By Nitish S. Rele

This one is pretty much an all-new Elantra. Forget the previous power trains. The compact car is equipped with an all-new 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine, which develops out 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 132 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm; or the 1.4-liter turbocharged GDI 4-cylinder putting out 128 hp at 5,500 rpm and 156 lbs.-ft. of torque at 3,700 rpm.
Transmission choices for the SE, Eco and Limited trims include a six-speed manual or auto, and a seven-speed. Normal, eco and sport are the drive modes in the 0.27 drag-coefficient car.

Hyundai’s familiar hexagonal grille with chrome accents and projector headlights adorns the exterior fascia. Length is up by 0.8 inches and width increases by 1 inch from its predecessor.
Unibody improvements include use of additional high-strength steel, enhanced suspension, more vertical damper and an isolated sub-frame to reduce noise. The attractive cabin offers such standard amenities as a/c, cloth seats, tilt/telescopic steering, power windows, outside mirrors and door locks, 60/40 rear seat, six-way adjustable driver’s seat, and a 3.5-in. LCD instrument cluster. Trunk volume is a passable 14.4 cubic feet though total interior volume at 110.2 cubic feet is comparable to the midsize Cadillac CTS sedan.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, front/rear crumple zones, Electronic Stability and Traction Control, front seatbelt pretensioners, remote keyless entry and tire pressure monitoring system are standard. But the Elantra now comes with several advanced safety technology features like smart cruise control, lane departure and lane keep assist, blind spot monitor, and rear cross traffic alert, all for an extra cost.

The base manual SE starts at $17,150, ($100 less than outgoing model) the auto goes for $18,150 and the Limited from $22,350. The agile, fun-to-drive and gas-sipper Elantra is the perfect car for a daily roundabout. Folks, this is a no-brainer. Test drive the Elantra at Brandon Hyundai, 9915 E. Adamo Dr. in Tampa.

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