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STYLING | 7 out of 10
plush cloth upholstery, attractive plastics, and many soft-touch surfaces belie Elantra's pricing
the overall design is attractive and pleasing, looking as if it belongs in a much more expensive car
“the cabin is attractive, well laid out”
The 2010 Hyundai Elantra sedan isn’t much of a looker from the outside, though the Elantra Touring wagon seems to impress reviewers a bit more.
"The impressive exterior styling, with its clean lines and sculpted body sides, borrows design characteristics from the larger and more expensive Hyundai Azera," says Kelley Blue Book of the exterior. The Washington Post is also a fan of the Elantra's styling, calling it "unpretentious" and stating that the Elantra "does not pretend to be hot, hip, sexy or wicked. Instead, it proudly presents its credentials as an economy-mobile." Cars.com points out "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." Reviewers don’t have a lot to say in general about the Touring, but Motor Trend asserts that the “chrome accents, tinted glass, fog lamps, and optional 17-inch wheels give the Elantra Touring a little edge.”
Matching Hyundai's other vehicles, the interior follows a soft—not edgy—design, with rounded borders and flowing curves. 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." 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." Motor Trend offers a comparison to airline travel and proposes that the Touring model “symbolizes the economy-plus ticket,” especially inside.
The 2010 Hyundai Elantra sedan comes across as inoffensive, but the Touring is a little more distinctive.