UberDork

I don't know if the Elantra would make my short list if I were shopping this segment or not. The simple, economy-minded interior was okay, but the flat seats weren't compatible with my skinny butt. The swooping character line running down the Elantra's flanks didn't stand out, giving the car a plain jelly bean shape that leaves me wanting more personality. Performance was adequate but uninspiring, much like dozens of other offerings from different manufacturers.

Rather than choosing the Elantra, I think I'd rather tickle my itch for an American-branded car like the Chevy Cobalt. It may or may not be a better car, but I can't help but feel that it would have more personality than this Hyundai at the same price point. Also, the Cobalt offers more upgrade options than the Elantra, giving me the choice of a larger-diameter anti-roll bar or stiffer springs from the Chevy's SS model.

Steve Chryssos Steve Chryssos
Reader

The Elantra Blue gets about 35 mpg on the highway and sells for a low $14,145 starting price. I'm 5'11", and the front seating was capacious and entirely comfortable for me. Our test car even had a "bangin'" 172-watt AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system with tweeters and iPod/USB auxiliary inputs. Those are some perky specs.

Like the original VW Beetle, the Elantra Blue is a people's car. "The brand-new car that's easy on the wallet!" With a slogan like that, we should all line up at the nearest Hyundai dealer.

Unfortunately, I will never buy the exceedingly logical Hyundai Elantra Blue. Instead, I will talk myself into a worn-out Euro sedan with bad wiring and a pervasive antifreeze odor. What is wrong with me? Don't listen to me. Buy the Hyundai Elantra Blue.

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Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
1/25/10 1:44 p.m.

Add an Elantra Touring rear sway bar and some good wheels and tires and the appliance is at least entertaining to drive. Trust me on that one.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UberDork
1/26/10 12:54 p.m.

These trim level names really have me scratching my head. That Elantra looks gray to me.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
1/27/10 4:05 p.m.

You're right, Matt. The name doesn't make sense to me, either!

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

When you want toast, you put bread in a toaster. When that bread pops up, you aren’t expecting anything more than toast. Having a better-looking or fancier toaster is not going to make that toast appreciably better. The point is that sometimes an appliance is simply a device used to get a job done efficiently and with little fuss. It’s not a statement.

And we pay the Hyundai Elantra high praise when we call it a stellar driving appliance.

Starting at under $15k (our loaded test car stickered under $18,000), the Elantra won't be on anyone’s short list of must-drive cars anytime soon. But by delivering over 30 mpg during our mixed driving stint, and by doing so with a minimal amount of fuss and a maximal amount of user-friendliness, the Elantra manages to elevate the status of driving appliance from something to be pitied to something to be admired.

Our tester came loaded with a decent stereo plus iPod and aux stereo jacks. Its five speed shifted smoothly except for a bit of a one-to-two crunch, indicating that whoever had the car before us got their money’s worth. The ultra-low-emission 2-liter produced 138 horsepower. While the Elantra probably won’t be your favorite track weapon, it packs more than enough power to handle the commute without having to shoot any gaps to maintain momentum.

Another plus is the fact that visibility to all corners is better than average for a modern car. The overall packaging and ergonomics of the car are excellent. A wide variety of drivers got comfortable in our tester and found every button, dial and switch they needed to go about the business of driving.

Look, the Elantra isn’t a sports sedan, but it isn’t trying to be. It’s a pure driving appliance, and we respect its honest, no-nonsense approach to that job. It makes delicious toast.

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