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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.
An aggressively raked roofline gives the sedan a coupe-like profile.
Hyundai's fluidic sculpture design language continues into the sedan's curvaceous rear end.
We're still not sure if the Elantra looks mischievous or angry, but it certainly looks ready to pounce.
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.
Inside, the cabin is rather well-appointed for a vehicle that starts at about $15,000.
Instrumentation is simple, but also easy to read. A monochromatic information display sits between the two large analog gauges.
When navigation is specced, the Elantra also gains a rear-view camera.
The Elantra's destination selection screen offers a variety of searching methods, as well as six user-definable favorite destinations.
Only 2D map data is stored on an 8GB SSD, but the display is crisp and easy to read at a glance.
The XM satellite radio connection beams traffic, stocks, weather, and sports data into the navigation system.
Of course, you can also listen to XM satellite music.
USB/iPod connectivity is standard in the Elantra. Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming are optional.
Steering wheel controls include voice commands for hands-free calling.
Hyundai manages to cram the HVAC controls into a surprisingly compact interface.
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.
At least where initial quality is concerned, the Elantra GLS stands victorious in apples to apples comparisons with the offerings from Toyota and Honda.