By on August 15, 2012

New exterior

Last year I recommended the Hyundai Elantra Touring for those who “want a simply designed car that’s easy to see out of, capable of toting a bunch of stuff, solidly constructed, and fun to drive.” A replacement was on the horizon, and I wondered if it would retain the ET’s increasingly uncommon strengths. Well, the 2013 Elantra GT is now here, and it performs well enough to rank above other new compact Hyundais. But what about its predecessor?

Old exterior

The Elantra Touring’s styling was “subtle” and “clean” if we’re being charitable, “plain” and “generic” if we’re not. Neither set of terms applies to the new Elantra GT, which adapts Hyundai’s current design language (XL hexagonal grille, headlights that stretch much of the way to aggressively raked A-pillars, undulating body sides) to a compact hatch package. Far more people will notice the new car, and many will find it attractive (at least from the side). But fans of the old car might think it overdone.

New interior

The interior of the Elantra GT is more stylized than that of the Elantra Touring, with a “piano black” faceplate on the center stack and far more Acura-like silver plastic elsewhere, but it’s more restrained than that in the Elantra sedan. The controls aren’t as close at hand or as simple to operate as those in the Touring, but this is partly because the 2013 car has far more infotainment features, including Hyundai’s new “Blue Link” telematics system.

Old interior

The view forward from the still comfortable driver’s seat, all but guaranteed to change dramatically with the redesign, has. The old car’s relatively upright windshield, compact instrument panel, and large side windows are gone, gone, gone. The Elantra GT’s instrument panel doesn’t appear as deep as it is. And Harrison Ford doesn’t look like he just cracked 70. The view rearward? Well, if you spring for the top option package you’ll get a rearview camera niftily concealed under the badge on the hatch. Not that any of this is worse than the current class norm. But I recommended the Elantra Touring specifically because it wasn’t au courant. Instead, it was a throwback to the days when compact hatches were easy to see out of and visually didn’t put a lot of car in between the driver and the road.

Like the Elantra Touring, the Elantra GT is heavily based on the European-market i30. The i30 is offered in two lengths, a hatch and an estate (the Queen’s English for “wagon”). Last time around we got the estate. This time, because not enough of you bought an Elantra Touring (yes, it’s your fault), we get the hatch. Combined legroom shrinks by over three inches and cargo volume drops from 65 to 51 cubic feet. The rear seat remains adequately roomy and, owing to a healthy height off the floor, more comfortable than most, but adults no longer have room to stretch. Cargo volume is competitive with other hatches but no longer rivals that of compact crossovers.

The Elantra Touring’s 138-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine didn’t win any straight line competitions, but paired with a five-speed manual transmission it delivered sufficient midrange grunt to seem peppy in day-to-day driving. Despite ten more peak horsepower charged with moving two hundred fewer pounds (2,745 vs. 2,937), the Elantra GT’s port-injected 1.8 feels downright gutless. At one point my co-driver turned to me and asked, “Did you have any idea I’ve had my right foot planted to the floor for the past five seconds?” No, no I did not. The manual shifter picks up one cog, and the automatic picks up two, such that both now have six. But at least in the case of the stick the benefits accrue entirely to fuel economy (up from 23/31 to a far more competitive 27/39). Between the engine, the ratios, and the deletion of the ET’s B&M-supplied short-throw shifter, there’s little grief but also little joy to be had rowing your own gears in the Elantra GT.

Hyundai USA CEO John Krafcik promises we’ll be happy with a future engine upgrade. He provided some hints: no turbo and no 2.4. My money’s on the 165-horsepower 2.0-liter four currently offered in the Tucson and Kia Soul. Hardly a lusty engine, but far better than the 1.8, which doesn’t remotely deliver on the promise of the “GT” appellation.

The Elantra sedan rides so busily and handles so vaguely that I can’t fathom what Hyundai’s chassis engineers were trying to optimize. The Elantra Touring’s Euro-tuned suspension provided more athletic handling and a much more composed ride. Add firm and well-weighted (if less than quick) steering to the mix and the car entertained. The Elantra GT’s Sachs-supplied dampers are likewise better tuned than the Hyundai norm, and in purely technical terms the new car likely handles better (though the Touring’s independent rear suspension has been replaced with a torsion beam). But the GT’s steering supplies less of a connection despite the new ability to vary the level of assist. The firmer “sport” setting doesn’t feel firm…until you try the other two.

