I test drove all available 5 door hatchbacks on the market right now, and ended up with the Elantra GT. It was a toss up between it or the Ford Focus for me. What swayed me was the styling, including the interior. Nice! This car sets the bar for style and good looks. Also the warranties and standard feature set can't be beat. Although I did opt for the touch and go package, which includes keyless entry with push button start, sport suspension and 17 inch wheels. Hyundai has come a long way since the Excel, and I couldn't be happier with my decision. Toyota & Honda better do some homework, especially with their styling. Hyundais' are much better looking, inside and out.
Bluetooth audio options! They are easy to set up and use, although you have to be clear and concise when saying commands. I can actually play my music in the cloud with the steering wheel controls, something I couldn't do in quite a few competitors' cars. The audio/ac controls are well laid out and do not require a second glance. Anyone can find a comfortable driving position, the steering wheel is tilt/telescoping and the drivers' seat has a huge rake. I love the standard heated seats, as I didn't have to spring for a costly package. It's really quiet on the freeway, and the mileage is excellent too. Especially on extended freeway jaunts. The alloy wheels with chrome pockets exude class.
This car needs about 20-30 more horsepower. I've had harrowing highway merging and passing maneuvers for this reason. I see the upcoming KIA Forte5 has just the right amount of horsepower, even with the base engine. There are no basic options for tweaking the audio controls, like bass/treble/cross/fade, etc. Very strange. Visibility/blind spots are somewhat of an issue, but most cab forward designs suffer from this. The controls are a bit of a reach, and if you need to use them in a hurry its noticeable. The ac control needs 5 positions, not 4. Going from 3 position to max is very noticeable. I also do not like that the gas cap can be opened when the car is parked and unlocked, a major flaw.
[For the non-GPS entertainment system] Audio controls are present, just inconvenient. Press the Setup button below the Tune knob. Press "2" to select "Sound". Turn the Tune knob one click to the right to highlight "Sound Settings", then press the Tune knob to select it. You have settings for Bass, Middle, Treble, Fader, and Balance, plus a "reset all" option. There are other settings under the Sound menu, for power bass, speed-controlled volume, and to set the volume of the voice-activation and Bluelink voices.
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