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More Safety And Refinements Keep Elantra A Class Above The Competition

2008 Hyundai Elantra

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., All new from headlight to tail light last year, the 2008 Elantra continues to bring more safety features and refinements to smart shoppers with the addition of Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Brake Assist, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and new option packages.

- Electronic Stability Control now standard on SE trim
- Brake Assist added to standard ABS system for SE model
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System standard on all models
- Elantra SE Premium + Leather Package replaces Elantra Limited

Now standard on the Elantra SE, Electronic Stability Control is the industry's most significant new safety technology since the seatbelt. ESC compares the driver's intended course with the vehicle's actual response, then brakes individual front or rear wheels and/or reduces engine power as needed in certain driving circumstances to help correct under steer or over steer. ESC compares the driver's intended course with the vehicle's actual response, then brakes individual front or rear wheels and /or reduces engine power as needed in certain driving circumstances to help correct understeer or oversteer. According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) research, if all vehicles were equipped with ESC, as many as 10,000 of the 34,000 fatal passenger vehicle crashes that occur each year could be prevented.

In addition, the Elantra has also received a five-star frontal and four-star side crash rating in the compact passenger car segment from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and earned a "Good" rating in the IIHS's frontal offset test, the Institute's highest rating. Finally, the addition of a standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System, which alerts drivers if tires are under inflated through an illuminated readout on the dash, rounds out Elantra's safety features to make it one of the smartest purchases in the compact class.

In 2008, both Elantra trim levels have been refined and simplified to better meet customer needs. This includes the replacement of the top-of-the-line Limited model in favor of the Elantra SE with an optional Premium + Leather Package. Several new variations of the high volume GLS trim have also been added, while the total number of model configurations has dropped by 44 percent, making it easier for customers to find what they are looking for.

"These refinements and the addition of great new standard safety features like Electronic Stability Control and Brake Assist for the SE version, and a standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System, make a great car even better," said John Krafcik, Hyundai's vice president product development and strategic planning. "Add class-leading interior space, outstanding handling, and overall refinement and it's clear that Elantra offers terrific value."


In addition to standard Electronic Stability Control and Brake Assist on the Elantra SE, a new Tire Pressure Monitoring System and outstanding safety ratings, all Elantras have six standard airbags, including two advanced front airbags, two front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and two side curtain airbags protecting front- and rear-seat outboard passengers. The combination of side and curtain airbags, which help protect the head and body during side impacts, can reduce fatalities by more than 45 percent according to IIHS.

Accident avoidance technologies start with Elantra's chassis, which features a fully independent suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars and motor-driven rack-and-pinion steering, and are taken even further with the addition of ESC. The Elantra's standard power braking system has front and rear discs with a four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that includes Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). ABS helps the driver maintain vehicle steering control in slippery conditions and in emergency maneuvers. EBD is integrated into the ABS, automatically adjusting the front-to-rear braking force based on the vehicle's loading conditions. Brake Assist has been added to the standard ABS system for 2008 Elantra SE models along with Electronic Stability Control. Brake Assist detects panic braking situations (by sensing brake pedal application speed) and increases braking force to shorten overall stopping distances and help avoid accidents. Four-wheel disc brakes are a key leadership feature for the segment, as traditional rear drum brakes are still found on the 2007 Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Chevrolet Cobalt.

Elantra's standard front-seat active head restraints help prevent whiplash by automatically reducing the space between a front occupant's head and the head restraint during certain rear collisions and are highly recommended by safety organizations such as the IIHS.

All seating positions feature three-point seatbelts and adjustable head restraints. The shingle-style, rear-seat head restraints are designed to improve visibility when there are no rear-seat passengers, while protecting these passengers when in the vehicle. There is also an energy absorbing steering column, front seatbelt pretensioners and adjustable-height shoulder anchors. A LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system in the rear seat area provides secure attachment for child seats.

In low-speed impacts, the Elantra's five-mph front and rear bumpers help minimize damage. In higher energy collisions, its steel unibody structure is engineered to dissipate crash energy as its crumple zones deform, while bodyside reinforcements help maintain the integrity of the passenger compartment. Hood buckling creases and safety stops help control the deformation of the hood in a frontal collision.


Elantra's front appearance and rising beltline create a premium statement. For added distinction and assertiveness, chrome headlight bezels and grille bars are standard. The Elantra profile features sculpted surfaces, an expressive bodyside character line that is shared with other Hyundai models and neatly integrated bodycolor door handles and mirrors. The rear styling complements the front design with tail lights that echo the theme of the headlights and nicely complete the bodyside character line.

Elantra has a low coefficient of drag to improve fuel efficiency at highway speeds and reduce interior noise. Elantra's coefficient of drag is 0.32, which is significantly "more slippery" than the 2007 Nissan Sentra's 0.35(i).[1]


Elantra is truly a "class above" Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla when it comes to interior room. Elantra is so roomy that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies it as a mid-size car, not a compact car like Civic and Corolla. In fact, with 97.9 cubic feet of passenger room and 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space, the Elantra has the most interior volume (passenger volume plus trunk space) of any sedan in its class.[2] Elantra's total interior volume of 112.1 cubic feet easily beats the 2007 Civic sedan (102.9 cu. ft.), 2007 Nissan Sentra (110.8 cu. ft.) and 2007 Corolla (103.9 cu. ft.), and, surprisingly, even surpasses the interior volume of the near-luxury Acura TL (110.4 cubic feet). Elantra trunk volume at 14.2 cu. ft. also beats Civic and Corolla.

