WOW FACTOR: Its design
There were gasps of shock when this Korean stunner was named 2012 North American Car of the Year – beating US- and German-built cars (the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Passat to be specific) into submission. But you’ll battle to find more bang for your buck in this sector. As Jayne O’Donnell of USA Today, one of the Car of the Year judges, said, the Elantra is ‘sporty yet sensible; luxurious, yet affordable; spunky, but safe’. We agree; there wasn’t one gasp of shock when it was named 2012 Car of the Year in South Africa.