Hyundais are no longer downright cheap, but they continue to be priced below the competition. The Elantra GT starts at $19,170. Add $2,750 for a Style Package that includes 17-inch wheels, a huge panoramic sunroof, 10-way power driver seat (not available in a Genesis Coupe), and heated perforated leather. Add another $2,350 for a Tech Package that includes nav, rearview camera, and automatic climate control. The Elantra Touring listed for $1,650 less than a Style Pack 2013. But adjust for the new car’s additional features (infotech, larger sunroof, power driver seat) using TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool and it emerges with a nearly $400 advantage. Similarly equip a Ford Focus SE, and it lists for about $1,300 more than the Elantra GT with Style Package. Adjust for remaining feature differences, and the Hyundai’s advantage doubles. A Mazda3 Grand Touring costs about $2,000 more than the Hyundai.

The Elantra GT is far more stylish than the Elantra Touring, and includes many additional features. But while there’s more show, there’s less go. The suspension remains well-sorted, but the steering and shifter feel less direct and the driving position is less confidence-inspiring. Rear seat legroom and cargo room are both less generous. In sum, the new car is better looking and better equipped but less fun and (aside from its superior fuel efficiency) less practical. I’d rather look at the new car, but I’d rather drive the old one.

But, again, not many people bought the Elantra Touring, so Hyundai rejoined the crowd. Consequently, the new car potentially appeals to a much larger group of buyers, but faces much more direct competition for them. The Elantra GT doesn’t drive as well as the Ford Focus, much less the aesthetically-challenged Mazda3, but it’s close enough that a GT-worthy engine would greatly reduce the gap. Until then, it does most things fairly well and you get a lot of style and stuff for the price.

Hyundai provided the cars, fuel, insurance, and two meals.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta.com, an online source of car reliability information.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

67 Comments on “Comparison Review: 2013 Elantra GT vs. 2011 Elantra Touring...”


  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i used to work at a place that used the Touring Wagon as service cars

    the 5 spd manual makes the most of not much

    they are hopeless with the 4 spd auto

    the problem is that it feels like a 4 cyl. motor from the 90s… that is underdeveloped… its not that powerful, not that economical, doesnt like to spin and it certainly has no character or sound worth mentioning so its a nothing motor even with the relatively low standards of econocars

    so overall, not a pleasant experience

  • avatar
    Viquitor

    While I do think that Hyundai managed to successfully put out a much-needed bold styling language for itself, I’m tired of looking at the same overdesigned features already. Maybe they should learn a thing or two from VW and Kia – simple is always better, and simpler design ages a lot better as well.

  • avatar
    dundurrbay

    I have a 2007 Kia Spectra with the old 2.0l 16v engine. It is very peppy around town with the 5speed manual, and gets great gas mileage around town, about 28mpg to 30 in the city, I dont do much highway driving. On the highway, it runs out of steam past 70mph, about 110km/h, but rarely do I need to travel that fast. The drivetrain which is shared with the old Elantra Touring has been bulletproof and I hope it continues this way, as I use the car as a pizza delivery vehicle.

    Couldn’t be happier with my purchase, as I bought the vehicle with 28.000 kilometers for 9000CDN. My only gripe is that I would like to swap the interior from that gen Elantra/Elantra Touring into my car, as the interior in mine lacks character [but suprisingly the upper half of the dash is soft touch, unlike my aunts Chevrolet Cruze which has a cheap patch of vinyl/material that reminds me of a kids backpack and all nasty hard black plastic].

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      The one thing that IMO always made the Spectra and Elantra stand out was that soft touch dash. The only other vehicle in it’s class, at the time, that had it IIRC was the Jetta and the Jetta was much more expensive. It always confused me why Kia went the cheaper route with the Forte (from soft touch to hard, making the mechanical bits of the car lemon-worthy, etc).