Thoughtful design touches bring harmony and substance to Elantra's interior. The dashboard slopes downward to give a feeling of more space and to promote greater visibility, while offering a modern look. The contrasting gray or beige two-tone color schemes, combined with metallic finishes, complement the sophisticated and upscale Elantra exterior styling. New levels of detail and craftsmanship are found throughout the interior, such as the luxurious supple leather seats now available on Elantra SE. Other interior amenities include heated seats as well as steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls; the steering column also telescopes for improved control. Cool blue back lighting adds a modern, easy-to-read ambience at night.

The center console features a storage compartment and a comfortable armrest. An overhead sunglass holder has built-in map lights, while pockets are integrated into the front door panels, and seatback storage pockets provide additional room for small items. Storage can also be found in the dash, center stack and console. A convenient handbag strap holder, dual front cupholders and rear center armrest with cupholders round out the interior appointments and provide everyday utility.

The Elantra's comfortable and versatile seating includes a multi-adjustable driver's seat, including variable height settings, adjustable head restraints and a 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback to accommodate larger cargo.

Conveniences like a standard cabin air filter, rear window defroster, tilt steering wheel, tinted glass, two-speed variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist function, power heated mirrors, power windows and door locks, and remote keyless entry with alarm and trunk release add to Elantra's remarkable value position. In addition, XM Satellite Radio is a standard feature on all Elantra audio systems this year.

Option packages enhance this value. The high-volume Elantra GLS Popular Equipment Package offers a 172-watt AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers and auxiliary jack, which allows iPods® and other portable MP3 players to use the vehicle audio system. Also included are air conditioning, cruise control, fog lights, windshield shade band and illuminated vanity mirrors and sunvisor extensions.


Thanks to advanced clean engine technology, most Elantras sold in California, Oregon and several Northeast states are certified as Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (PZEV) by the EPA and score high on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)'s "Green Vehicle Guide to Green Cars." Additionally, the ACEEE recognized the Hyundai Elantra as one of the top 12 "Greenest Vehicles" in the industry. The PZEV Elantra is as clean as many hybrid electric vehicles and helps Hyundai meet its environmental commitments. Outside of these "green" states, the Elantra is available in Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) configurations.

Hyundai's advanced 2.0-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine powers the Elantra. This sophisticated 16-valve powerplant employs dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) for a very broad power spread, coupled with high fuel efficiency and low emissions.

The ULEV variation is rated at 138 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 136 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm. PZEV engines are available only with a four-speed automatic transmission, and are rated at 132 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 133 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm. With a manual transmission, the Elantra's mileage is 24 mpg City, and 33 mpg Highway according to the EPA's new-for-2008 fuel economy ratings. With the optional four-speed automatic transmission, the Elantra's EPA rating is 25 mpg City and 33 mpg Highway.


Elantra delivers a comfortable ride and responsive handling, thanks to a front MacPherson strut suspension with coil springs and gas shock absorbers, and a multi-link suspension with twin-tube gas shock absorbers in the rear. A 23.0 mm diameter front stabilizer bar and 17.0 mm rear stabilizer bar help reduce body roll when cornering. To enhance stopping power, the front and rear brakes are generously sized at 10.8 inches (275 mm) for the front and 10.3 inches (262 mm) for the rear.

Stiffer body construction allows Hyundai chassis engineers to tune the suspension components for precise steering and handling together with a well-controlled, yet comfortable ride. Here, Elantra has a considerable advantage, with a body structure nine percent stiffer than Toyota Corolla. Additionally, a rigid body structure and the vehicle's optimized door sealing strategy contribute to reduced road noise (two decibels below a comparably equipped Honda Civic -- based on internal testing).

Advanced, electric motor-driven, engine-speed-sensing rack-and-pinion power steering offers many benefits, including lighter weight and reduced engine drag for higher fuel economy, while delivering precise steering feel and responsiveness. The Elantra steering system also offers excellent parking and turning maneuverability. At 33.9 feet Elantra's turning diameter is better than Civic's 34.8 feet, Corolla's 36.1 feet, and Mazda3 sedan's 34.1 feet.


The Elantra is available in two distinctive trim levels - GLS and SE.


In keeping with Hyundai's high-value approach to standard equipment, the Elantra GLS has a remarkable array of desirable features for an entry model. The Elantra delivers standard safety technologies unsurpassed in its segment, with six airbags, ABS with EBD, 4-wheel disc brakes, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, active front head restraints and adjustable head restraints for all seating positions. A partial list of other standard features includes: power heated mirrors, power door locks, power windows, remote keyless entry with alarm and trunk release, variable intermittent windshield wipers, multiple storage areas, 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback, tachometer, tinted windows, two 12V outlets and tilt steering wheel. The Popular Equipment Package adds air conditioning, a 172-watt AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 audio system with tweeters and in-glass antenna, windshield shade band, fog lights, cruise control, and dual front illuminated vanity mirrors with sunvisor extensions. A power sunroof is also an available option.


The sport-oriented SE adds all the equipment in the GLS Popular Equipment Package plus Electronic Stability Control and Brake Assist, 16-inch alloy wheels, leather shift knob, telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel audio controls and trip computer. The SE Premium Package adds a power sunroof and heated front seats. The SE Premium + Leather Package includes everything in the Premium Package plus leather seating surfaces. In addition to the available gray two-tone, the SE is also available in a sporty monotone black interior.


The all-new Hyundai Elantra lineup is protected by the Hyundai Advantage, America's Best Warranty. Coverage includes five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and seven-year/unlimited mileage anti-perforation coverage. In addition, Elantra buyers receive 24-hour roadside assistance coverage at no extra charge for five years (no mileage limit), which includes emergency towing, lockout service and limited coverage for trip-interruption expenses. There is no deductible on any of this coverage.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 750 dealerships nationwide.

[1] Sentra CD provided by Autoplanner
[2] Claim based on Autosource Inc. upper small sedan segmentation.


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