Any car entered into the economy class is up against some serious competition, and it can’t be easy being one of the new kids on the block.  So it was for the Hyundai Elantra a few years back when it entered this market.  Those first few years it was an after-thought for car buyers, something they might briefly read about but give no serious consideration to. A couple more years and it became one you might test-drive and be impressed with.

And now it is one of the leaders in the field, making it quite the success story.  Well, the folks at Hyundai don’t believe in resting on their laurels, so they completely re-designed the Elantra for 2012, and the results were spectacular.  This is a sleeker looking car now, with better handling, and a great list of standard features and options, and a cool thing called the “Active Eco System” that modifies engine and transmission parameters with the push of a button and increases your fuel efficiency by up to 7%.  How cool is that?

The chief competition comes from the Chevrolet Cruze, Focus, Honda Civic and Mazda 3, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.  Having said that, the Elantra definitely deserves to be considered.

Powered by a 1.8-liter four-cyclinder engine, it produces 148 horsepower.  The GLS has a six-speed manual transmission as standard and a six-speed automatic as optional.  The Limited comes with the automatic as standard.

The Elantra can go from 0-60 in 9.4 seconds, a bit slow for this class, and fuel efficiency figures of 29/40, which is quite good for this class. Standard features include 15-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, heated mirrors, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and a six-speaker audio system.  Options include cruise control, air-conditioning, and the Active Eco System.

Safety is assured with anti-lock disc brakes, traction and stability control, and active front head restraints.  In a brake test, the Elantra needed 125 feet to stop from 60 mph, a good distance for an economy car.

The Elantra is one of those cars that can be found in practically any salvage yard, so give this option some thought when shopping for replacement parts.  Hyundai makes quality replacement parts and it makes no sense to buy them new when they are so abundant in salvage yards.

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra and All Import Auto Parts….the perfect combination for a wise car parts buyer.