      • 0 avatar
        dundurrbay

        I sat in a Forte and I agree. The whole dash is hard, and not a nicely grained plastic either. Aside from looking ever-so-slightly more modern than the outgoing Spectra’s interior, I still do feel as though my car’s interior is much less chintzy. I sat in an EX model Forte, so I cannot speak for the upper-level trim levels, however, my Spectra is only an LX model. The Spectra may not be the most exciting car, but for the price I got it for, I couldn’t go wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        RoboCop

        The forte SX has a $2,000 rebate and comes with a 180hp motor, bigger alloy wheels, 6-speed automatic, leather, moonroof, soft touch everything, and it’s $22,000.

  • avatar

    The Elantra “Blue” was one of the first compact Hyundai’s I was able to be comfortable in, so I usually recommend these cars to clients, but Elantras have terrible ride quality/road noise despite their MacPherson struts. Even though you pay more for Ford’s equivalents, the ride quality is typically better.

  • avatar
    moorewr

    We own a 2010 Elantra Touring, an automatic, alas. The A/T is the weak link in the car, but even so it is fun to thrash the engine (the tranny will help you find the rev limiter) and it is downright fun to throw through corners.

    My other car is an A4 quattro, and the ET isn’t *that* good in corners, but it is good. I want to autocross it when I can pry it out of my wife’s hands long enough. :)

    They should have put a turbo and a better a/t in the old car rather than do.. this. It seems like by every measure but the new A/T (chassis, engine, legroom, cargo, visibility) the GT is a serious downgrade.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Minor nitpick, the 2.0L I4 in the Soul (and Tucson?) is not GDI, just plain ol’ MPFI with 10.3 CR. But it is 164-165 hp and, at least with a manual, gets the job done rather nicely. Seems like the right idea for this crate too.

    • 0 avatar

      Fixed, thanks! I had it stuck in my head that the 1.8 was the only recent Hyundai/Kia engine without GDI. 165 is also more than is usually provided by a 2.0 without DI, but then again H/K’s engines generally underperform their specs by 10 percent or so.

    • 0 avatar
      RoboCop

      The 2.0L in the 2012 Soul is 164hp GDI, i sell Kia’s…the base engine in the Soul is not though.

      the Tucson is also not, however, the Kia Sportage is.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    I’m suprised the cargo room behind the 2nd row is so close to the Touring (23 GT vs 24.5 Touring). The Focus hatch is in between.

    • 0 avatar

      There are so many different ways to measure cargo volume that two figures–even two from the same manufacturer–can’t reliably be compared unless you know which method was used. Which you never do.

      • 0 avatar
        moorewr

        From experience, the ET can carry five adults plus a decent amount of luggage in relative comfort. Even the center passenger in the year is not too badly off.

        I don’t think I could pull that with the GT, based on the pictures.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I agree. Our Focus suposedly has 8-10 more cu ft behind the 2nd row than our GTI. In the real world, I just don’t see it. The Focus does have more room, but it isn’t that significant.

        They should measure by pack and plays or stollers. This would be much more helpful. “It can hold 2 pack and plays, a folded double stroller, two suitcases, and various other child garbage”, is more helpful than “24.5 cu ft”.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I just got one of these – silver stick with Style Pkg. Love it. Yes it is gutless, but so was the Accent I had before. I love all the features on this and the interior is miles ahead of the Elantra sedan and coupe.

  • avatar
    BlueEr03

    Why would you choose one of these over an Accent hatch? From looking at Autotrader you don’t gain much in terms of legroom with this over the Accent. I didn’t see any listings of trunk space between the two, but what is offered in the Elantra that makes it worth the $2K or so premium?

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Here’s what you get for the extra money: Actual style instead of the knock-off look styling of the Accent, more comfortable ride, daytime running lights, auto up drivers window, heated front seats, Bluelink, telescoping steering wheel, a spare tire, much higher quality interior plastics, adjustable steering feel.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    There’s not enough inflation.

    Ben Bernanke keeps saying so.

