We'll admit that we had low expectations for the 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring. After spending time with the little blue wagon, we were still disappointed by the lack of tech, but surprised by its performance.
Powering the 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring is a peppy, but not powerful, 2-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine. Making 138 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque, the Elantra's performance won't blow your socks off, but it never feels out of breath.
Shouldering part of the blame for the Elantra's relaxed performance is the archaic four-speed automatic transmission, which also hurts fuel economy. Save your $800 and get the five-speed manual, which should wake that engine up.
The Elantra Touring makes no high performance pretenses, but within its limits, the handling is quite responsive. Pushing beyond the Elantra's limits will be met with progressive and easily correctable understeer.
Choosing the options on your Hyundai Elantra is simple because there almost aren't any. The interior can be trimmed in tan or black cloth. The dashboard's plastics are soft, high quality, and generally on par with the competition from Honda.
There's no GPS option on the Elantra, but Bluetooth hands-free can be added via this $325 dealer-installed roof-mounted voice controlled system. Functionality is on par with a $100 Bluetooth speakerphone. We'd skip this option and get a GPS device with built-in Bluetooth.