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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
1
of 17

An aggressively raked roofline gives the sedan a coupe-like profile.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
2
of 17

Hyundai's fluidic sculpture design language continues into the sedan's curvaceous rear end.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
3
of 17

We're still not sure if the Elantra looks mischievous or angry, but it certainly looks ready to pounce.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
4
of 17

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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
5
of 17

Inside, the cabin is rather well-appointed for a vehicle that starts at about $15,000.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
6
of 17

Instrumentation is simple, but also easy to read. A monochromatic information display sits between the two large analog gauges.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
7
of 17

When navigation is specced, the Elantra also gains a rear-view camera.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
8
of 17

The Elantra's destination selection screen offers a variety of searching methods, as well as six user-definable favorite destinations.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
9
of 17

Only 2D map data is stored on an 8GB SSD, but the display is crisp and easy to read at a glance.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
10
of 17

The XM satellite radio connection beams traffic, stocks, weather, and sports data into the navigation system.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
11
of 17

Of course, you can also listen to XM satellite music.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
12
of 17

USB/iPod connectivity is standard in the Elantra. Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming are optional.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
13
of 17

Steering wheel controls include voice commands for hands-free calling.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
14
of 17

Hyundai manages to cram the HVAC controls into a surprisingly compact interface.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
15
of 17

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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
16
of 17

At least where initial quality is concerned, the Elantra GLS stands victorious in apples to apples comparisons with the offerings from Toyota and Honda.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNETSee More
17
of 17
Up Next

Six generations of the Ford Mustang (pictures)