The Beat recently got a look at and test-drive of the redesigned Hyundai Elantra compact sedan in Montgomery, Ala., home of a huge manufacturing plant for the Korean company. Executives with Hyundai presented the new features of the updated model.
The key element of the redesign is some styling that makes it look more similar to Hyundai's wildly popular Sonata sedan.
The new Elantra went into production at the Montgomery factory in November. The Sonata also is built in Montgomery and has helped Hyundai break sales and production records.
Another key point of emphasis for the Hyundai officials is the Elantra's great fuel economy. It gets an EPA rating of 29 mpg city, 40 highway.
And Hyundai emphasizes that those numbers come with no asterisks, a reference to the fact that some other cars that tout high fuel economy numbers can only do so if you choose certain engines or fuel-saving packages.
Pricing starts at $14,830.
Every new Elantra hits the 40 mpg EPA rating on the highway.
We enjoyed driving it around Alabama. It gives a smooth, solid ride, without much road noise.
Plus, the interior looks great -- like a luxury car.
Stay tuned: when we get it for an extended period, we'll have more to say about it.