    Enjoy your bottom rung, $20,000+ (by MSRP, anyway), Hyundai motorized mailboxes.

  • avatar
    Grumpy

    As it happens my wife decided yesterday to replace her 15 year old Acura–her brother coveted it and she wistfully admitted that the old car might not be the best alternative to head out on the highway to visit the children. She is a consummate bargain hunter and noted the local Hyundai dealer was blowing out the remaining 2012 Touring models (maybe just available in Canada?) with a nice $3,500.00 price reduction and a 0% financing sweetener.

    I had been a long time admirer of this model, but encouraged her to test drive a 2013 Elantra GT, on the premise that the old Touring was now yesterdays technology and worst of all was not particularly fuel efficient–remember, my wife is cheap…err frugal.

    She drove both cars back to back and disliked almost everything about the GT–the driving dynamics, dashboard, shifting (both were standard), even the exterior styling. On the other hand she found the Touring a much more refined and composed drive–less boomy over bumps, and “less mushy” She loved the simple but elegant dashboard, and the excellent outward visibility. When she just shrugged at my warning about the less than stellar gas mileage, I knew that she had already made up her mind.

    Knowing my place in this transaction, I drove neither car, but as the test drive passenger, I had wanted to like the GT better–hay it’s a lot newer. For the duration of the test I natured on about all the new “advantages” of the car, but in the end I had to reluctantly agree with her that the Touring was a better drive for her and even a nicer place to be a passenger.

    She DID like the lovely new green colour of the GT but in the end we came away with a silver Touring.

    On the way home she asked if this car would be as reliable as the old Acura (which never had a single breakdown or repair). I promised to answer that in about 15 years.

  • avatar
    threeer

    The Elantra Touring was on our short list of vehicles to look at when we got down to replacing my wife’s old car. Though she wound up falling for the Scion tC, I’m still considering finding a nice, used Touring Limited with manual tranny. We tested both the “new” Elantra and the Touring and came away much more impressed with the handling and road feel of the Touring…but given that we already have one small wagon in the fleet (my 2004 Lancer Sportback Ralliart…wish that thing would have come with a manual trans!), the wife didn’t want another. I guess the Touring reminds me of my European upbringing…filled with lots and lots of wagons with stick shifts and firm suspensions.

  • avatar
    gmitchell57

    dwford, I’m interested in more impressions from you as you drive your GT. I’m about to start shopping and this car is likely to be a strong contender for me.

    I’ve read a lot of reviews of the GT and this one, for the most part, echoes the others I’ve seen. This is not the first time I’ve read the word “gutless” applied to the GT. Of course, I always keep in mind that my 2002 Camry with the 157-HP 4-banger is THE MOST POWERFUL CAR I’VE EVER OWNED. And the 39 MPG highway rating for this car is one of the 2 most important factors in my interest. IOW, it’s not possible that my definition of “gutless” is the same as that of an automotive writer who’s probably test-driven dozens if not hundreds of cars.

    I too am disappointed (and on my darker days, downright incensed) at the lack of compact wagons now available for the 2013 model year, and no, Mr. Ford, Mr. Hyundai, Mr. Mazda, Mr. VW, a “hatchback” is not the same thing.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Ride and drive is much nicer than the sedan. I think the panoramic roof hurts the structural rigidity a bit, though. I just love the features you get. Bluelink works great, as does the Bluetooth. The ipod controls are not as easy as on the Accent or Sonata, though – stupid stuff like only being able to scroll a to z instead of turning the knob the other way to go z to a.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        Bluelink is a really cool feature. Rather costly for the highest tier, at least on the Azera we test drove (something like $25/month) but still really cool.

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      Mr. VW doesn’t get a pass for the Jetta wagon?

      • 0 avatar
        gmitchell57

        I’d love a Jetta TDI Sportwagen, but don’t want to spring for the extra $7K.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I’m a wagon guy, but I settled for an Escape.

        I’d love to own one a TDI Sportwagen, but I owned a 2001 VW Jetta TDI and got disastrously burned in maintenance costs. It was the worst car I’ve ever owned in terms of maintenance-costs and hands-on maintenance, and once burned twice shy.

