Inside, the Elantra is generously sized, though its front seats in particular could be better for long-distance comfort. In front, there's enough headroom and legroom (even with the sunroof), but the seats could use more bolstering and support, as well as longer lower cushions. The front seats of some models have slightly elevated sides, as if there's some support, but it's just a tease.
In back, the leg room is fine for adults, but head room can be tight, even for medium-height passengers. To be fair, it's about par for this class, with only the Jetta providing more headroom. While rear-seat heaters are on the options list—kudos for being first ever in this class—there are no true backseat heater vents (also like most vehicles in this class).
The leather that's available is perforated in a wave pattern and won't be mistaken for luxury hide, but it feels supple enough.
Throughout the interior, you'll find plastics that are about par for the class--a mix of hard, scuff-resistant and soft-touch surfaces--and there are lots of useful cubbies and storage bins, including a covered one that sits ahead of the shift lever: it also contains the aux jack, a power point, and the USB port in an easy to reach module, perfect for connecting smartphones..
The 2012 Elantra soaks up road noise better than most small cars (in part because of its soft suspension calibration), and at 70 mph it's not much different than in a four-cylinder mid-size sedan.