2005 Hyundai Elantra

Impressive looking ride, no?  The 2005 Hyundai Elantra mixed sleek lines with exceptional materials and powerful engines to… no, you’re right.  It’s a pretty basic rig.  Low cost, decent quality, generally run of the mill.

Brobdingnagian - look it up.

So why is it featured here?  Two words: towing capacity.  Read on…

I was recently in the market for a new car that could handle some minor towing duties.  See, I wanted to get a car that would, (1) carry me to work reliably every day; (2) be able to tow a small trailer, and; (3) get decent gas mileage.  Honestly, there are very few cars that meet those criteria.  Most smaller cars recommend against towing at all – except for one.

For whatever reason – filling a market niche unknown to other manufacturers, lack of legal oversight – the third generation Elantra sported a 3086-pound towing capacity.  This is truly in the realm of small SUVs and pickup trucks.  Edmunds.com even recognized the Elantra as a Top 10 vehicle for towing.  No other compact car manufacturer recommended anything beyond 2000 pounds, and numerous small SUVs even fell short of that number.

The Elantra does have some nice European styling cues – and some bloody-fang looking rear lights, but in the long run, for purposes of this blog, it’s reason for existence is that brobdingnagian (yeah, I went there) tow rating.



adjective    1. of huge size; gigantic; tremendous.

Auditioning for a guest appearance on True Blood.

I’m not certain that we will ever know the reasoning behind this capacity rating, though I do have a suspicion.  In Europe, almost all cars are rated for towing – even the smallest little economy cars – and interestingly, Euro versions of cars sold in the US almost always carry higher ratings.  The reasoning behind this is unclear, but the number of personal injury attorney advertisements on television should clue you in.

In the end, I  purchased a Kia Rondo – with its wimpy 2000-pound tow rating.  But it handles my new toy just fine.

4 responses to “2005 Hyundai Elantra”

  1. needthatcar says :

    Shouldn’t there be some standard formula for figuring out towing capacity?

    Weight/power + braking capacity/hitchocity = Towing capacity

    • uteking says :

      There should be – I know that the Euro version of my car (with a much less powerful engine) is rated for 1000 more than mine.

      In any case, I think the formula works out more like this: towing capacity = quality of your legal counsel

  2. The Real Al to Your Bizzarro Ray says :

    Kia Rondo!? Shoulda got yerself a Toyota Rav4, son. My ’09 V6 AWD is rated for 26mpg highway, is rated at 3500# towing _and_ it gets 0-60 in 6.4 seconds

    • uteking says :

      I admit, your RAV4 is pretty hot, Al. The problem was that I got such a smoking deal on the Rondo from Carmax. It was an ’07 model with 700 miles on it for 14k. Besides, you know I like goofy cars.

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