MPG-o-Matic Hyundai Elantra Touring Review Summary:
The versatile Hyundai Elantra Touring delivers a generous amount of cargo capacity, a host of in-cabin technology, and a four-cylinder engine capable of delivering highway mileage in the mid-thirty mile per gallon range. For those so inclined, the B&M shifter brings the manual-equipped Elantra Touring to life.
The five-door 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring is fitted with a 2.0-liter DOHC engine that can be mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The Elantra’s inline four produces 138 horsepower (HP) and 136 foot pounds of torque.
The EPA’s fuel economy estimates for the 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring are 23 city / 31 highway miles per gallon (MPG) with the manual transmission and 23 city / 30 highway with the automatic.
We put roughly three hundred miles on the odometer of our five-speed manual Carbon Gray review unit over a long weekend and easily dispensed the official mileage estimates with an average of 35.4 MPG on the Interstate highway and 29.8 MPG combined.
Interstate Mileage Testing:
Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 34.5 MPG
Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 36.3 MPG
Overall test period temperatures ranged from the fifties through the seventies, with Interstate highway testing temperatures in the high sixties.
The Elantra Touring’s 14.0 gallon gas tank provides for a reasonable amount of highway range. The 2.0-liter engine is designed to run on regular unleaded fuel.
While the little four-banger’s numbers might not look impressive on paper, it delivers off-the-line when fitted with the five-speed manual. Performance is quite adequate in an unladen vehicle. Fill the car with friends, family, and cargo, however and the 2.0-liter will have its work cut out for it.
Those who opt for the manual transmission will not be disappointed. The Elantra Touring’s standard B&M shifter makes it a pleasure to take a quick run through the gears.
Through the twisties, the Hyundai five-door’s handling isn’t as tight as the segment-leading Mazda3 … but when it comes to hauling gear the Elantra Touring absolutely shines.
There’s a remarkable amount of cargo capacity, with 24.3 cubic feet of space available when the 60/40 rear seats are up and 65.3 cubic feet when the rear seats are down. Cubbies underneath the rear floor provide concealed space for even more stuff.
Rear seating is comfortable for four, with a center fold-down armrest and plenty of headroom.
Driver’s amenities are quite good, given the Elantra Touring’s price point, with the beefy leather-wrapped steering wheel providing integrated controls. Manual lumbar support is standard.
Our test unit was fitted with the Premium Sport package, which includes a power sunroof, heated front seats, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The optional Bluetooth hands-free phone system is housed above the windshield.
There are two power outlets at the base of the dash, and another in the cargo area.
The standard six-speaker audio system provides both auxiliary and USB input jacks. Although the standard audio system does a great job of iPod integration, volume is limited. iPod support includes access to playlists, artists and albums.
The steering wheel controls allow you to switch between songs, auxiliary input devices, CDs, radio and satellite radio without lifting your hands from the wheel, so your eyes can stay on the road.
While the trip computer provides an average mile per gallon fuel economy display (along with distance to empty), the Elantra Touring lacks a real-time fuel-efficiency gauge. We always recommend the use of a real-time fuel economy display as a means to encourage light-footed driving in the effort to achieve higher gas mileage.
All-in-all, the Hyundai Elantra Touring delivers excellent value with a combination of technology, fuel efficiency, driveability, and cargo capacity. Whether viewed as a competitor to the Toyota Matrix and Mazda3 or as an alternative to a small SUV, the Elantra Touring provides plenty of bang for the buck.
– by Daniel Gray
October 7th, 2009
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