The Elantra can't claim the best steering or the most exotic user interfaces in the segment, but among compact cars, it's a striking value, with standard equipment that makes more expensive versions look less necessary.
The base Elantra GLS sedan has a very complete list of features. It includes power windows, locks, and mirrors; cruise control; an AM/FM/CD player; a USB port; keyless entry; and on automatic-transmission cars, air conditioning and telescoping steering. Bluetooth is standard, too.
A step up brings the Limited version. It gets the full luxury treatment, with leather seats; heated front and rear seats; a sunroof; 17-inch wheels; fog lamps; and turn signals mounted in the mirrors. On the Limited, a Premium Package adds an upgraded audio system; pushbutton start with a proximity key; and a navigation system, which is available separately on the base GLS.
To help make the assembly and ordering process simpler, the new Elantra sedan is being offered in a limited number of build combinations. The downside of this strategy is that there are holes in availability of popular features. You can't get the navigation system if you want a manual transmission. The telescopic adjustment is optional on manual-transmission cars, bundled in as part of a Popular Equipment Package.
As for the Coupe, it comes in $18,220 GS and $20,520 SE versions, standard with a manual shifter, with an automatic transmission a $1,000 choice on either. The Elantra Coupe GS sports standard 16-inch wheels; satelllite radio; USB port; air conditioning; cruise control; Bluetooth; tilt/telescoping wheel; heated front seats; fog lights; and a split/fold rear seat.
The SE adds 17-inch wheels; a sport suspension; a power sunroof; aluminum pedals; leather seats and trim; and a rear spoiler. There's a Technology package of options for the SE that adds a navigation system; a rearview camera; a 360-watt audio system; automatic headlamps; and automatic climate control. All told, a fully loaded Coupe goes out the door for $23,870.If you're in need of directions frequently, the Elantra's navigation system has one of the largest LCD touchscreens in the class, and it's beautiful to look at and to use, with voice recognition for phone, audio, and and destinations, plus real-time traffic and weather. A rearview camera comes with the navigation system, too, and it also builds in XM NavTraffic, NavWeather, Sports and Stocks integration, 16GB of onboard flash memory, audio streaming and satellite radio capability, and the capability to play JPEG or BMP slideshows from thumb drives.