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It’s not every day you get to sit inside a concept car, and driving one is an even rarer occurrence since these special vehicles are typically one-offs that are more precious than gold to automakers. Against the odds AutoGuide got a very brief test drive of the beautiful Infiniti Emerg-E show car at the Nissan 360 media event in Southern California.
It's not an Elantra at all
Today we attended the launch of Hyundai’s latest vehicle, the Elantra Touring. You probably haven’t heard a lot about it, as it isn’t as sexy as the Genesis Sedan or Coupe models that seem to be catching all the headlines lately. It is, however, certain to sell in significantly higher volume than those other two.
Having just piloted several versions of the car, we wanted to give a brief preview of the new model and our thoughts on it before the full review runs in just a few days.
Interestingly the Elantra Touring is not an Elantra at all. It is based on the European i30 model and has it’s own unique platform.
With a 138hp 2.0-liter engine it has enough power for the segment, however, we’re not fans of the four-speed automatic. It’s actually a fine four-speed, it’s just that five-speeds are increasingly the norm these days. The five-speed manual is a fabulous alternative if you don’t mind shifting for yourself.
From the front it’s a pleasant vehicle but the car’s best sides are the profile and especially the rear, which has a definite European flavor to it – somewhat like a mini Volvo wagon.
Competing with cars like the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix the Elantra Touring is less of a crossover and more of a wagon and has a lower seating position. The up-high seating position is all the rage right now but those who prefer the drive of a sedan with a sportier edge will definitely prefer the Elantra Touring.
Impressively the Elantra Touring has gobs of interior cargo space – especially with the rear seats folded down. We’ll have full volume specs in the review but we can say that it outpaces cars like the Vibe in a big way – boasting even more cargo space than the Hummer H3!
Interior trim quality is impressive and driving dynamics are even more so – especially with the Sport Package that includes 17-inch wheels.
Check the Reviews Section soon for our full review.
Official Elantra Touring release after the jump: