After about a month of on-line research, I test drove the 2011 Elantra GLS, Fiesta, Civic, and Kia Forte.
All were fine cars, but in terms of value and the entire package, I was left wondering why anyone would buy a Civic.
I now have purchased and driven the Elantra for over 5000 miles.
It handles well, have not noticed the road noise some folks mention, and my gas mileage has exceeded expectations (I do a great deal of highway travel, and average between 43 and 46 MPG).
The interior feels about the same size as my old BMW 325I.
I have had more than one person ask me about the car, which I was not expecting when I purchased an economy car.
It looks good, but more importantly, Hyundai provides the best bumper to bumper warranty I have located (60K).
Further, my dealership provides a lifetime warranty on the engine and drive train.
I like a manufacturer that stands behind its product.
I am aware of Civic's legendary quality, but wondered by Honda does not provide a similar warranty.
Could it be because Civics' reputation for reliability is simply that ... legendary?
I purchased a manual transmission and would have liked to have Bluetooth as a factory option.
Similarly I would have liked to have fog lights as a option.
The hubcaps are a little cheesy, but the entire package was under $18K with tax, freight, other miscellaneous charges
.. but with a GLS manual, with air, cruise, tilt, 16 inch wheels, etc. ... how can I really complain?