The 2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring is a value-minded, hatchback/wagon. More traditionally styled than some of the automaker's latest offerings, what the Touring may lack in eye-catching pizzazz it makes up for in features. In many cases, an Elantra Touring similarly equipped to its competition will end up costing less. That can be attributed to Hyundai's belief in pairing a lot of equipment with competitive pricing.
The Touring is powered by a 2.0-liter 138-horsepower engine that can be paired to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. There are two models: base GLS and the more upscale SE. What's immediately apparent is how spacious and comfortable the cabin is. Offering ample and cushy seating for front and rear passengers, the Touring is a pleasant way to get about town. Cargo room is excellent, and with the seats folded, you're encroaching on compact SUV territory. The Touring has a solid build quality, better than expected handling, excellent visibility when driving, and plenty of standard features. People who appreciate the conservative styling should give this spacious hauler a look.
Body style: Five-door hatchback/wagon.
Engine: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: GLS, SE
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring is largely unchanged. Volcanic Red and Dove White join the color palette. The Touring now includes 16-inch alloy wheels on the renamed Preferred Package. A new roadside assistance kit is optional. Keep the rear seats in place and you'll find 24.3 cubic feet of space, and 65.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. The Elantra Touring is expected to be restyled for next year, and arrive in the U.S. similar to the new European Hyundai i30.
Styling is no-frills and homey compared to the more dynamically styled and modern Hyundai Elantra. Though they share the Elantra name, the hatchback has yet to receive its updated facade, expected for the 2013 model. Those who prefer a more conservative, traditional hatchback will appreciate the Touring's modest demeanor. The latest model gets 16-inch alloy wheels on the Preferred Package to replace the standard 15-inch wheels. Two colors are new for 2012: Volcanic Red, and Dove White.
The current Elantra Touring is an uncomplicated, versatile, value-minded hauler. The cabin is very roomy, with comfortable seating for both front and rear passengers. Ample cargo space is available, besting some compact SUVs. The Touring offers easy-to-use controls; for example, the climate settings are large and close at hand. The cabin is straightforward and unadorned. Leather seats are available on the Elantra Touring SE. Cruise control and a cooled glovebox are options.
Performance & Handling
The current-generation Elantra Touring's 2.0-liter, 136-horsepower, four-cylinder engine offers a surprisingly fun-to-drive hatchback experience. Steering is light, but the sporty driving dynamics allow for a lively ride and decent cornering. The five-speed manual delivers a touch of added sportiness, but we'd advise waiting for the new Elantra's powertrain options, which are expected to be both more powerful and fuel efficient. We also expect a hybrid option at some point for the hatchback.
In government crash tests, the Elantra Touring received the highest rating, five-stars, in frontal collision testing. Four-star ratings were given for side-impact testing. Elantra Touring comes with six standard airbags: dual front, front side, and side curtain. Also included are four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake-force distribution, and tire-pressure monitoring. Traction control and stability control are optional.
EPA Fuel Economy
GLS Touring, SE Touring: 23 mpg city/30-31 mpg highway
- Lots of features at a low price
Good fuel economy
Impressive rear-seat room
You Won't Like
- Slow, heavy steering
Value-minded, but needs an update
If You Like This Vehicle
- Mazda3 hatchback