Globally, more compact cars are sold than any other size, and the competition is consequently fierce. The 2011 Hyundai Elantra is a new and very capable competitor that its maker has dropped into the fray, and early sales figures indicate it’s punching far above its weight. It makes the Toyota Corolla, which has been the best-selling compact in the U.S. for years, look dowdy, dated, and dull.
The 2011 Elantra is stylish, refined, well-detailed, full of features, and priced aggressively. Best of all, it’s the only compact sedan this year—as Hyundai will tell you frequently—that is rated at 40 mpg for highway mileage in all its model variations. Full ratings are 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined. In other words, unlike the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze or 2012 Ford Focus, you don’t have to order a special model of the Elantra to get the highest gas mileage ratings.
The Elantra’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design theme clearly ties it to the...
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