A new base Blue model is available for the Elantra but not the Elantra Touring. The Elantra Blue comes with the same 138-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that powers the rest of the model line, but with a number of small changes engineers have improved fuel economy by 2 mpg, to 26 mpg city, 35 highway with the standard 5-speed manual transmission. The other Elantras get the same changes except for revised gear ratios and improved 1 mpg over last year in both city and highway driving.
The Elantra has a front strut-type suspension with a multi-link rear suspension, and the setup is tuned a bit differently depending on the model. Blue and GLS models ride comfortably with just enough firmness to maintain crisp handling response, while SE models have stiffer settings. The Elantra's engine doesn't need to be revved as much as other engines its size, so it works quite well with either transmission, with a reasonably lively driving feel.
The Elantra and Elantra Touring both have comfortable seating for four adults (three kids can fit across in back), including a height-adjustable driver's seat, plus a 60/40-split folding rear seatback. Touring models get a sportier seat design, while 8-way adjustable seats are optional. The Touring's cargo capacity expands to more than 65 cubic feet with the seats folded, to accommodate cumbersome cargo.
For 2010, a new, more affordable Elantra Touring GLS model joins the Touring SE. The upgraded 6-speaker audio system is included on all Touring models. A Popular Equipment Package adds roof rails, steering wheel audio controls, telescopic steering-wheel adjustment, a cooled glovebox, fog lamps and premium cloth upholstery to the Touring GLS. The SE gets dressed up with the contents of that package plus 17-inch alloy wheels and a sunroof, along with the sport-tuned suspension.
Standard-feature content is rich, even on base Blue models of the Elantra, including keyless entry, power accessories and air conditioning. Electronic stability control is standard on the Elantra SE along with all Elantra Touring models. Also standard are front side airbags, full-length side-curtain bags and front-seat active head restraints. Optional on the Blue is a Comfort Package that brings cruise control and an upgraded 6-speaker audio system. Across the product line, the Elantra includes XM satellite radio capability, plus USB, iPod and auxiliary-in jacks.
Options are limited on the Elantra models. A Bluetooth hands-free interface is available as a standalone extra.