HYUNDAI ELANTRA: A “CLASS ABOVE” THE COMPETITION
Elantra Returns with New Limited Trim Level, and an Optional Premium Package
The Hyundai Elantra has always distanced itself from the competition with a strong combination of virtues. With more interior volume than key competitors Civic and Corolla, great feature content and safety features, the affordable Elantra-in both four-door sedan and five-door hatchback-offers exceptional value. For 2006, the Elantra returns in GLS (four- and five-door) and GT (five-door) trim, and the line expands to include a new upscale Limited sedan. There’s also a new premium package available on all trim levels that includes a power sunroof, ABS and Traction Control System (TCS).
IMPORTANT SAFETY FEATURES
All Elantra variants have standard dual front airbags and front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, which help it score exceptionally well in crash testing. The four-door Elantra earned the top score of five stars in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) driver NCAP and front SINCAP crash testing, and a “Good” score in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) frontal crash test.
The Elantra earns these high marks with a comprehensive list of standard and available safety features. The Elantra’s stiff steel unibody has effective front and rear crumple zones, and bodyside reinforcements help reduce intrusion in a side impact. Hood buckling creases and safety stops control the deformation of the hood in a frontal collision and help keep it from being forced into the passenger compartment. Inside, there’s an energy absorbing steering column and front seatbelts with pretensioners, force limiters and adjustable-height shoulder anchors. Three-point belts are standard for all seating positions, and adjustable head restraints are standard for outboard passengers.
Accident avoidance technologies include fully independent suspension, front and rear anti-roll bars and precise rack and pinion steering. The Elantra’s standard power braking system has front discs and rear drums; five-door versions have standard rear disc brakes. Four-sensor, four-channel ABS and traction control are offered as part of the Premium Package on all trim levels.
TWO BODY STYLES
The Elantra comes in two different bodystyles: an upscale-looking four-door sedan and a sporty and functional five-door hatchback. The sedan can be had in two trim levels-GLS and Limited-while the five-door is available in GLS and GT trim. With its distinctive Hyundai grille, aerodynamic, streamlined halogen headlights and available fog lights, the Elantra is an engaging alternative to conventional compacts like Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Ford Focus.
All Elantra variants have bodycolored door handles and bodycolored heated power exterior mirrors. The GLS and Limited both have chrome grilles; the Limited has a unique vertical bar design. A black grille gives the five-door GT a more European flavor. A bodycolored rear lip spoiler is optional on the four-door GLS and Limited, and is standard on the five-door GT.
The Elantra is a “class above” Civic and Corolla for interior room. Elantra is so roomy it’s classified by the U.S. Government as a mid-size car not a compact car. With 95.4 cubic feet of passenger room and 13.0 cubic feet of trunk space, the Elantra sedan’s total interior volume of 108.4 cubic feet betters the 2006 Civic sedan (102.9 cubic feet) and Corolla sedan (103.8 cubic feet). That extra space gives the four-door Elantra roominess that passengers really appreciate. The five-door Elantra is even bigger overall, with 115.1 cubic feet total, including 20.1 cubic feet of cargo space that’s easily accessible through a large rear hatch.
Thoughtful storage features abound in the Elantra’s interior. There’s a center console with a two-level storage compartment and a comfortable armrest. An overhead sunglasses holder has built-in map lights, and map pockets are integrated into the front door panels. Seatback storage pockets provide additional room for small items. Five-door versions have two front cupholders, and four-door variants have a total of four cupholders, two front and two rear.
The Elantra’s comfortable and versatile seating includes a multi-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and dual height adjustment, adjustable front and rear outboard head restraints, and a 60/40 split-fold-down rear seatback that makes it easy to accommodate cargo.
Standard conveniences like full analog instrumentation, a six-speaker, 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system, air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows, locks with remote keyless entry with alarm and heated mirrors truly make the Elantra seem like it’s a class above its modest price point.
Hyundai’s advanced 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine powers all Elantra variations. This sophisticated 16-valve powerplant has an iron block, topped with an aluminum cylinder head that features dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT). The combination helps to give the engine a very broad power spread, coupled with high fuel efficiency and low emissions.
