We just traded our touring after 6 years of ownership. Overall a great car. Mechanically perfect until the dealer incorrectly serviced the transmission allowing it to leave the lot with no fluid. After that it would shift poorly at times. That's not the cars fault. Otherwise it needed a new battery a couple times and that's it. Other small issues where a lift gate that would rattle at times and a brake pedal that creaked.
Based on good CR ratings for the Elantra SE sedan, I bought the Touring model when it first came out. Not easy to find with the manual transmission - but I preferred the performance of the Hyundai 2.0 engine with 5 spd over the Toyota Matrix 1.8 engine. Some reviewers have found this car to ride a little rough, but personally I think other Hyundai models are a little too spongy. This car is very roomy for its size - I managed to get a 9 cu. ft. freezer in the back with room to spare. More than enough space for four adults - rear seats are another advantage over the Toyota Matrix or Mazda 3 hatchbacks. I'm averaging 29 MPG in commuting, 34 on long trips - would like to see a 6 spd manual.
XM radio with USB, alloy wheels, manual transmission, sporty handling, fuel economy.
Six speed manual would help with MPG and noise at higher speeds - highest fuel economy occurs at about 50 mph - would prefer that peak MPG was at 65.
After doing a lot of research, I decided that the Touring was the car for me. I wanted a hatchback, and I wasn't happy with what was on the market (except possibly the Mazda 3). This car fit the bill - it's roomy, comfortable, reliable, gets great gas mileage and versatile! Not to mention the very reasonable price tag! I got a manual transmission, so it's pretty fun to drive, too.
Reliability, roominess, versatility, fuel economy (avg 34 mpg with mostly highway driving) and standard USB/ IPod port.
I don't know why Hyundai has kept this car a secret. It's a great all purpose car, lot of room for my sporting gear; my dog loves it. Hwy cruising gets in the low 30's and even stop and go suburban driving is around 28 mpg. Wheelbase is longer than the sedan, it is a nice thruway cruiser. Only complaint is the reverse lockout on the manual -- it's a pull up type, I'd rather just have a gear position. I've had my Elantra Touring 1 1/2 yrs with zero problems. I'm always recommending to folks looking for a great price with lots of features, and lots of utility.
Cargo room. Fuel economy. Fun to drive for a little wagon.
Ax the pull up reverse lockout on the manual in favor of a gear position. My biggest suggest to Hyundai would be to let people know that it exits, it seems to be the forgotten child.