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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    Driving at night
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    Comfort and function
    The interior is comfortable, and it comes with a slew of features. Hyundai's use of blue backlighting on everything from the instrument panel to the cup holders makes the cabin extremely appealing ...