The CVVT unit is positioned on the exhaust camshaft and controls the intake valve timing by advancing and retarding the intake cam in relation to the exhaust cam. The CVVT system increases volumetric and thermodynamic efficiency, which helps the engine deliver improved performance at high rpm and increased torque at low rpm. With better cylinder charging, fuel economy is also increased. By optimizing valve overlap, NOx emissions are reduced due to the resulting Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) effect.
Depending on the state in which the vehicle is sold, the Elantra is available in Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) and Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) configurations. The ULEV variation is rated at 138 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 136 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm. SULEV engines are available only with a four-speed automatic transmission, and are rated at 132 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 133 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm.
In addition its strong power characteristics, the Elantra’s engine also returns excellent fuel mileage. With the five-speed manual transmission that’s standard with ULEV versions, the Elantra is rated at 27 mpg City and 34 mpg Highway. With the optional four-speed automatic transmission (standard in SULEV versions), the Elantra scores 24-mpg City and 32 mpg Highway in EPA fuel economy testing.
TWO TRANSMISSION CHOICES
The Elantra GLS and GT come standard with a precise five-speed manual gearbox. A smooth four-speed automatic with a console-mounted floor shifter is available as an option. The Limited comes exclusively with the automatic, as do all SULEV versions of the Elantra.
SUSPENSION AND STEERING
Conflicting demands drove the design of the Elantra’s suspension. On one hand, interior space and cargo room is critically important in a sedan or hatchback in this class; on the other hand, secure, responsive handling and good road isolation is also a priority. The Elantra’s suspension reflects the current state-of-the-art in managing this difficult balance. Up front, MacPherson struts with gas-filled dampers, offset coil springs and an anti-roll bar provide precise wheel control and flat cornering. The rear suspension is a fully independent multi-link design with offset coil springs, gas-filled dampers and an anti-roll bar. Given the GT five-door’s more sporting mission, it has firmer dampers front and rear, and larger anti-roll bars at each end.
Other enhancements further distinguish the trim levels. For a sportier driving experience, five-door variants feature sport-tuned steering and suspension. Both bodystyles roll on P195/60R-15 Michelin tires mounted on 15 x 5.5-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers; the GT five-door is fitted with wider 15 x 6-inch alloy wheels.
In perfect keeping with Hyundai’s high-value approach to standard equipment, the Elantra GLS four-door and five-door both have a remarkable array of desirable features. The list includes air conditioning, power windows, heated mirrors and door locks, remote keyless entry with alarm, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, and AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers. The five-door version also has a rear intermittent wiper, cargo cover, sport-tuned suspension and steering, rear disc brakes, and a blackout treatment on the bodyside moldings and bumpers. The only option is a Premium Package that includes a power sunroof, ABS and Traction Control System (TCS).
ELANTRA GT FIVE-DOOR
The sport-oriented Elantra GT five-door expands on the GLS five-door equipment to include 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift lever, gray leather seating surfaces and a rear lip spoiler. There’s also striking purple instrument panel illumination, a trip computer, and rear disc brakes. The optional Premium Package includes a power sunroof, ABS and traction control.
The Limited trim takes the Elantra upscale by building on the GLS four-door equipment with luxurious woodgrain interior trim, beige leather seating surfaces-plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel and automatic transmission with leather-wrapped shift lever. Outside, you’ll find chrome insert bodyside molding, a chrome vertical-bar grille and fog lights. The only option offered is the Premium Package including a power sunroof, ABS and traction control.
The all-new 2006 Hyundai Elantra is protected by the Hyundai Advantage, America’s Best Warranty™. Coverage includes five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and seven-year/unlimited mileage anti-perforation coverage. In addition, Elantra buyers receive 24-hour roadside assistance coverage at no extra charge for five years (no mileage limit) and that service includes emergency towing, lockout service and limited coverage for trip-interruption expenses. There is no deductible on any of these coverages.
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 670 dealerships nationwide.