By on August 10, 2011

With Hyundai’s eye-catching “fluidic sculpture” design language working its way through the lineup, the Hyundai Elantra Touring was starting to look like the sensible but homely middle child of the family… according to my guide to codger-friendly pop culture references, the Elantra Touring had become something of the family “Jan Brady” (whatever that may have been). But as Michael Karesh found in his recent review, the Touring model, which is sold in Europe as the i30, is something of a hidden gem, as

no other car offers a similar combination of crossover functionality and hot hatch driving enjoyment.

And now that it’s joining the family at the fluidic sculpture salon, the new Elantra Touring brings some style to the table as well. Look for the new model to debut at the forthcoming Frankfurt show, and hope along with us that it’s new-found good looks don’t change its fun-meets-function personality.

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33 Comments on “Hyundai’s Elantra Touring (i30) Gets The Family Makeover...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    We looked at both the new Elantra sedan and the Touring…very much liked the look of the sedan, but the driving dynamics of the Touring were far better (in our opion…YMMV). Now if they can marry the two, I might be seeing an eventual replacement for my 2004 Sportback Ralliart down the road.

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      The current Touring model is supposed to be based on the prior version Elantra European model.

      Sister in law is looking for a 2011 Touring but the cars are only 1 or 2 per dealer and selling out like crazy due to value vs. cost or else the dealers have no clue how to sell the model and are letting salesmen drive them.

      • 0 avatar
        jezzyrules

        I just bought the 2011 Touring SE about a month ago, it was hard to find a SE model at most dealers. So far I love the car, this coming from a former Honda owner. Call me strange, but I like the “dowdy” styling. I love the cargo space and it just has a load of features for the price. Hyundai could have done better promoting the current Touring. I really don’t think most people know this car is even out there to buy.
        This car just has everything I wanted. Leather seats, sunroof and alloy wheels. I would pay a few extra grand for a Honda to get those. Honda prices keep going up, but I feel the quality has gone down. I almost settled on a new Civic before finally coming across the Touring. So glad I didn’t buy that Honda.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Why don’t they just hang a Ford oval on it too?

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    “…the family “Jan Brady”…”

    Whiny and annoying?

  • avatar
    Zombo

    LMAO ! Instead of going Marsha, Marsha , Marsha – it goes Porsche , Porsche , Porsche !

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    I truly cannot believe it. I was a BMW/Honda fan. I had both. The only Huyndai I ever drove was a beater Excel, and that was embarrassing. But I am quickly becoming this company’s fan, while losing any interest in Honda aside from the Fit and CRV. Touring was already on my list, but this makes it much hotter. Hope their quality keeps up.

    • 0 avatar
      cRacK hEaD aLLeY

      @tallnikita: I’m with you. Yesterday I found myself test driving an Optima. 2 weeks ago I test-drove a Sonata. And my current ride is a stick bmw. Gulp.
      I tried and I tried but I could not find Excel DNA in either of those two cars.

      And after a decade walking into showroom that looks like a boutique it actually felt good to walk into a showroom where the parts department actually sells parts instead of jackets, espresso machines and branded golf balls.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The 2011 Elantra we helped buy for our granddaughter’s HS graduation this past May is a real jewel. She drives 150+ miles a day commuting to college prep courses and has three girlfriends that ride with her.

      I am assuming that all the Elantra cars will be using the same drive trains, or variations on the theme, so I am anxiously waiting to see how well the drive trains hold up.

      In the past, Hyundai was not known for bullet-proof drive trains, or bullet-proof anything, but I’m hoping that this generation has overcome the problems of the past.

      If not, there’s always that 100,000-mile/10-year warranty, although at 150+ miles a day roundtrip, 5 days a week, that quickly adds up to 750 miles a week or 39000 miles a year. That 100,000-mile point will be passed in under three years.

      • 0 avatar
        hyundaivirgin

        I wouldn’t worry if I were you. I’m sure your granddaughter won’t be taking college prep courses for 3 years.

