NEW FOR 2008:

– Standard front auxiliary audio plug and engine immobilizer
– Interior headliner changed from woven knit to high-density non-woven
– A/C pre-wiring added to L trim line
– Windshield shade band deleted from GL and GLS
– Key set illumination deleted from GLS and GLS with Sport Package
– Metal pedals deleted from GLS with Sport Package
– GL with A/C Package and GL Comfort Plus with manual transmission deleted
– Trim line name changes: GL changed to L, GL Comfort changed to GL, GL Comfort Plus changed to GLS, GL Sport changed to GLS with Sport Package, GLS changed to Limited
– Side and curtain airbags added to GLS with Sport Package
– Power door locks added to L

Completely redesigned in 2007, the Hyundai Elantra receives only trim changes for 2008.

All Elantra models are powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. It is mated to a five-speed standard that can be optioned to a four-speed automatic on the L, GL and GLS with Sport Package; the GLS and Limited use the automatic only.

Features on the L include 15-inch steel wheels, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, floor mats, engine immobilizer, power locks and power front windows.

The GL adds air conditioning, four power windows, heated mirrors, heated seats, keyless entry, cruise control, deluxe centre console with armrest, rear seat armrest, driver’s seat height adjuster, and rear centre head restraint.

The GLS adds anti-lock brakes, active head restraints, wheel-mounted audio controls and side and curtain airbags.

The GLS with Sport Package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, windshield sunshade band, fog lamps, leather-wrapped wheel, power sunroof, trip computer, and rear spoiler.

The Limited adds leather seats, automatic climate control, key set illumination, illuminated vanity mirrors, telescopic wheel, and windshield washer warning.

The Elantra offers clean and elegant styling, an upscale interior even on the lower-priced models, impressive interior room for all passengers, a huge trunk, good performance and a very quiet ride. Overall, it’s a good value for the price.

On the downside, the five-speed’s shifter and clutch feel rubbery, and the leather-wrapped wheel on the upscale trim lines is too slippery. Safety features such as ABS and six airbags are only available on specific models, and can’t be optioned to others. Move to the top level and you’ve got a leather interior and all the safety features at a reasonable cost.

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