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Hyundai Elantra, Car Buying, Sedan
#2 of 259 First look at the 2007 Elantra
Oct 14, 2006 (12:04 pm)
I got to see the 2007 Elantra close up for the first time today at my local dealer. As mentioned above, they got two in this week, a grey SE AT with mats and a black GLS AT with Preferred Package and mats. I sat in the SE and looked it over closely, and also looked around the GLS but didn't sit in it since the seating is nearly identical (except no telescopic wheel as on the SE).
My first impression was that this is a very sharp and distinctive looking car, especially the SE in grey with the 16" five-spoke alloys. It doesn't look anything like a Corolla--it's much sleeker, even sexier. The 15" steel wheels on the GLS were too small for the car IMO, and made the car look cheap. The 16-inchers filled the wheel wells and really make the car I think. I would get the SE just for the alloys, but also there are several other nice features in the SE vs. the GLS such as the telescopic wheel with audio controls, trip computer, and leather wheel and shift knob. BTW, to the earlier question re tires, they are Hankook Optimas on both models--no more Michelins!
The fit and finish on the car was excellent. The paint, especially on the grey SE, was glossy and smooth (the black GLS looked a little dull, maybe because it was in the shade and dirty). Panel gaps were narrow and even. The doors close with a solid "thunk." No obvious gaffes inside. The dash is mostly a nice-looking black padded vinyl. The side panels are hard plastic, but with pleasing textures (e.g. a dot pattern on the light grey panels above the armrests). Also, there are thick pads on the armrests for elbows. The light grey fabric was pretty boring I thought, but that might be intentional based on the flak Hyundai got for its more adventurous texturing in the Sonata.
The best news for me was that I was able to find a comfortable position in the driver's seat even with the single-lever height adjuster. I was worried about that because the Sonata has a similar height adjuster, and it tilts the seat forward as it raises. The Elantra did not have this problem; the seat stayed much more level as it went up. Not as adjustable as the old dual-knob setup, but acceptable, and easier to use. There's a HUGE dead pedal, and with the telescopic wheel on the SE the driving position seemed quite comfy. The black leather 3-spoke wheel felt good also. And there is a mode control on the wheel for the audio system--Hyundai learned from its mistake on the 2006 Sonata.
I really like the appearance and layout of the center stack. The controls are clear and fall easily at hand. There's a covered bin on top of the center stack (the sales rep it's a placeholder for a future nav system option!) and also a covered bin at the bottom of the stack. The HVAC controls are three big silver knobs, used increasingly by Hyundai and other automakers. They are smooth and intuitive. Metallic trim around the HVAC knobs and the gated shifter lend an upscale appearance. The shifter itself is small, with leather and a metallic insert. Cruise controls are on the wheel now, instead of a stalk. The glove box is rather small but easily accessible. The center console has a thickly-padded armrest with a two-tier storage compartment. Cupholders are right in front of the center console, as on the old Elantra, but now have spring-loaded grippers. There's a bin for phones etc. in front of the shifter, right below the dual 12v outlets and the aux input jack. With the door bins with integrated bottle holders and the netted pockets on the front seatbacks, there's lots of storage in the cabin. Like the old Elantra, the new one has a damped sunglasses holder and maplights in the overhead console, and it now has dual lighted vanity mirrors with sliding doors. There are silver-painted plastic door handles and lock buttons. They look OK but feel cheap (c'mon Hyundai, spend a few extra bucks for metal door handles!). Layout of the power window/locks/mirror switches is similar to that on the old Elantra, on a canted panel on the driver's armrest.
The rear seat did not seem a lot roomier than on the old Elantra, with one exception: there was a LOT more room for feet under the driver's seat. There might be a little more knee room also. I was very comfortable sitting "behind myself"; I expect adults up to at least 6' will fit pretty well in back. The seat bottom and back provided good support. There's a center armrest with cupholders now. Three adults would probably be tight back there, and the middle person has to straddle the hump and sit against the folded armrest. At least they have their own adjustable headrest.
There's now a power trunk release on the driver's door. The trunk is quite roomy and tall. The seatback releases have been moved to pulls in the trunk, more convenient and secure. Gas struts would have been nice, but they are unusual in this class of car.
Just based on appearance and "sit", I think the new Elantra is a big improvement over the old model and now fully competitive with the best in its class--and even a lower-priced alternative for 4-cylinder midsized sedans given its mid-sized interior. I'll have to see how it drives and how the crash tests pan out before confirming it on my "consider" list for my next car (in SE MT trim most likely). Also there's that upcoming hatchback to check out...
#3 of 259 Re: First look at the 2007 Elantra [backy]
Oct 14, 2006 (10:00 pm)
Did you happen to notice the price on these models???
#4 of 259 Re: First look at the 2007 Elantra [backy]
Oct 14, 2006 (11:02 pm)
Nice review, backy. I've read a few different places that there's a hatch on the way, so I really hope that's the case. I'm sold on the new Elantra otherwise.
#5 of 259 Re: First look at the 2007 Elantra [sonatabean]
Oct 15, 2006 (7:06 am)
Yes, I noticed the pricing, but since prices are readily available here at Edmunds.com, I decided not to post them.
The price I am most interested in is the SE MT, which with mats would be $16,380 MSRP ($15,338 invoice) including destination. I think that is a reasonable price for a car with its room and content, but what I am expecting is that there will be some rebates available by the time I am ready to buy.
#6 of 259 Re: First look at the 2007 Elantra [backy]
Oct 15, 2006 (8:09 am)
Nearly all of the cars at my local Hyundai dealer are $249 more than the list price because of "security window etching." Isn't that kind of a scam for them to automatically do it without asking?
#7 of 259 Re: First look at the 2007 Elantra [herotakesafall]
Oct 15, 2006 (8:28 am)
Yes it is since you can get that for practically free (plus its pretty much useless). I would negotiate a price then tell them to drop the $249 for the "useless crap" (don't let them fool you that it has value it really doesn't) or they lose the deal.
Or pretty much determine what you would pay for the car without the useless stuff on it and if they don't go that low walk.
But yes its a scam. Just like putting on $2 worth of pin striping and charging $495 for it on every car they sell.
#8 of 259 Re: First look at the 2007 Elantra [backy]
Oct 15, 2006 (6:29 pm)
backy wrote: There's now a power trunk release on the driver's door. The trunk is quite roomy and tall. The seatback releases have been moved to pulls in the trunk, more convenient and secure. Gas struts would have been nice, but they are unusual in this class of car.
The seatback releases are in the trunk as well in the Kia Spectra.
Backy - were you able to confirm that the key fob had a remote trunk release?
#9 of 259 Re: First look at the 2007 Elantra [w9cw]
Oct 15, 2006 (8:31 pm)
No, but Hyundai makes prominent mention of that feature in their announcements. I mentioned the power release on the door because that's what I used to open the trunk, and it was a mechanical lever on the floor in the old Elantra.
#10 of 259 Re: First look at the 2007 Elantra [backy]
Oct 15, 2006 (10:42 pm)
I like the way the XD hatch was rigged: The trunk latch was just like any other door latch- when the doors were unlocked, so was the trunk. When the doors were locked, so was the trunk.
One feature I'd love to see is a gas cap lock. When I was in England last year, I found that if the doors of the Vauxhall I rented were locked you couldn't open the fuel door, but if they were unlocked you could. I would prefer that to the handle inside the car, because half the time I forget to pull the handle.