The 2010 Hyundai Elantra Blue is an entry-level car that surprises with its abilities over the road, its amenities in a good-size cabin and its extensive list of standard features in a four-door, front-wheel-drive package.
This Korean automaker has made leaps and bounds in the quality division of road-going life and its current models, from smallest to largest, compare well with its American, Japanese, European and other Korean counterparts.
Sole motive power for the 2010 Hyundai Elantra is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 138 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 136 lb-ft of torque at 4600. Redline is 6500 rpm and at 70 mph this machine is turning about 2750 rpm, elevating to 2900 at 75 mph.
Hyundai mates this engine to a five-speed manual transmission with “eco-shift” notifications that tell the driver when to up- and down-shift for optimal fuel mileage. The transmission is easy to work and snicks from gear to gear with seemingly minimal fuss. Clutch uptake is smooth. A CVT option is available for those who prefer not to shift for themselves.
Front MacPherson struts with coil springs and stabilizer bar mate well with rear independent multilink suspension, also with a stabilizer bar. The power rack-and-pinion steering on this compact sedan is precise with no discernible slop and the turning circle is an enviable 33.9 feet.
Safety items include effective all-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution as standard equipment on the Elantra Blue, as well as front, side and six head curtain airbags. Even on this base sedan, Hyundai includes a tire pressure monitoring system and active front head restraints.
Keyless remote entry (with alarm) is an excellent standard feature, as are power windows with driver one-touch down button. As a basic model, the Elantra Blue comes with Kumho 195/65R-15 tires mounted on steel wheels with attractive twinned five-spoke covers.
The 2010 Hyundai Elantra Blue has a $14,870 entry fee including destination. To that Hyundai adds its comfort package for $1700 that features a CD-based audio system with six speakers, iPod/USB/MP3 auxiliary jacks and XM satellite service with three months free.
The package also includes air conditioning with in-cabin air filter and cruise control. Hyundai charges $95 for carpeted floor mats all around, a $35 fee for iPod cable and the $325 bill for the BluetoothÃ¢ hands-free phone system (on the windshield header) that brings the grand total for this car to $17,020.
With any vehicle the choice lies in the cabin features and the driving experience and in both of these criteria the 2010 Hyundai Elantra Blue holds its own. Inexpensive, yes it is but the word “cheap” really doesn’t apply to this Carbon Gray Mist compact sedan (with complementary light gray cloth interior) that stands 177.4 inches long, 69.9 inches wide and 58.3 inches tall.
The Elantra Blue rides on a relatively long 104.3-inch wheelbase and has 5.9 inches of ground clearance. Curb weight is a lithe 2723 pounds. It has good closures and seam spacing that aid chassis rigidity.