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The Good

The 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring overflows with standard comfort and safety features, handles better than most competitors, and has no in-class competition when it comes to cargo space.

The Bad

Even if you don’t want the '09 Elantra Touring's extra bells and whistles, you have to pay for them, and your wallet may take a hit when it comes to city driving.

The CarGurus View

If you’re looking for a station wagon with a sporty feel, plenty of gadgets, a stylish interior and tons of cargo space, then the 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring is your vehicle. It might cost a touch more than its competitors, but you truly get what you pay for with the Touring.

At a Glance

When Hyundai redesigned the Elantra in 2007, the four-door hatchback trim, known then as the Elantra GT, was dropped from the lineup. The old GT was reborn as the Hyundai Elantra Touring for 2009.

What sets the Elantra Touring apart from its competitors is the cargo space – a whopping 65.3 cubic feet with the rear seats down and 24.3 with them up. Hyundai says that’s more than any other vehicle in its class. Heck, even the Hummer H3 has only 64.9 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats down.

Other than all that room, the Touring’s strengths lie in its quality materials, feel and design of its cabin, and its plethora of standard safety and interior features. Its driving dynamics are above average as well, with responsive steering feel, decent power, and plenty of grip. It may not be as athletic as the Honda Fit, but the Touring is plenty of fun to drive on top of all its functionality, and it has pleasant and sporty exterior lines, highlighted by sleek headlights and stylish taillights.

While the Touring does have Elantra in its name, it’s much sportier than the sedan. First, it has a different chassis with a longer wheelbase, yet a shorter body, which creates better handling. The Touring features a sportier suspension and larger wheels and tires than the sedan and has a short-throw shifter. It also has more standard features than the sedan, such as traction control, electronic stability control, and electronic brakeforce distribution.

Coming loaded with standard features does cost, however, and its starting MSRP of $18,495 does make the Elantra Touring more expensive than most competitors.


The Touring does share one key component with the Elantra sedans – its engine. Both are powered by a 2-liter, DOHC four-cylinder that produces 138 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 137 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. Hyundai’s Continuously Variable Valve Timing increases the fuel efficiency (23 city/31 highway mpg) and engine response, creates a smoother idle, and lowers emissions. The Touring is certified as a Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle in green states and is available as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle outside of green states.

A five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission sends power to the Touring’s front wheels. The manual fits the sporty feel of the Touring, especially with the B&M Racing short-throw sport shifter, which allows better access to the engine’s moderate power. The optional automatic also has Hyundai’s Shiftronic shift gate and doesn’t waste a lot of time searching for gears.

Ride & Handling

Driving an Elantra Touring may not duplicate driving a sports car, but as far as four-door hatchbacks go, the Touring does keep the driver in mind and offers a pleasant feel and ride. The MAZDA3 hatchback offers comparable handling in the class, but the Touring’s ride exceeds that of the Dodge Caliber, Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe.

The Touring’s four-wheel independent suspension features MacPherson struts in the front, a multi-link rear suspension, gas-charged shock absorbers, a 23-millimeter front stabilizer, and a 17mm rear stabilizer bar.

The difference between the Elantra sedan's suspension components and the Touring's components show Hyundai’s desire to improve performance in the Touring. The hatchback has stiffer front and rear springs, larger stabilizer bars, and unique dampeners. All of this greatly enhances handling, which many feel is mushy in the sedan.

The Touring’s Electronic Stability Control will automatically brake individual wheels and reduce engine power if it senses the vehicle is not responding to the driver’s intentions during a turn. The Traction Control System helps maintain grip during acceleration in the same manner - applying brakes to individual wheels and selectively reducing engine power.

The type of wheels and tires you choose will, naturally, impact the Touring’s ride. The standard 16-inch aluminum wheels with 205/55/16 tires will soften most bumps in the road. The optional 17-inch wheels with wider 215/45/17 tires offer more dexterity, but will make for a bumpier ride.

Cabin & Comfort

The list of standard features Hyundai gave the Elantra Touring is both long and impressive – air-conditioning, cruise control, a trip computer, power windows and door locks, heated power mirrors, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, a cooled glovebox, an above-average, 172-watt AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers and a USB port. When an iPod or flash drive is plugged into the USB port, they will be charged can be controlled through audio controls on the steering wheel or radio and the song/artist/title information will appear on the audio head unit.

Perhaps as you’re playing with all the standard features, the stylish design, high-quality materials, and construction quality will begin to sink in. The instrumentation is blue and backlit, easy to reach and instinctive to use. There’s the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, cloth door trim, a sunglass holder, maplights, and a generous center console.

The driver’s seat is eight-way adjustable with lumbar support. There’s plenty of legroom in both front and back. One review said that during a test drive a 6-foot-plus passenger sat directly behind a 6-foot-plus driver in comfort. All told the Touring offers 101.2 cubic feet of passenger space.

More impressive than its passenger space is its cargo space. But just how big is that 24.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 64.3 cubic feet with the seats down? Well, compare those numbers to the 19.8/48.9 offered by the Toyota Matrix and the 17.1/43.8 in the MAZDA3, and you begin to see.


The Touring’s list of safety features is also substantial. There are front and rear crumple zones, side reinforcements, hood buckling creases, an energy-absorbing steering column, and side-impact door beams. The two front airbags utilize Hyundai’s Occupant Classification System, which determines the force with which the airbags should be deployed based on the seat occupant's weight and height and the impact speed. There are also two roof-mounted side curtain airbags.

The Antilock Braking System helps the driver maintain control while braking in emergency or poor road conditions. The Electronic Brakeforce Distribution system balances the braking energy for each wheel. Factor in the Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control systems, and it becomes clear why Hyundai has received ample praise for the Touring’s attention to safety.

What Owners Think

Owners who have taken the time to submit reviews are in agreement that the Elantra Touring is well-designed inside and out, provides a comfortable seat and ride, and has a ton of features for the price. Comments on the sound system were very positive as well. But the highest praise was saved for, what else, the tons of cargo space that made long trips with lots of kids and stuff possible and packing the car for short trips a breeze.

There were some complaints about the lack of power, partially because Hyundai is emphasizing the Touring’s sporty feel. Some also did feel the extra standard features, which translate into extra money, may not be worth it. And there were a few left wondering why the Touring gets such poor gas mileage around town. Then again, there were some owners who had no complaints at all.


After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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Hyundai Elantra Touring Questions

Steering Column Problem

I recently had a clutch replacement and the timing belt replacement done on my 2009 Hyundai Alandra sport. It has 165,000 km on it. Two weeks after these repairs my wife was driving and the steeri...

Forgot To Turn Headlights Off!!

So I'm used to auto lights... lol. I started my car and drove it and realized my headlights were still on from the day before, but the car started and drove fine. I turned them off and started the ...

Getting A Hyndai Recall For Dangerous Gas Line, When Not On List Of Recalls...

What can I do to get a recall -reimbursement to fix a faulty dangerous leaking gas line for a Hyundai (I 30 CW) that was not on their list for the year of my car? I would be prepared to send a few ema...

Brake Light On Dash

Why would the brake light suddenly go on?


2009 Elantra Touring Has Door Handles And Stick Shift Peeling.

The door handles and now the stick shift is peeling. I cut my finger and have covered the handles with duck tape for safety reasons. Will the dealer replace this for free? My warrantee has expired.