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First drive: 2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS (photos)

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 should definitely be afraid of the 2011 Elantra GLS.

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antuan-roadshow-headshots-jpegs-1893-007.jpg

Antuan Goodwin

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1 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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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2 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
An aggressively raked roofline gives the sedan a coupe-like profile.
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3 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Hyundai's fluidic sculpture design language continues into the sedan's curvaceous rear end.
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4 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
We're still not sure if the Elantra looks mischievous or angry, but it certainly looks ready to pounce.
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5 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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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6 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Inside, the cabin is rather well-appointed for a vehicle that starts at about $15,000.
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7 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Instrumentation is simple, but also easy to read. A monochromatic information display sits between the two large analog gauges.
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8 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
When navigation is specced, the Elantra also gains a rear-view camera.
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9 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The Elantra's destination selection screen offers a variety of searching methods, as well as six user-definable favorite destinations.
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10 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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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11 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The XM satellite radio connection beams traffic, stocks, weather, and sports data into the navigation system.
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12 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Of course, you can also listen to XM satellite music.
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13 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
USB/iPod connectivity is standard in the Elantra. Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming are optional.
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14 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Steering wheel controls include voice commands for hands-free calling.
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15 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Hyundai manages to cram the HVAC controls into a surprisingly compact interface.
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16 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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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17 of 17 Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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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