        The Escape is cheap, repairable, and solved my kid-hauling and cargo-hauling problems — but the MPGs are about half what I’m used to (other car is a Prius) and an SUV (even a small car-based one) just isn’t “me”. But it was cheap, though, and a way more viable of a life choice than owning another Volkswagen.

  • avatar
    redav

    It doesn’t look stylish at all to me. The rear tail lights and excessively sloping belt line look terrible.

    The look of the old touring, while plain, is far better.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    It looks like a wagon…stick in a diesel engine, order it with a stick and 85% of the TTAC B&B will be immediately transfomed into heaven!

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      That’ll go up to at least 90% if the diesel is also a rotary!

    • 0 avatar
      svan

      Hardly. There’s a lot of FUD from the B+B about VW reliability, whereas Hyundai seems to get a free pass.

      In addition, it’s noteworthy that an actual manual, diesel, wagon that you can buy in the states hasn’t been reviewed since the 2009 A3, and the 2013s are coming out.

      (Sour grapes; I just picked up a Golf diesel and I am absolutely loving it.)

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The VW FUD comes from owning one. Former 2001 Jetta owner here.

        I’d love to be a VW fanboy. There’s a lot to like about their cars, and the Jetta was still one of my favorite cars — at least when it ran. But, alas, VW hasn’t turned around their reliability the way Hyundai has. If they’d spent the last decade turning around their abysmal repair record as well as Hyundai, I’d probably be a proud owner of a shiny new Jetta Sportwagen TDI. But, alas, I haven’t found any evidence of a concerted effort to even be average in terms of realiability.

    • 0 avatar

      Nah, not enough back for a wagon. THIS is the wagon (that neither us nor the Aussies will be getting):

      http://www.themotorreport.com.au/53613/2013-hyundai-i30-wagon-revealed

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Gear spacing was alluded to in the article, but I wonder how much of the gutless feeling also comes down to electronic throttle intervention?

    • 0 avatar

      I think it comes down to only 1.8 liters of displacement where at least 2.0 (or boost) are needed.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        The GT that Hyundai sent to Motortrend weighed in at 2975 lbs, 230 over the brochure weight. Too much car, not enough hamster wheel.

        Wasn’t terribly long ago that a 3,000 lb, $24,000 car was called a Honda Accord.

      • 0 avatar
        RoboCop

        reply to Dan.

        I had a 2003 Honda Accord EX-L Couple 4-cyl. It had 160hp, got 34mpg, leather heated seats, 6-disc cd, alloy wheels, moonroof, automatic, steering wheel audio controls, enough room in the backseat for friends, trunk fit a lot of my dorm stuff, so much so I was able to pack my clothes, tv (25″ tube), bowflex dumbell stand, 52.5lbs bowflex dumbbells, etc easy, was really fun to drive, quiet, and stylish all for $23,400

        The new Elantra Coupe is the same size, enough room in the back, fun to drive, quiet, 40mpg, has even more standard features, is just as fast, and with all the leather, heated seats, moonroof, automatic, etc it’s $23,000.

        The EX-L 4cyl Accord Coupe right now is almost $30,000.

        So long Honda.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    What is it with all these new cars’ interiors? Specifically, who made giant overdone silver wings sprouting from the center vents mandatory? These are on Cruze, Focus, Fiesta, the list goes on, and I don’t like them on anything I’ve seen.

    The stylist who first came up with them should be hung as an example to the rest.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I’ve long advocated that the designer who first proposed that silver brightwork be implemented in vehicle interiors in copious amounts- anything other than restrained use around the gauges, and a small smattering around the gear lever/shift stick- and especially in plastic painted to look silver, should be located, tortured and executed for crimes against the car buying public.

    • 0 avatar
      Gannet

      I think part of this comes from the modern insistence that almost the only acceptable color for an interior is black. It gets mighty dark and boring in there, plus you can’t see whatever styling the stylist was trying to show off.

      I know it’s considered horribly gauche today, but I loved all the crazy colors you could get in the 60s. And those brocades!

