2010 Hyundai Elantra

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2010 Hyundai Elantra Review


A value-packed and inexpensive alternative to the segment-leading Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, the 2010 Hyundai Elantra makes a great first (or even second) car. The spacious and fuel-efficient Elantra can comfortably and safely pack in a family of four (five in a pinch) and its cargo. From front to rear, the Elantra's sharp styling, roomy interior and quality-conscious engineering qualifies this fourth-generation version as a fully contemporary, yet affordable, sedan.

You'll Like This Car If...

You'll like this car if high mileage is a must and regular is your gasoline of choice; its 26/35 city/highway EPA fuel economy numbers trump the Volkswagen Rabbit's, for example. If safety is your issue, the 2010 Hyundai Elantra offers front, side-impact and side-curtain airbags, plus antilock brakes (ABS), as standard equipment.

You May Not Like This Car If...

You may not like this car (at least with the manual transmission) if your daily drive demands constant gear shifting, as the five-speed does not have the smoothest operation around. Also,the Hyundai's resale values are nowhere near those of Toyota or Honda.

What's New for 2010

A new, high-mileage Blue Edition joins the lineup touting a 35 mpg highway fuel economy figure. All models now feature iPod/USB auxiliary inputs and additional chrome accents around the grille and rear deck.

Driving the Elantra
Driving Impressions

Zippy little engines are no longer a surprise in economy cars, but the Elantra's 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, 138-horsepower CVVT ULEV engine, teamed with the five-speed transmission, is particularly impressive, especially on...

... uphill climbs. Quieter than one might expect, engine noise is drowned out by wind and tire noise when the windows are rolled down. Ride and performance are average, with handling far more responsive than the previous version. A comfortable car to drive, the Elantra feels secure and reliable, and its owners will likely appreciate its straight-forward predictability and control.

Audio System Controls
Steering wheel-mounted audio controls are a huge convenience and are standard with the Elantra SE. Nestled neatly into the wheel's left side, the flush-mounted buttons for Volume, Seek and Mode are within easy reach.

Ample Trunk
The generously-sized trunk stretches into the car and, with the 60/40-split rear seat folded down, the space is even larger.

2010 Hyundai Elantra Details

The interior is comfortable, functional and spacious, with well-padded seating, but not necessarily an example of modern style. The SE's somewhat dated-looking velvety seat fabric, the instrument panel with its expanses of plastic and the over-designed door panels appear a little old-fashioned. Otherwise, the roominess, headroom and rear-seat legroom are welcome in a car of this size, the trunk is exceptionally deep and large, the rear seat splits 60/40 for added convenience and an auxiliary jack and power outlet allow for plug-in accessories.


The impressive exterior styling, with its clean lines and sculpted body sides, borrows design characteristics from the larger and more expensive Hyundai Azera. Prominent among the pleasing exterior appearance features is the grille, with three horizontal bars, finely integrated headlights and a two-bar air duct with corner lamps.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In addition to the front, side-impact and side-curtain airbags, all 2010 Hyundai Elantras feature anti-lock brakes (ABS) with four-wheel discs, active front head restraints, rear window defroster, remote keyless entry, power locks and windows and heated power mirrors. The GLS' generous list of standard equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, fog lights and a 172-watt sound system with XM Satellite Radio. Additional features for the SE include alloy wheels, Electronic Stability Control and Brake Assist, as well as a tilt/telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

Optional Equipment

If carpeted floor mats are all you want to add, you'll pay just a little extra for them, but most buyers will likely want the four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and lockup torque converter, as well. Other options on the SE include a power sunroof and heated seats. On the GLS, the only available option is the power sunroof.

Under the Hood

A competent 2.0-liter super-clean engine powers the Elantra and scores high on the EPA's Green Vehicle Guide. The combination of Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and dual overhead camshafts gives the engine a very broad power spread, coupled with high fuel efficiency and low emissions. The manual transmission helps get the most out of the engine.

2.0-liter in-line 4
138 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (132 horsepower PZEV)
136 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4600 rpm (133 lb-ft. of torque PZEV)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 Blue (manual), 26/34 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?