What happens when you put the features in a hatchback sedan into a body of a mid-size SUV? The result is a station wagon! Such is the 2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring, a station wagon that possesses the features of Hyundai’s famous Elantra sedan. How does it fare? Let’s take a closer look. It isn’t a car and don’t expect it to have the power and speed of an SUV. The engine is a 2.0 liter four cylinder generating 138 horsepower, the same with the 2011 Hyundai Elantra sedan. One test drive got a 0-60 mph performance of 8.7 seconds; decent numbers considering it is after all a wagon, not a sedan. Fuel efficiency is average: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway on a model with manual transmission. It’s pretty much the same with automatic transmission.
Perhaps the best feature is the abundance of room, both passenger and cargo space. With a cargo space of 24 cubic feet at seats folded up and 65 cubic feet seats folded down, it has probably the most abundant cargo space of all five door wagons and can compete with several crossover SUVs.
The dashboard is equipped with AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio, a CD/MP3 player with a six speaker system, and USB/iPod connectivity. The seats and the steering wheel are leather wrapped.
For safety, seats are equipped with dual front, side and curtain airbags. The combination of front and side airbags greatly reduces fatalities in case of accidents due to the protection provided for the head and body from side impacts. There are also head restraints, antilock disc brakes plus a seatbelt indicator.
User comments show the engine can easily be stressed, thus the 2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring isn’t designed for heavy-duty travel, and better suited instead for drives around the city. At a price of just below $20,000 buyers should evaluate their driving needs first before buying it. It’s a good station wagon; just don’t compare it with a sedan or an SUV.