    • 0 avatar
      dave-the-rave

      Pictures are hung; stylists should be hanged.

    • 0 avatar
      svan

      Hyundai in particular is going for an of-the-moment look. I think it will age badly. That said, whenever I see a Veloster in person it turns my head at least as hard a nice-looking blonde would.

      The interior Jetsons look is virtually the main reason we skipped a Hyundai and a Ford in favour of a VW. Only Kia, Mazda, and VW seem to be able to make a subdued interior these days. Everything else is busy, busy, busy.

  • avatar
    BrianL

    New interior is much better. The old interior is so monotone and ugly.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’m sad that they dumped the Elantra Touring. I thought it was a pretty nice looking car. The Elantra GT does nothing for me since it’s just another weird looking hatchback. It’s good that they’re still selling hatches, but it’s a shame that so few people see the versatility of a wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      There’s also no mention of whether or not the Elantra’s towing ability is preserved. A small wagon that can tow my utility trailer and get good MPG for daily driving (as opposed to towing) is my personal holy grail of a car…

      Alas, the only one that comes close is VW. But, while people do use them for towing, it’s verboten and I’ve twisted out a couple of transmissions with just me in the car. (Love your glow-plug avatar, BTW.)

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    I’m not a fan of Hyundai products, but the flow of the windshield pillar on the first photo (‘new exterior’) is the definition of graceful.

  • avatar
    toomanycrayons

    Tried both these cars, the GT first, and then the Touring. Both failed: No lumbar support in the passenger seat. Seems the designers and reviewers still live with their parents.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      Or don’t lead sedentary lifestyles.

      • 0 avatar
        toomanycrayons

        “Or don’t lead sedentary lifestyles.”- Signal11

        Why buy the car if you’re going to walk beside it?

        The seats in the loaded Veloster are…AMAZING! It would make a nice 3rd car. How about a little cross-pollination, Hyundai? Some people there seem to know how the parts should be made. Get them together!

  • avatar
    AmeroGuy

    I too am one of the rare breed that purchased an Elantra Touring SE. It is the car 90% of SUV drivers should be driving. High hip point for the ladies, room in the back seat for 6 footers with a 6 six foot driver, and room in back for the dogs. Oh and it’s a blast to drive. Remember the Antarctic blue super sport wagon with optional rally fun pack that Clark Griswald ordered but did not get, the Elantra Touring is it. It’s a blast to drive in the mountains. The CTS-V wagon probably handles better but I doubt there are many FWD compact wagons that stick to the road better. Perhaps most importantly it feels like a more expensive car, dash and door materials are from a class above. Yes it should have Hyundai’s 2.0 turbo engine, if it did, a smile wouldn’t leave your face. Other than that the biggest knock is road noise which could be solved with 5lbs of sound deadening and if it had the 2.0 turbo you wouldn’t notice the extra weight.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    What about a vw jetta wagon in gas form is it close price wise to this

    • 0 avatar
      JKC

      The problem with that choice is that you then have to gamble with VW reliability and its rather avaricious dealer network.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      It’s a genuine wagon and will kill this GT as far as cargo hauling is concerned. But you’ll have to be OK with worse fuel economy. The VW 2.5 is a lot stronger, but it will only get ~30 on the highway. That was a good match against the 30 mpg of the Elantra Touring, but not the 39 mpg of the GT.

      Jettas and Golfs (Golves?) with the 2.5 have been getting decent reliability ratings.

    • 0 avatar
      toomanycrayons

      Both Golf Wagons failed The Wife’s passenger seat test. You know, for $25,000 plus, you shouldn’t be in pain? Toyota seats suit her…sorry, I must have dozed off….

  • avatar
    bokonon42

    I bought the last save one ’11 manual ET in Southern California. If the Touring hadn’t been in their lineup, I would have ended up in the Jetta. It needed a sixth gear, and I would have liked longer seat rails, but I guess I should be happy since I still owe 10 grand on the car. Maybe they’ll unrenovate it by the time I’m ready for a new one.

  • avatar
    econobiker

    “This time, because not enough of you bought an Elantra Touring (yes, it’s your fault), we get the hatch.”

