2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring
2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring
2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring. Click image to enlarge

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Inside Story is a review of interior comfort features, cabin controls, storage options, trunk space and under-hood accessibility based on a seven-day evaluation. For driving impressions, please see our Test Drives section.

Review and photos by Michael Clark

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2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring

Here, Matrix-Matrix-Matrix…

The Corolla-esque five door hatch wagon isn’t the only practical magic compact that the Elantra Touring wishes to upstage, though it’s definitely on the short list. The question on the IS front has more to do with what took the H so long? Hyundai history buffs will also be quick to point out how the Elantra has jumped through a few design hoops, from lift back, to much-missed traditional wagon. Should Hyundai’s mind be made up by now? We’ll start by laying the IS yard stick within the Elantra Touring GLS, with an as-tested MSRP of $20,499. (Pricing shown does not include freight, taxes, regional or promotional incentives.)

The Cockpit/Centre Stack
2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring
2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring
2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring. Click image to enlarge

Cruise control buttons are the only spoke-mount tabs for the Elantra Touring tilt/telescoping wheel. The turn signal stalk headlamp switch does not specify an auto detent, though the lamps perform a full shutdown when they are left on after vehicle exit. Wiper intermittency is reserved for the front sweep, with no variable option for the rear wiper/washer. This does not mean the rear swipe is without kudos, as it does cut one of the largest vision paths seen to date. Blue backlighting is the prominent glow for the driver’s information centre, and the audio head unit. (At least it’s not as annoying as red.)

To the left of the driver is the switch bank for the electronic stability control, IP dimmer, and the much-loved electric windshield de-icer.

The driver’s door pod houses the exterior heated breakaway mirror control, plus the power window switch bank, with driver’s side auto down. The CD audio head unit is starting to look downright Sparkomatic, though it is equipped with an auxiliary input, plus a USB plug-in. There’s zero confusion factor with the manual HVAC controls. And yet, all this simplicity seems lost on the centre stack panel. An appliqué would be nice. The four-speed automatic floor-mount shifter has done away with a manual SHIFTRONIC gate. (And you thought there was no Santa Claus.)

Cubbies!

With the centre stack image fresh in our minds, now would be a good time to note the dash-top storage compartment, and the flip-out door below the HVAC controls, each with anti-rattle rubbery beds. Applause continues, for the inclusion of an HVAC-fed cooling/heating vent for the non-locking glove box. Too bad it gets overwhelmed so quickly with the owner’s lit.

2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring
2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring
2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring. Click image to enlarge

Front and rear door panels get bottle pocket sockets. Net-style front seatback pockets are accompanied by a flip-down rear centre armrest, with a dual non-cinch style cupholder. It’s a stark contrast with the front console dual cupholder, a varied size system with four spring-loaded cinchers per cavity.

Instead of leaving a console lid fat, with no storage, the Elantra Touring gets a hollowed-out lid, just begging to take care of any issue with paper of tissue. The top compartment could definitely use some form of anti-rattle padding. There are no power or auxiliary connections within the larger cubby, though a potential issue exists. The floor covering of the cubby lacks structural density, which may not seem like much of an issue, until you remove it.

IS would advise against stowing stray Spanish doubloons, or ready-to-propose engagement rings, unless you want to dig them out of the void with a piece of coat hanger and a stick of gum. This GLS included a smoker’s package, with a minimal pull-out ashtray, lighter, and a second 12-volt DC plug-in.

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