After much research and test drives, I finally decided on the Elantra GT with the Style package.
I test drove and compared the following:
VW Golf, Golf TDI, Jetta TDI, Mazda 3, Ford Focus, Nissan Altima, Kia Optima.
By far, the Elantra GT was the quietest ride out of all, nicest cabin, and best overall value.
It was fun to drive (only slightly less fun than the Mazda which had great steering) but was smoother on freeway than Mazda. It's a lot roomier in front and back seat than all of those listed, and has better warranty. It was close between the Mazda and Hyundai but the Mazda didn't make good use of dash setup and I'm only 5'5" and hit my head getting in/out of the car.
panoramic sunroof is awesome
Bluetooth/incoming phone call setup
user adjustable steering modes (sport, normal, comfort)
dhfromcali said: It's a lot roomier in front and back seat than all of those listed, and has better warranty.
Uhm, not roomier than the Optima which has greater room in EVERY dimension and has an equally long Warranty.