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Roomy interior; comfortable ride; fuel efficiency; extensive warranty; safety features; strong value
The big change in the Hyundai Elantra lineup for 2009 is the addition of the Touring model, a five-door hatchback. The new model shares much of its mechanical underpinnings with the sedan, but has a 2-inch longer wheelbase and is one inch shorter overall. It is powered by the same 2.0L four-cylinder engine found in the Elantra GLS and SE sedans, though output is increased to 141. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a four-speed automatic is optional. The new model boasts an impressive 65.3 cubic-feet of cargo volume, and starts at an MSRP of $17,800. Elsewhere in the Elantra range, GLS and SE cars get revised suspension and steering, while the SE includes stiffer springs for a sportier drive. XM satellite radio is now available on all models, and a USB/iPod jack will debut later in the model year.