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Buying Used: Elantra Touring a versatile wagon

2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring


Hyundai's 2010 edition of the Elantra Touring was kind of an in-betweenie. Entering the North American market for the first time in 2009, a complete overhaul – in 2011 – for the Elantra line was just around the corner. Everything changed after that.

Hyundai was also quick to point out that the Touring was not just the Elantra sedan with a different body configuration. It was actually a separate vehicle, designed in Germany, sold in Europe as the i30, and manufactured both in South Korea and the Czech Republic. Models shipped to Canada in 2010 came from Korea. Differences between the '09 and '10 versions are slight, mainly in the form of suspension tweaks and minor upgrades.

The Touring did have the same powertrain as the sedan, however, and came in three basic trim levels: L, GL and GLS. Power output for the 2.0 four-cylinder engine was 138 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, with 136 lb-ft of torque, and you could choose from a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

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This body configuration was just about as versatile as you could get in this market. Folding down the back seats revealed some 1,848 litres of cargo room, and you didn't have to remove the headrests to lower the rear seats. Unfortunately, they didn't fold completely flat.

Hyundai also did a nice job on the sheet metal of this model – this was one of those occasions when the wagon version was more pleasing to the eye than its sedan counterpart.

Depending upon the trim level, the Touring came with a reasonably high complement of standard equipment. Air conditioning, tilt/telescoping steering, one-touch driver's side window, and power door locks all came with the popular GL, as did heated front seats and a cooled glovebox. The base L, however, lacked virtually all of the amenities mentioned.

There is one safety recall to report from Transport Canada and it concerns possibly flawed brake lights that may not function because of a bum switch. This recall also affects other Elantra models going back to 2007, as well as a range of other Hyundai products, including the Sonata, Genesis and Santa Fe.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has five technical service bulletins on file for this iteration of the Elantra Touring. They include a "slight rattle noise from the steering while at low speeds driving over rough roads or turning left" plus several labelling and service updates, none of which are serious.

Twenty-one complaints are registered with NHTSA for this model. Here's a sampling: "a short in the electrical harness in the steering column (repair) required complete replacement of steering column and wiring harness (parts cost was over $1,100.00)," "pulls to the right while accelerating and travelling at 50 mph (80 kph)" and "in October, 2010, my 6-month old Hyundai Elantra Touring caught fire after sitting in my driveway for nine hours."

Consumer Reports is mostly favourable here, giving the 2010 Elantra Touring a "better-than-average" used-car prediction. Gone are issues with harsh suspension that affected the 2009 version and, in virtually all departments, this one gets top marks.

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Noted C.R.: "We expect reliability of new models to be 29 per cent above average." Still some quibbles with squeaks and rattles and power equipment issues, but over all a positive picture.

Some comments from owners: "Very sharp door corners. Front door corner injured my head," "not enough power when changing lanes on highway", and "represents great value with a balance of competent performance, good fuel economy, comfortable interior, and ample cargo space."

Market research firm J.D. Power, meanwhile, doesn't seem to be too crazy about this one. While it rates high for overall quality, it gets a below-average grade for overall dependability and "about-average" marks for overall performance and design. This organization gives the 2010 Elantra Touring a failing grade for style.

From a base price of just under $15,000 in 2010, the Elantra Touring has fared reasonably well. Base L models appear to range from just under $10,000 to the low teens, while a loaded GLS seems to be going for somewhere in the mid-teens neighbourhood. The most popular version, the GL, is somewhere in the middle, fetching from about $10,000 to $13,000, depending upon mileage and equipment level.

Tech specs

2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring

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Original Base Price: $14,999; Black Book: $11,400- $14,050; Red Book: $9,600-$12,350

Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder

Horsepower/Torque: 138 hp/136 lb-ft

Transmission: Four-speed automatic/five-speed manual

Fuel Economy (litres/100 km): 8.7 city/6.5 highway (automatic); regular gas

Alternatives: Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, Mazda3, Kia Rondo, Volkswagen City Golf, Saturn Astra, Suzuki SX4 hatchback, Nissan Versa

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