2011 Hyundai Elantra coming with attractive, affordable package

Most of the time the compact sedan market is a very crowded and busy sector of automotive sales, but Multiple review agencies have named the Hyundai Elantra one of the best small sedans on the market.Hyundai Elantra coming with attractive, affordable packageFor 2011, Hyundai has firmly set their sites on claiming the top spot for this segment and their all new Elantra sedan should be all the ammo they need. For the first two months this year, Elantra has outsold all of its competition.

Consumer Reports, the magazine that tests just about everything but is known in particular for thorough, no-nonsense car reviews, put the Elantra at the top of a test group of small sedans. Indeed, it was the only one of the bunch to receive the magazine’s “recommended” rating.

The entry level ‘L’ package with a manual transmission starts off the price tape at $15,849 and runs up to $24,699 for a fully equipped Limited model with navigation. My Limited-without-nav tester, courtesy of Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa, came in at $22,699 plus freight, fees, and taxes. All models are equipped with a 148 hp 1.8 L inline four engine and either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The engine is actually a step down in size from the 2.0 L power-plants of last year’s model, but with engine management refinements and the extra gearing of the six-speed transmission, performance in general is up in the 2011 and so is fuel economy.

With the cost of gas rising, many consumers are looking for fuel efficient vehicles. The hybrid Prius is generally ranked as the most fuel efficient car with a 49.6 MPG rating, but the initial purchase price of the vehicle and potentially higher costs for service do not place it at the top of the “budget-friendly” category.

Hyundai boasts one of the lowest operating costs for their vehicles over any other nameplate and the Elantra is no exception. Front brake pads are currently priced at $109 and the rotors run about $93 each. Air filters cost $20 and a dealership oil change averages around the $35 mark. The P195/65R15 tires found on the GL and the P205/55R16 on the GLS and the P215/45R17 on the Limited are all available in a very large selection ranging from $80-$250 each. All Hyundai’s are backed by a 5 year/100,000 km warranty with a 3 year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance plan.

The recent test result isn’t the first write-up to place the Elantra on car shoppers’ radar screens. Last month a report by research and forecasting company TrueCar.com picked the model as the most cost-effective car for people seeking high fuel economy.

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