Let me begin by saying I purchased this vehicle primarily for it's advertised gas mileage, along with its styling and for that it has not disappointed! I average about 33 mpg, with a 50/50 split highway/local. This is a dramatic improvement over my last ride, a CX-9. Of course to compare the two vehicles is useless. The Cx-9 averaged 17mpg mixed. Not bad for a vehicle it's size and weight. I drive about 25,000 miles per year, 95% work related, and the Elantra fits the bill with current gas prices.
Number one is the gas mileage, two would be the comfort, I am 6'8", and believe it or not can almost stretch my legs out straight, no small feat in any car today! The ergonomics are somewhat good, everything is within reach, and works well. The tilt and telescopic wheel is handy for added comfort. Hands free bluetooth phone syncing is nice, as is the xm band stereo. The seat comfort is outstanding for me, I especially like that the headrest fits snuggly behind my head. I have to say I was initially attracted to the mileage but that styling was a deal maker. It is amazing how small car is yet how much space it packs in.
The only improvement I can see to an otherwise competent package is the handling on the open road, it is wiggly at speed. Once the car settles in it feels stable, but not all the time. I have only had the car for a month and just over 1500 miles, but it can be unsettling at times. It seems to need constant steering input to track straight, it doesn't seem to want to hold a line unless the road is very smooth. I cannot honestly remember this ever being an issue in the 50 plus cars I have owned and driven in my life. The Mazda CX-9 was a gem of a handler for 60,000 trouble free miles. If Hyundai could somehow channel Mazda's handling prowess to the Elantra, in my mind the car would be perfect.
Regarding what seems to be excessively sensitive "hunting" or "darting" with the handling on your Elantra, you may wish to talk to your local Hyundai service department about performing a 4-wheel alignment. I understand, that this may seem unnecessary for a new vehicle, . . . but it sounds like the rear camber may be slightly out of adjustment spec (it doesn't take much). I've had one newer vehicle which reacted similar to what you're describing (a 2009 Sonata with 30K miles at the time), and while the front wheel specs were in check, the rear camber setting was out of spec on both sides (and certainly not detectable by visual appearance). After a 4-wheel alignment, the over sensitive "darting" was completely cured, and the car has driven well ever since. I am not suggesting, that this absolutely is your described concern with your new Elantra, but, it may be something to research. Usually, with most new vehicles, there happens to be an "adjustment" period very early on in the overall warranty coverage. And, if a driveability concern exists, an alignment "may" possibly be covered by Hyundai at this point. Most people mention the "light" steering feel of the new Elantra as being present, but, a lot of those same persons also mention how well the car tracks and handles. From what you've shared, your particular Elantra seems to be abnormally sensitive. You should definitely talk to your local Hyundai service department rep as soon as possible, as the mileage window for an alignment (which is considered an "adjustment") being performed under warranty is relatively short. Also, at whatever point you choose to replace the tires (quite a few miles down the road), stay away from the "low rolling resistance", OEM type tires. I would highly recommend looking toward the "Kumho ECSTA LX Platinum" tire in your appropriate size. They are very affordable for a well rated tire, and handle extremely well in ALL types of weather conditions. Your ride quality, traction, and handling will all improve dramatically, they are extremely "quiet" and "smooth", and also offer perfect wear patterns when rotated properly. GOOD LUCK with your new Elantra . . . (andy)
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