NEW FOR 2009:

– GLS with Sport Package replaced by GL with Sport Package
– Limited adds electronic stability control

For 2009, the Hyundai Elantra sedan receives electronic stability control on the Limited trim line, previously unavailable on any Elantra model, while the Sport Package is now offered on the GL trim line, rather than on the GLS.

There’s also a new hatchback model, called the Touring, which is covered in a separate entry.

The Elantra sedan uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. The L, GL, and GL with Sport trim lines use a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic, while the GLS and Limited use the automatic only.

Features on the L include 15-inch steel wheels, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input and four speakers, floor mats, cloth seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, power locks, front power windows, vanity mirrors, tilt steering wheel, and variable intermittent wipers.

The GL adds air conditioning, six speakers, overhead sunglasses holder, centre armrest, rear armrest with cupholders, cruise control, interior lights, four power windows with driver’s express-down, heated cloth seats, driver’s seat height adjuster, heated power mirrors, and keyless entry.

The GL with Sport Package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, fog lights, windshield sunshade band, rear spoiler, chrome exhaust tip, body side kit, and power sunroof.

The GLS builds on the GL and adds anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, side and curtain airbags, active head restraints, and wheel-mounted audio controls.

The Limited adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control, fog lights, illuminated ignition, heated leather seats, tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, power sunroof, trip computer, windshield sunshade band, and windshield washer level warning light.

The Elantra features an upscale interior, even on the base trim lines, with good performance and a very quiet ride, along with value for the price. The long warranty also adds to the package.

Working against it are a rubbery feel to the five-speed’s shifter and clutch, and the lack of safety features on the lower models; you have to move up to the Sport or above to get anti-lock brakes, to the GLS to get six airbags, and all the way to the Limited to get electronic stability control.

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