    Up selling to the Hyundai SUVs and women who don’t want the “station wagon” moniker killed that model plus the fact that each dealer only got 1 to 3 maximum per month killed the model.

    I had a relative considering buying that model and she only got to test drive one when it was on the lot the first day after delivery. That car sold two days after she test drove it. The relative ended up wanting a Dodge Journey (arrghhhh!) because of the third row seating and higher up driver position. I personally think that the Journey will experience the typical Dodge fails at over 100k (a/c dying, transmission problems, etc)where as the Hyundai would be good like a sewing machine and continue to have alot of parts support from the prior generation Elantra…

    I would have liked to buy a Touringe but finances are not available. I believe that the Touring will end up being one of those cult classic vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The Prius V is a phoned-in design.

      My wife and I are enthusiastic Prius owners/drivers with a potentially growing family, and so the Prius V was an obvious car to look at.

      The back seat has great legroom (especially since we’re both short), but the rear-center seatbelt design is nonsensical, and we couldn’t convince really ourselves that it wasn’t dangerous.

      The back seats appear to have been designed for the 3-row model of the Prius V, which isn’t available in the US. The fold-forward fold-back seats are just out of place, and could potentially restrict our carseat choices.

      My wife was happy with the speedometer located where it is in our 2004 Prius, and didn’t see why they screwed that up and moved it to the center console. I didn’t find it quite as disconcerting, but why not leave well enough alone?

      We accidentally turned off the traction control system by mashing the brake pedal down to the stop at a stoplight. We live in a college town, and you really don’t want to bump in to any students at a traffic light — so putting the pedal down as far as it will go when pedestrians are SOP for us. Accidentally disabling the TCS is dangerous — I’ve driven cars with them and without them and I’m comfortable with both, but not knowing its state is dangerous.

      So, we LOVE our 2004 Prius. But my wife vetoed the Prius V and I was nonplussed by it. It seems that our existing Prius is such a good car that even Toyota can’t top it within their own lineup.

      I suppose that the Prius V’s sales might be hurt by external factors — it’s certainly being hurt by the fact that the car doesn’t measure up, too.

      BTW, we went over and looked at a Mazda 5 and liked it quite a bit — but when you’ve been driving a Prius for 8 years, it’s really hard to take MPGs in the high 20s seriously for a daily driver. So, we’ve decided to hold on to the car that’s paid off and that we already know we like. We can always make an even trade for a Sienna if we hit the bursting point and are willing to pay double what we’re used to at the gas pump.

      We will be looking at the C-Max when it comes out. Maybe Ford will bring their A-game.

      Yeah, I know, choosing the best hybrid station wagon is first world problem…. And it’s a problem that I’m lucky to have! :-)

  • avatar
    RoboCop

    This is the best hatch in the seqment…period

    The seats fold flat (unlike the Focus), the Style packages wheels, $37,000 Azera panoramic roof, and upgraded suspension with leather seats for $23,000 are amazing and offer a very fun drive (80 on an on ramp like it was nothing, no tire squeeling), the backseat is comfortable with nicely curved seatbacks and enough headroom in the base model for me to sit upright (not the case with the Ford), the steering in normal is just fine, but Sport adds a considerable amount of feel, maybe if people drove these everyday like I do they’d see the difference, and the styling on it makes it seem like it should be more than the Lexus and Audi hatches.

    Comparing this to the old model is fun but this blows away the old one in every category other than interior space.

    As for gutless? It’s not a hot-hatch…its an eco-commuter that looks amazing and has enough power to push it through fun turns and quiet on the highway. Can you blow past someone on a country road? No…but if you trade the Style Package for $23,000 for an increase of $1,000, you get a Turbocharged 201hp Veloster Turbo hatch, with backseats that fold down, enough room behind the passenger for me (again, I’m 6’1″). 36mpg, and that I assure you, will make the pass on the road.

  • avatar
    John

    I eagerly await the day the enormous carp-mouth phoney radiator intake – 90% blocked by black plastic – style dies a well deserved death.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India