We were recently given an opportunity to spend time behind the wheel of Hyundai's all-new compact sedan and we're now thoroughly convinced that Honda and Toyota should definitely be afraid of the 2011 Elantra GLS.
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An aggressively raked roofline gives the sedan a coupe-like profile.
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Hyundai's fluidic sculpture design language continues into the sedan's curvaceous rear end.
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We're still not sure if the Elantra looks mischievous or angry, but it certainly looks ready to pounce.
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Under its hood, the Elantra is powered by a 1.8-liter engine that's both more powerful and more efficient than the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
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Inside, the cabin is rather well-appointed for a vehicle that starts at about $15,000.
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Instrumentation is simple, but also easy to read. A monochromatic information display sits between the two large analog gauges.
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When navigation is specced, the Elantra also gains a rear-view camera.
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The Elantra's destination selection screen offers a variety of searching methods, as well as six user-definable favorite destinations.
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Only 2D map data is stored on an 8GB SSD, but the display is crisp and easy to read at a glance.
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The XM satellite radio connection beams traffic, stocks, weather, and sports data into the navigation system.
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Of course, you can also listen to XM satellite music.
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USB/iPod connectivity is standard in the Elantra. Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming are optional.
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Steering wheel controls include voice commands for hands-free calling.
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Hyundai manages to cram the HVAC controls into a surprisingly compact interface.
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Although you can get the Elantra with a six-speed manual transmission, you'll have to spec the six-speed automatic to gain access to any of tech gadgets.
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At least where initial quality is concerned, the Elantra GLS stands victorious in apples to apples comparisons with the offerings from Toyota and Honda.
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