With a starting price of only $17,250, the 2015 Hyundai Elantra is more of a starter car than I usually drive, but when I realized I needed to head up to the Glacier National Park area and was going to be behind the wheel, I figured it’d be smart to rent a car rather than put all those miles on my own trusty Highlander. Fortunately, Hertz had a killer deal through AAA and it worked out surprisingly inexpensive. Better, the improvement in MPG over my own car helped offset the cost quite a bit too.
As you can see, it’s an attractive sedan, even if it’s not going to win any awards for sleek fit and finish:
The interior was well appointed and had all the modern gadgets and gizmos, though no navigational system (one of the ways that Hyundai keeps the base price low):
I found the seats somewhat uncomfortable before I adjusted them, and was amused that the technique of raising and lowering the bottom portion of the driver’s seat involved a lever and pumping action. I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a car where things are adjusted in quite that manner. Still, the lumbar support is not adjustable and it seemed designed for a narrower back than what I have, so I ended up adding some spine support with a beach towel for much of the time.
Back to the exterior, however. Nice. And a wonderfully huge trunk:
Notice how clean it is? That’s after the drive. We can thank some well-timed rain for that effect!
The vehicle included Sirius XM radio as part of the Hertz configuration, which was nice, though much of the drive time was spent listening to audio books streaming off my iPhone 6s, a Baldacci thriller on the way up to Montana when I was driving solo, and a Harry Potter book on the way back, when my 11yo was ensconced in the vehicle with me.
The sound wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was quite functional and I appreciate the variety of choices: devices plugged into the USB connector (lower down on the console, off camera), AM/FM, XM satellite and even a CD player at the top. Particularly on long drives options are a must!
The car performed well and I was pretty darn impressed with the mileage I saw on the long highway drive between Boulder, Colorado and Kalispell, Montana. It’s even better than Hyundai publishes as its official fuel efficiency rating for the vehicle:
Across the entire 2500+ mile drive, it probably averaged about 39.0 or so, still quite a bit better than the mid-20’s that my bigger, heavier Highlander offers. If only gas were $4.95/gallon, then I would really have appreciated the difference!
Would I buy an Elantra? Likely not as it’s not quite as comfortable as I’d like, though I appreciated a lot about the vehicle. If you’re looking for a starter 4-door sedan, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Disclaimer: none. Seriously, I paid out of pocket for this rental. So what disclaimer would I include? 🙂