2011 Hyundai Elantra review

Either I'm getting finicky in my old age or Michigan's never-ending winter is getting to me. Even though the 2011 Hyundai Elantra looked cool and handled well over hard-packed snow-covered roads, I wasn't feeling the love for this compact car.

Here's why: The week I test-drove the Elantra more than a foot of snow fell. The front-wheel-drive Elantra just couldn't get a break since its low ground clearance meant I had to floor the gas pedal just to get through my subdivision's snowy intersections without getting stuck. Nearly every day I threw my snow boots and a shovel into the Elantra in case I needed to dig the car out.

On the compacted snow that covered much of my city's streets, the Elantra handled well and didn't lose traction or fishtail in corners. However, the Elantra's fuel-economy numbers took a hit in my wintry wonderland. The Elantra gets an EPA-estimated 29/40 mpg city/highway, but my test car averaged 18.7 mpg as it struggled through the snowy streets.

The Elantra is available in the base GLS and top-of-the-line Limited trims. The Elantra has a starting MSRP of $14,830, and my GLS test car cost $20,230.

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