7 Major Reasons! Why Hyundai Elantra Won the North American Car of the Year? (Review)

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In 2012 the “North American Car of the Year” was the Hyundai Elantra. The winner was chosen by 49 automotive journalists` jury from the United States and Canada. This time the Elantra beat out the other competitors Ford Focus and VW Passat in the finals, and win the honor at the very end.

These are the major reasons why Hyundai Elantra won the 2012 NACOTY:

1. Hyundai’s Reputation on the North American Car of the Year Awards!

The first win of 2009 North American Car of the Year for the biggest Korean car producer went to Hyundai Genesis.

The NACTOY is a contest with real journalists` nominations and voting, so this is not just a headline grabber like some other awards. Jurors are judging the cars on a several different factors including: innovation, design, impact on the industry, safety, driver satisfaction, handling and value for the money.

The 2012 NACOTY award was announced at a press conference and marked the second win for Hyundai in their history.

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2. Hyundai “Fluidic Sculpture” Innovative Design!

2012 Elantra was designed at Hyundai North American Center in Irvine, California, U.S.

Fluidic Design” principles are based on the nature. Hyundai Elantra design considers the movement of the wind and creates an illusion of constant movement. Actually, Elantra`s design is advanced evolution of the Sonata`s lowing lines design with an obvious undercut feature line with a start at the front door. All these flowing lines and sleek roof-line are creating the best coefficient of drag in its class, only 0.28. (For example Chevrolet Volt has 0.29).

The Elantra`s athletic face is created by the original Hyundai hexagonal front radiator grille, 15, 16 and 17-inch alloy wheels and stylish fog lamps.

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3. Elantra`s Powerful and Fuel Efficient Engines!

Under the hood Hyundai Elantra is powered with 1.8 liter engine with 148 hp and according to EPA rates is 38 mpg at the highway, 33 mpg combined and 28 mpg in the city. For European market there is even more fuel efficient 1.6 liter engine with 132 hp/6000 rpm.

According to the data from G.D. Power Hyundai Elantra is rated at the highest place in the compact class for the owner satisfaction. The most of the Elantra`s sold in California are awarded with the award for Partial Zero Emission Vehicles by EPA, because its exhaust system, clean as the hybrid vehicles.

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4. Interior Design and Special Features!

The curved center stack and stylish climate controls are the most remarkable interior features of Hyundai Elantra. The interior design is very attractive, modern and sophisticated. The materials have a rich look and are the best in this class. With available option features like leather seats, heated front and rear seats, an excellent GPS system and rearview parking camera, you can even rate Elantra to luxury car segments.

As can be seen from inside, Hyundai Elantra offers a lot more space than it is expected from a compact car. The head room on the front is even for 6 footers and the backseat has nice legroom and is fine for adults.

The Elantra has a large trunk 14.8 cubic-ft of cargo space and this is very generous for this segment. The 60/40 spited rear seats pass through is also very large.

Dimensions and Weight of Hyundai Elantra:

Length (mm) 4,529
Width (mm) 1,775
Height (mm) 1,435
Wheelbase (mm) 2,700
Trunk Size (L) 420
Fuel Tank Capacity (L) 48

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5. Five-Star Safety!

The list of Hyundai Elantra standard equipment includes safety features like: active front head restraints, ABS, EBD, ESP and VSM stability control systems, side impact airbags as well as side curtain airbags.

According to the US “NHTSA” crash test results the Elantra received a perfect 5 stars for in all the categories of crash protection and “The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety” rated Elantra with a top score of “Good” for its performance in frontal impact, roof-strength tests as well as side impact.

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6. Affordable Price &  the Second Best-Selling Model in the World!

Second Best-Selling Model in The World!
Only one year old Hyundai Elantra became the second best-selling model in the world with over 1.000.000 units sold (1.01 million exactly), only 10.000 vehicles below the Toyota Corolla.

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7. NACOTY Jurors’ Positive Professional Opinion!

Most of the jurors from the best automotive magazines in the USA, said similar comments about Hyundai Elantra`s win on the 2012 North American Car of the Year award:

Jayne O’Donnell from “USA Today said that Elantra is sporty and yet sensible, luxurious and yet affordable, Spunky but also safe. He said that this vehicle possesses series of paradoxes and it is just another argument for the impressive entry in the Hyundai vehicles lineup.

Alex Taylor from “Fortune Magazine said that Elantra is a small car with all the attributes of a larger and more expensive car, its engine is very responsive, with big interior and attractive design, great fuel economy and very attractive price.

Ken Gross from “Playboy said that this car offers “Beaucoup bang for the buck”, that Elantra has very impressive mileage and that really feels like a more expensive vehicle.

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Read my next article: Hyundai i20 is all about quality, value and fuel efficiency!

Read my previous article: 348hp Genesis Coupe it`s not Enough? Tuners have a Solution for You…