I like road trips. I like driving my vehicles for long distances especially when I can listen to whatever music I like. I dont know about you, but I am a firm believer that the driver gets to choose the music, and the volume of that music.
One thing however that annoys me on these road trips is that the visors in my SUV are too small.
When the sun is coming through the front window they are fine, but when it comes through the side windows they are nowhere near long enough to provide blockage of the sun, and therefore ruin my peripheral vision. And that just doesnt help when my son is to my side and I need to get a good swat at him.
I have come up with a solution for the sun visor problem in that I purchased a two pack of baby window shades that say baby on board and if the sun is shining my wife has one on her window and I have one on my window. We dont really care about my sons windows, his eyes are already wrecked from watching Sponge Bob annoying pants, Johnny Test and Phineas sand Ferb. I also try hard to ignore the odd looks from other drivers as they pass by.
This is one of the reasons I believe every vehicle needs to have extendable sun visors, if not for the retina blindness, then absolutely for the stupid looks from passing vehicles.
This is why the new Hyundai Elantra GT hit the spot this week with the sun shining and my eyes still feeling a little charred from driving my SUV home the day before.
Both the driver and front seat passenger get extendable visors amongst a bunch of other comfort and safety features. No retina blindness, no need to spend money on baby shades that my wife could spend on shoes, and no stupid looks from passing drivers.
However if you are a sun worshipper the Elantra will be right up your alley as Hyundai has included a huge panoramic moonroof, opening from the centre of the car and allowing sun to blast in through the glass roof from above the drivers head all the way back behind the rear seat passengers.
If you are going to open it and are folically challenged like me, then you need to remember the sunscreen.
This 1.8-litre little engine in the Elantra produces a decent 148 horsepower, which is not bad in this little car. Hooked up to a six-speed manumatic transmission the Elantra manages to squeeze 56 miles out of every highway gallon of fuel.
The steering can also be changed depending on the type of driving you intend to do. There is a little button on the steering wheel with a steering wheel icon on it, and when pushed allows you to choose from three driving modes, depending on how you are feeling at the time.
The back seats in this hatch fold totally flat making it easier and safer to store your items. There are also smaller storage spaces under the floor on each side and a 12-volt outlet for plugging in any gadgets.
The push button start is unusual in a small hatch like this and is a nice little feature, so is the proximity key for its ease of access.
Hyundai has loaded the Elantra with safety features like ABS, EBD, ESC, TCS and a full compliment of air bags including a knee bag for the driver.
Controls for the entertainment system, cruise and Bluetooth have been placed on the steering wheel, and the satellite radio is also voice activated if you dont want to wear your fingers out pushing buttons.
Hyundai has also been clever with the back up camera in the Elantra by placing it under the Hyundai logo on the back door. When the car is placed in reverse, not only does the space behind the Elantra show up on the navigation screen, but the Hyundai logo lifts up to reveal the camera. This prevents snow and dirt from building up on the camera and ensures whenever you need to see behind the car the visibility will be perfect.
To see the logo lift up to reveal the camera, whatever you do dont put the vehicle in reverse then get out and run to the back of the car to check it out.
The Elantra is a cool little hatch loaded with gadgets and safety features and gets good gas mileage for those long trips. It is also the perfect vehicle if you need a little peripheral eye protection.
Hyundai Elantra GT
1.8 litre four cylinder
148 @ 6,500
131 @ 4,700