The Hyundai Elantra holds a special place in my heart. It was the first car I purchased in June of 2002. It was a black hatchback fully loaded. I remember being equally excited and nervous about signing the sales agreement for about $25,000. 24 year old Jay would finally be free of the beloved 1987 Volvo station wagon! He’d have a beautiful, black 2002 Elantra GT to tote around the continent with!
I chose the Elantra because it looked good, was practical via the hatchback, had modest power (well, for 2002 it did) and was the start of Hyundai’s resurrection.
I’m spending a few weeks in the 2016 model so instead of doing one oversized review, I’m going to give you small bites to digest. Seems fair, right?
I’ll start by saying Laura, my oh so lovely girlfriend, drives a 2013 Elantra GT in light gray (a color that’s not high on my preference list as I find it looks beautiful in black) and whenever we go out together in her car, I’m assigned driver duty, so I’m incredibly familiar with the fifth generation (2011 to present).
It’s the details that set this generation of Elantra apart from many of its competitors.
When closing the hatch, there are handles on either side opposed to only one.
When the navigation and audio system are on and there are instructions being spoken to you, the rear speakers continue playing music at a lower volume while the front speakers cut the music and announce your next turn.
The back-up camera is hidden. That’s right; hidden! If you look at the car from behind, you’ll see the italicized “H” in an oval ring. Once the car is in reverse, the oval tilts, revealing the back-up camera.
Now that’s something you’d expect in a luxury car, not a compact car.
There’s one large storage bin in front of the gearshift. Practical, right? Hyundai put a shallow divider between the two so you can have “easy access” items like car keys, change, chap stick, etc., in the front compartment and secondary items in the rear, such as a cell phone, extra pair of sunglasses, wallet, iPod, etc. How’s that for practicality!
The difference between Laura’s 2013 and the current 2016 is that there are beautiful LED rear lights which give the Elantra an elegant stance to its already shapely body.
Staying on the practical side, the 7” touchscreen navigation/audio screen is big enough to be seen and easy to operate, with pillars of function-based buttons lining the left and right sides. I’ll get more into the ease of operation in the next post.
At the end of week one, the 2016 Elantra GT has been fun to drive, is loaded with practical offerings and is a superb compact hatch option for those who want a bit of jump in their step while wearing a sturdy pair of shoes.
Stick around for part two.
L Manual $18,449
GL Manual $19,749
GL Automatic $20,999
GLS Manual $22,049
GLS Automatic $23,299
GLS Tech $24,399