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STYLING | 7 out of 10
plush cloth upholstery, attractive plastics, and many soft-touch surfaces belie Elantra's pricing
impressive exterior styling
Kelley Blue Book
the overall design is attractive and pleasing, looking as if it belongs in a much more expensive car
Editors at TheCarConnection.com note that the styling of the 2009 Hyundai Elantra is in no way off-putting—but it's also pretty generic.
Kelley Blue Book praises the exterior of the 2009 Hyundai Elantra, noting its similarity to its bigger sibling: "The impressive exterior styling, with its clean lines and sculpted body sides, borrows design characteristics from the larger and more expensive Hyundai Azera." The Washington Post is also a fan of the 2009 Elantra's styling. The reviewer considers it "unpretentious," stating the Elantra "does not pretend to be hot, hip, sexy or wicked. Instead, it proudly presents its credentials as an economy-mobile." Of this year's model, Cars.com says "the new Elantra adopts a taller, curvier look," remarking that "it follows the look of the full-size Azera sedan—which is not the most distinctive design."
Regarding the interior, reviews fall on both sides of the matter. Kelley Blue Book says the Elantra is "not necessarily an example of modern style," criticizing "the SE's somewhat dated-looking velvety seat fabric, the instrument panel with its expanses of plastic and the over-designed door panels [which] appear a little old-fashioned." ConsumerGuide likes the "large, clear gauges" and explains that "climate and audio controls are simple and handy." Edmunds notes that the Hyundai's "interior quality is quite literally hit or miss," although "the overall design is attractive and pleasing, looking as if it belongs in a much more expensive car." ConsumerGuide concurs, reporting that "plush cloth upholstery, attractive plastics, and many soft-touch surfaces belie Elantra's pricing. So does its classy blue dashboard lighting."
The 2009 Hyundai Elantra is quite softly styled both inside and out. It won't turn heads, but it also won't offend.