Improved suspension and instrument cluster design, as well as a new audio system with a larger display and auxiliary inputs, are among the upgrades to the 2009 Hyundai Elantra, a compact four-door sedan. The front-wheel drive Elantra is powered by a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 138 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque, paired to either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. New for 2009 is the touring five-door hatchback trim, which is equipped with a 141-hp, 16-valve 2.0L four-cylinder engine, and five-speed manual transmission, with a four-speed automatic optional, and is highlighted by stability control, sport suspension and responsive steering. The Elantra comes with a wide array of safety features, including front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and anti-whiplash front head restraints. Hyundai Elantra EPA-estimated fuel economy for the automatic transmission is 25 mpg city/33 mpg hwy, while the manual transmission loses one mpg in the city. The touring trim rates 23/32 mpg with a manual transmission and 23/30 with an automatic. The Elantra is SULEV/PZEV-certified, with a 132-hp rating.Read more Read less
The big change in the Hyundai Elantra lineup for 2009 is the addition of the Touring model, a five-door hatchback. The new model shares much of its mechanical underpinnings with the sedan, but has a 2-inch longer wheelbase and is one inch shorter overall. It is powered by the same 2.0L four-cylinder engine found in the Elantra GLS and SE sedans, though output is increased to 141. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a four-speed automatic is optional. The new model boasts an impressive 65.3 cubic-feet of cargo volume, and starts at an MSRP of $17,800. Elsewhere in the Elantra range, GLS and SE cars get revised suspension and steering, while the SE includes stiffer springs for a sportier drive. XM satellite radio is now available on all models, and a USB/iPod jack will debut later in the model year.
Roomy interior; comfortable ride; fuel efficiency; extensive warranty; safety features; strong value
The 2009 Hyundai Elantra has more interior room than the two leading competitors. The Elantra can be considered a strong value based on standard features alone, but its standard safety features are especially impressive. Front side airbags and full-length side-curtain bags, usually optional in this class, are standard on all Elantras. An attractive new Touring model adds versatility to the lineup, featuring an impressive 65.3 cubic-feet of cargo space.