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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We were in New York on vacation and were very pleasantly surprised by the Hyundai Elantra rental car we had. We had first obtained a Focus late at night, but the front end was way out of line and one tire was bald, so took it back and got the Elantra. We didn't expect much, but it was obvious in the first few minutes that it is a radically better car than the Focus, and a surprisingly good car. We drove it 533 miles - Rochester to Watkins Glenn to Corning, to Salamanca, to Niagara Falls, and back to Rochester, on two lane country roads, freeways, and city streets. The interior is very nicely finished, and the seats adjust in several different ways and were comfortable. It has plenty of storage missing from the Focus - an eyeglass holder on the ceiling, a covered bin on the top of the dash, and a covered storage compartment in the center stack. The four was just fine. A five or six speed automatic might be slightly better than the four speed automatic, but the shifter allowed selection of each gear, a feature missing on some otehr cars. The trunk was spacious (we bought a few old radios and some other items and had our luggage), and the rear seats split and flop down. The headlights provided radically better night illumination than those on the Focus. The Elantra we rented was a GLS model with option package 2, so it had XM radio, fog lights, and other nice features. The sticker price of such an Elantra is $17,380, and the invoice price is just $16,788. A Focus or Cobalt with about the same features would be at least $1,000 more. Since the Elantra is that nice, I am certainly looking forward to driving the Genesis!
 

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Good write-up, FStephen.

People need to drive these cars before they criticize them based on experiences from 1999, or from being fully qualified magazine or internet commandos.

How much gas did you burn?

I wrote up the Elantra, Spectra, and Suzuki SX4 sedan in the reader car review section.
All three are very good cars, each has its strengths. The thing I like best about my Spectra is the incredible ease with which it drives. MPG of 30+ doesn't hurt, either.

The headlights are pretty incredible, I dismissed the idea of Silverstars as soon as I did my first night drive.

I wish I'd gotten an Elantra (or Spectra or SX4) instead of the Avalon I got as my last rental. I'd reserved a small car, guess Alamo ran out. The Avalon was decidedly mediocre.
 

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I've driven the new Elantra too, back to back w/ the Cobalt. I found that the Elantra blew the Cobalt away.
 

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I owned a 2001 Hyundai Elantra GT for five years and enjoyed it very much. I have no issues with Hyundai.
 

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I see a lot of Elantra here where I live. I think they look pretty nice, too. I was considering buying one.
 

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I've driven the new Elantra too, back to back w/ the Cobalt. I found that the Elantra blew the Cobalt away.
It really does compete in the same arena as Civic and Corolla. Cobalt or G5 aren't even close to the Elantra. It is really a great car for the price. Why would anyone bother with the Cobalt when the Elantra is an alternative?
 

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It really does compete in the same arena as Civic and Corolla. Cobalt or G5 aren't even close to the Elantra. It is really a great car for the price. Why would anyone bother with the Cobalt when the Elantra is an alternative?
I think it's because the Elantra has that italicized H on the grille. Although these days Chevy and Pontiac don't seem to be considered much more appealing than Hyundai. It's the same w/ the 09 Sonata w/ the redone interior. The 4cyl Sonata GLS loaded w/ tons of cool standard features comes in cheaper than some mid-level compacts. I would take one over a higher trim level Corolla or Civic any day, not to mention some mid-sizers such as the G6, Fusion, Camry, and some others in the class.
 

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It really does compete in the same arena as Civic and Corolla. Cobalt or G5 aren't even close to the Elantra. It is really a great car for the price. Why would anyone bother with the Cobalt when the Elantra is an alternative?
Can we stretch the truth a bit more:rolleyes: The Elantra is a good car and I have zero problems with it. But to state that the Cobalt doesnt even compare is complete nonsense. MY HHR was almost 5k cheaper then the Elantra and I will tell you I will take the Cobalt Delta based HHR over the Elantra anyday.
 

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When I went to the auto show I was surprised at how much I liked the Hyundais. The Genesis was really nice. The Elantra was very comfy with a roomy interior and the blue dials were strangely relaxing. I wasn't thrilled with the Elantra's styling though. It seems the Koreans realize that most people want a compact car with a roomy interior.
 

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My girl bought an Elantra GLS a few months ago, and I must say it is impressive. It also looks pretty good, as it is a black-on-black ride. I particularly like the blue interior lighting.
 

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I've driven the new Elantra too, back to back w/ the Cobalt. I found that the Elantra blew the Cobalt away.
I agree,however, just insert Matrix instead of Elantra. When i got back into my parents cobalt after the test drive i took with the Matrix yesterday, my first thought was, damn, the cobalt interior kinda sucks.
 

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The Hyundai that catches my eyes nowadays is the Santa Fe.

Great looking car. The interior is sort of awkward, but it looks like a solid vehicle.
 

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Can we stretch the truth a bit more:rolleyes: The Elantra is a good car and I have zero problems with it. But to state that the Cobalt doesnt even compare is complete nonsense. MY HHR was almost 5k cheaper then the Elantra and I will tell you I will take the Cobalt Delta based HHR over the Elantra anyday.
An HHR is not a Cobalt. But the Hyundai Elantra Touring is coming to the US any time now, and it looks like it'll blow the HHR out of the water, much the same as the Elantra does w/ the Cobalt.
 

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I've driven the new Elantra too, back to back w/ the Cobalt. I found that the Elantra blew the Cobalt away.
It doesn't take much to blow the Cobalt away.....and I say this after having had one last week for a rental. Heck, the (very poor quality) interior trim was falling apart at 1600miles! The Elantra is a much better car. I also had a new Focus about a month ago and the best way I would describe that car would be - CHEAP FEELING. It is beyond me how American car companies are putting out cars like these.

My rental for this weekend is a G6.
 

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The only problem is that the Elantra is hideously ugly (not that most compacts available in the US aren't...)
Hyundai is very hit or miss on styling. The Sonata is handsome in a toyota/boring sort of way. The SUVs are ok (Though the Veracruz can be funky from some angles). The Genesis would be nice looking if not for the awful grill. But the Elantra and Azera are just downright hideous. The Azera I rented had an interior some were between a fisher price and a chrysler.
 

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Styling is subjective, subjective. I think the Cobalt is low-mediocre in the looks department, with tired styling much like the Cavalier had for years.
The Aveo can be cute in some colors, but IMO it looks too tinny and tiny, like the Echo did.
To me, none of these small cars are styling coups, but some are pleasant and others are less so.

Now, where is CobaltSS to tell us how wrong we all are regarding the Cobalt?

It's about how they drive (handling, braking, swerving, accelerating, general feel), panel gaps, interior quality, door slam, warranty, and MPG.
Did I mention MPG?
 

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The Elantra is a very good car. Feels more like a midsize when you're driving it than a compact, smooth.
 

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The problem with Hyundai is that they do not look like their parts are proportional to each other. As in either the nose or the trunk looks out of place in the car, or some weird thing like that. Their designs just do not flow.
I also happen to know that the Hyundai corp is run by Fudal lords who are corrupt to the core. I just cannot buy something from them
 
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