The Hyundai Elantra is a long-running model of compact cars. The current model has a front-engine design combined with front-wheel drive. With five generations of Elantras sold since 1990, the model is one of Hyundai's most successful ever. A full redesign gave the 2011 model a complete makeover. Hyundai added numerous standard features and optional packages for 2011 while maintaining a low base price.
The Elantra is powered by a four-cylinder engine, producing 148 horsepower. Elantras being sold under California's laws or similar emissions regulations have an alternate four-cylinder engine with 145 horsepower. The EPA predicts that Elantras will average 29 miles per gallon under city driving conditions and 40 miles on the highway. The Elantra seats five, although adult passengers in the back may be a bit cramped. Hyundai did most of the design work for the Elantra in South Korea. Plants in Ulsan, South Korea and Montgomery, Alabama produce the Elantra.
The first generation of the Elantra was produced in 1990 and criticized for its small size and lack of standard equipment. The second generation made modest improvements, but did not undergo significant changes. Hyundai went back to the drawing board and did significant redesigning to launch the third generation of Elantras in 2000. After 2001, Hyundai added more standard features to the base models. The fifth generation also received a complete makeover and arrived in 2010. Hyundai has continued to add standard features and create more optional packages, allowing the Elantra to maintain its success in the compact car market.
Hyundai currently offers the 2011 Elantra with either GLS or Limited trim levels. The base GLS trim has standard 15-inch steel wheels, 60/40 rear seat, and satellite radio among its equipment. People purchasing an Elantra with GLS trim may also opt for either the Popular Equipment or Preferred Equipment optional packages. The Popular Equipment upgrades the wheels to 16-inch steel and adds air conditioning. The Preferred Equipment changes the wheels to 16-inch alloy and includes Bluetooth capabilities. The Limited trim includes the GLS standard equipment, the Popular Equipment, and the Preferred Equipment. The Limited trim has 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, and leather upholstery. Both the front and rear seats are heated. A navigation package is available for both trim levels. The package includes a navigation system with real-time data updates and a 360-watt audio system.
US News and World Report gave the 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring an award for Best Car for the Money". Kelley Blue Book placed the car on its "Top 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000" list. Independent automotive reviews have cited the Elantra's impressive standard equipment for the price, saying the car represents an excellent deal in its price range.
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