Hyundai’s 2010 Elantra Touring SE is proof that a vehicle without a ton of bells and whistles doesn’t have to be boring. Although it is a hatchback, the 2-liter/4-cylinder/16-valve dual overhead cam engine Elantra comes with five-speed manual transmission and delivers a spirited, zippy ride. It reminded me just how much fun a manual transmission automobile can be.
Once at the wheel of the Elantra, I forgot that I was in a five-door hatchback, instead my focus was on the sporty, fun ride and the joy of driving a stick.
While the interior cabin is unglamorous, it is surprisingly roomy up front and in the back.
And those who are drawn to a hatchback for its versatility and its ability to tote cargo will have at their disposal 65 cubic feel of cargo space – more than several of its competitors, according to Hyundai’s Web site. Of course, the rear seats fold down for more space, and there’s a nice hidden storage space under the floor in the rear.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Elantra Touring SE isn’t some striped down automobile. It comes with an array of performance, safety and convenience features that make for a decent package.
This compact comes with sports-tuned suspension, electronic stability control as well as traction control, which makes it easier to negotiate challenging terrain such as a slippery hill. It’s also equipped with brake assist and six airbags.
Other nice touches include an overhead sunglass holder, heated side mirrors and a cooled glove box. It’s also impressive that all the features such as power tilt sunroof, six-speaker sound system, IPod/USB jacks, remote keyless entry, 17-inch wheels, antilock brakes and tire press monitoring are standard equipment.
The starting price for the Elantra Touring SE is $18,995 and the test vehicle I drove totaled $20,005 with only $95 for carpeted floor mats and $195 for the rear spoiler as optional equipment.
The Elantra Touring SE is reported to get 23 miles per gallon in the city and 31 on the highway.
This Elantra is a modest-priced hatchback that provides everything one would want in a tote-it-and-go vehicle without totally forgetting that driver and passengers deserve to enjoy the ride as well.