      • 0 avatar
        econobiker

        Hyundai overcame the craptastic drive train virus with the 2001 to 2006 edition Elantra. When I found out that the right hand drive version of the ’01 to ’06 Elantra was the preferred taxi in China (visa via 2008 Olympics reporting) that sold me.

        The current 2011 Touring has the same mechanics as the prior 2006 to 2010 Elantra so a new Touring would share with the new Elantra 2011+

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        My granddaughter starts college next month, at the same University where she is now attending college-prep courses. So the 150+ per day commute stays the same.

        If her Elantra were to need service or warranty work done it is not like we have a shortage of cars for the commute, and her girlfriends also have cars of their own. They all just happen to like the Elantra a lot more because of the comfort and the killer stereo system with iPod/MP3 input.

        But it is encouraging to read comments from people who own Hyundai products and who have had a trouble-free experience.

  • avatar
    geggamoya

    Really hope the new one gets a proper engine, or a “GTI” model, currently the largest engine on the i30 is a measly 1.6..

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Ditto. I am seriously considering a VW GTI for my next ride. However, if Hyundai can offer up something similar I would rather take my chances with Hyundai/Kia and their superior warranty and drastically improved reliability.

      • 0 avatar
        geggamoya

        Im baffled why they haven’t done it earlier, hot hatch buyers are not really that concerned about the badge if it’s reasonably priced and fast.

        A Golf GTI is very likely my next car also. A “GTI” i30 or Cee’d is not really likely before 2012 or -13 or so if internet rumors are to be believed, and i need a new car before my -03 Focus disintegrates completely. What with the rust, headgasket and coil problems, A/C and coolant leaks…

  • avatar
    Twitter: phauser

    It’s a shame to see the boxy rear end giving way to the impractical sloped one like every other car. Does having a sloped rear end make any difference as far as drag coefficients or is it just a reaction to people’s distaste for *gasp* wagons? The euro Focus wagon is a bit too minivan-y for me. Almost makes me miss my ’85 brown Dodge Caravan with the yellow vinyl interior.

  • avatar
    mrhappypants

    Heyyyy… where’s the snarky “What’s wrong with this picture…” headline? Yer slippin’, TTAC.

  • avatar
    colin42

    These photo’s are of the hatchback i30 not the wagon.

    My biggest dislike of the current touring is the mpg figure compared to the sedan – hopefully a new model will fix this. The 1.6 GDI NA & turbo (as planned for the Veloster) would be great

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Here’s hoping they bring it back to the states.

  • avatar
    don1967

    hope along with us that it’s new-found good looks don’t change its fun-meets-function personality.

    It almost certainly will. But let’s not over-dramatize the point… the new sedan platform is not that bad. We drive one as our second car, and frankly it recalls the sporty lightness that I remember so fondly in my ’89 Civic Si.

    Yeah, the rear torsion suspension is a bit harsh and jiggly, but with correct tire pressure (Hyundai overinflates them for shipping and many dealers seem to ignore this during PDI) it isn’t nearly the issue some reviews have made it out to be. Hyundai could do a lot worse than to use this platform for the Touring.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Only one problem with Hyundai in the Richmond, VA area. The dealer there hangs a tag that says, “$1495.00 market adjustment” on every car. No way in hell I’m even talking to them.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Jan Brady was my favorite Brady girl.

    Nice to see the Touring is finally getting the family treatment, although the slightly different looks of the old one were nice, too.

  • avatar
    adango

    The only reason I am seriously considering a 2011 Elantra Touring (over similar cars like the Mazda 3) is that it is actually a wagon. Sure, this new car certainly looks nice, but it seems like it’s lost all of the utility associated with the wagon aspect of it. It’s all about utility/function coupled with good driving dynamics.

    If they lose the utility/function aspect, why would I get this over a Mazda 3?


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