2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring GL Sport
2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring GL Sport; photo by Jil McIntosh. Click image to enlarge

More Hyundai Elantra Touring reviews on Autos.ca

Manufacturer’s web site
Hyundai Canada

By Chris Chase

The 2009 model year marked the return of an Elantra hatchback, a phenomenon first seen as the fastback-bodied Elantra GT of 2002. Where that original GT was based directly on the Elantra sedan, the 2009 Touring was a renamed European model known there as the Hyundai i30.

The result was a small wagon that, despite sharing the Elantra name, was not simply an Elantra sedan with a bustle-back and larger cargo area. The interior was different (though not vastly so), and the i30’s firmer suspension and more responsive steering were left intact for Touring duty.

What was shared between the sedan and Touring, were the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine (138 hp/136 lb.-ft.) and five-speed manual (standard) and four-speed automatic (optional) transmissions. While this motor wasn’t the best at anything (at the time, other motors were smoother, stronger and more efficient for their size), but it has proven to be a robust engine, but more on that in a moment.

2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring GL Sport
2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring GL Sport; photo by Jil McIntosh. Click image to enlarge

In 2009, the base L did without air conditioning and power mirrors, but a “preferred package” added these things, plus keyless entry, anti-lock brakes, side curtain airbags, active head restraints and heated front seats. The GL came with all those items, and added fog lights, driver’s seat height and lumbar adjustment, trip computer, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel and a windshield wiper de-icer. A GL Sport trim brought 17-inch wheels, USB stereo input with iPod control, power sunroof, leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls and a cooled glovebox.

Hyundai renamed some trim levels for 2010. The base L model remained mostly as it was, but the GL was repositioned to replace the preferred package, GLS replaced GL and Sport replaced GL Sport and a few of the items standard in each model were shuffled around.

Fuel consumption estimates, according to Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency, were 8.7 L/100 km (city) and 6.5 L/100 km (highway) with the automatic transmission, and 8.9/6/4 with the stickshift.

2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring GL Sport
2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring GL Sport
2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring GL Sport
2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring GL (top) and GL Sport (middle and bottom); photos by Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge

As with the Elantra sedan, the Touring presents little to be concerned about, reliability-wise.

The Touring seems to be susceptible to the same front suspension noise as the sedan, which you can read about in a couple of posts at Hyundai-Forums.com, one dealing with the Elantra sedan, and this one, about the Euro-market i30.

Consumer Reports gives the Elantra an above-average used car rating. TrueDelta.com’s repair data shows a number of owners noting problems with fuel doors sticking closed, and a faulty ABS component that triggers a warning light and disables the stability control system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety didn’t crash test the Touring specifically, but the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did, and gave it five stars for front seat occupant protection in frontal impacts, and four stars, front and rear, for side impact protection. The European i30, was introduced in Europe in 2007, and earned its best ratings – five stars for adult occupant protection and four for child protection – in 2008.

Perhaps the Touring’s only true competitor in the model years it was produced are Volkswagen’s Jetta and Golf wagons, both of which are notably pricier than the Elantra wagon. The popular, but smaller, Toyota Matrix and Mazda3 Sport are also more expensive, too, and same goes for the Mazda5. The Kia Rondo comes in only slightly pricier, but can’t be had with a stickshift. Count on higher prices for any compact crossover, some of which might match the Touring’s cargo capacity.

Like the sedan it shares its name with, the Elantra Touring is a solidly-made and largely undervalued small car that occupies a unique niche by dint of its combination of affordable prices and true wagon body style. When test driving, listen for untoward noises from the suspension (you’ll know that clunk when you hear it), look for cars that come with complete service records and get any car checked by a trustworthy mechanic before you buy.


Black Book Pricing (avg. retail) February, 2012:

Price today
Price new
Elantra Touring GL automatic
Elantra Touring GL automatic
Elantra Touring L auto w/ preferrered package

Online resources
  • All the same places you might go to look for general Elantra info will serve those researching the Touring model. There’s HyundaiForum.com, ElantraClub.com, Hyundai-Forums.com, and it would be worthwhile taking a look at the Euro-centric i30Owners.com.

  • Transport Canada Recall Number: 2008302; Units affected: 8,541

    2008-2009: On certain vehicles, the fuel pump may fail. Engine stalling would result in lost propulsion which, in conjunction with traffic and road conditions, and the driver’s reactions, could increase the risk of a crash. Correction: Dealers will replace the fuel pump sub-assembly.

    Crash test results
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

    Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.

    For information on recalls, see Transport Canada’s web-site, www.tc.gc.ca, or the U.S. National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA)web-site, www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

    For information on vehicle service bulletins issued by the manufacturer, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

    For information on consumer complaints about specific models, see www.lemonaidcars.com.

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