EXTERIOR

Redesigned for 2011, the new Elantra looks adorable. I'm certain Hyundai's designers would prefer a stronger, more athletic description, but it's really as cute as a newborn puppy. Though it's a sedan, the Elantra looks like a coupe because of its sloping roofline.

The sculpted roofline gives this car a sporty feel, but taller drivers and passengers will have to pay extra attention so they don't hit their heads when getting in and out of the car.

Even though the Elantra is small, the trunk is large and can easily accommodate a sizable grocery store run or even a snow shovel. The Elantra's low ground clearance was a pain in the snow, but great for kids to climb in and out of it on their own.

The Elantra comes with a 148-horsepower, 1.8-liter inline-four-cylinder engine and uses regular unleaded gas. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. The optional six-speed automatic transmission, which my test car had, costs $2,250.

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    INTERIOR
    The Elantra's interior has a masculine feel to it, thanks to the black dash with metallic accents and gray-colored seat upholstery. The dash and center stack have a simple layout with only a few b ...

    Traction control system (TCS)
    (If installed) On slippery road surfaces, the traction control system (TCS) limits the drive wheels from spinning excessively, thus helping the car to accelerate. It also helps to provide suffic ...

    FAMILY LIFESTAGE
    In Diapers: The Latch connectors are hard to get to, which makes it difficult to install a child-safety seat. In School: Kids in booster seats have enough legroom and headroom to sit comfortably ...