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Hyundai Elantra: Reviews & News from the Pros (Edmunds, C/D, CR, MT etc.)

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Comments

  • After a visit to my local Hyundai dealership, I must admit I was a bit disappointed with the Elantra. In person the car looked "smaller" than I expected and exuded "econobox".

    Then I looked at the sticker - An SE w/auto was just over $17K. The dealer had a $999 prep charge so the car was nearly $18.5K. I laughed to myself and drove home. A great deal would be around $15K, with $16K a "max" for this vehicle.

    I agree with Backy, with $1,000 off the "original sticker", I might be interested. Hyundai is longer a bottom feeder and should not ever be again. But they can't expect to charge Honda / Toyota prices just because they added a decent interior with a few extra cubic feet.

    This car may end up being a really good buy in May-June '07 time frame at $15,500.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,721
    This is typical for a brand-new model. Some dealers think they can get away with MSRP or MSRP+ pricing on a car that lives in an extremely competitive market, up against very strong alternatives. So wait a bit, and I think you'll see prices moderate quite a bit.

    Here's an idea of what I expect by early next year:

    * Discounts down to or close to invoice
    * General rebate of $1000, loyalty rebate of $500 (these might get flipped)

    So for a SE automatic, that would mean a price of around $15k (or under for Hyundai owners) before taxes and fees.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    ... anyone seen any more reviews? :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,721
    When is Edmunds.com going to have a review on the Elantra? C/D has already published one on paper--surely Edmunds has had time to publish one on the Web. ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,721
    FYI (while we're waiting for Edmunds' review): Hyundai just put a $500 loyalty rebate on the new Elantra.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Well, while we're waiting, let's talk about that here: Hyundai Elantra: News, Views & Opinions.
  • As other members of this board have cited the "positive" comments from the C&D review, I thought it might be beneficial to see the negative parts of the Elantra review now that i have received the copy

    First, stating that the Elantra placed 4th place is a bit misleading as the Elantra was rated 19 points below the 3rd place finisher, the Honda Civic, and 31 points below the 1st place finisher, the VW rabbit. Needless to say, it wasn't a close decision, and the Elantra wasn't relegated to 4th place merely because the C&D editors disliked the handling characteristics (which they didn't).

    The Elantra received low marks for Fuel Economy, Engine NVH, transmission, steering feel, handling, etc.

    INTERIOR SPACE: Suprisingly, the Elantra took no awards for interior space either. The Elantra neither had the largest Front, Rear, nor Trunk space. In addition, both the Civic and Sentra have longer wheelbases than that of the Elantra.

    POWERPLANT AND HANDLING: the Elantra produced the second worst skidpad performance (ahead of the Corolla, shocker) and second worst lane change MPH (again, only ahead of the Corolla).

    Comments: "the suspension is underdamped; it always feels teetery-tippy, and the steering has an unnerving way of seeming to increase the turning agnle as the corning forces build."

    NOISE: Comments: "on the interstate, the engine turns raucous and irritating above 72 MPH and downright annoying in the upper 70s."

    FUN TO DRIVE: "It's an underachiever in the fun to drive column, too."

    SAFETY: No stability control nor traction control even available, though lots of standard airbags to maybe save your life when you crash. Personally, I think the best safety is a good handling, stable automobile with available safety systems.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I must say, in all my many years in the Forums, I have never seen any owner be so intent on trashing the car he/she chose to purchase.

    In any case, could you give us a link to your quotes?
  • First, how exactly did you reach the conclusion that this is "trashing?" Posting empirical information and direct quotes from C & D is bashing, huh? It's not my review...send a letter to C&D and express your outrage.

    Second, in case you're unfamiliar with how C&D articles work, no "links" are available until it is posted online in a few weeks. Pay a few bucks and buy it off the newstand if you want one.

    Third, where does it indicate on this forum board that all posters must be interested in purchasing the said car before posting? Please provide a "link" ;)
  • ykangykang Posts: 88
    You sure do have a "Grudge" on Hyundai.
    Ooooo...scary.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,721
    Maybe Pat (and others) reach the conclusion you are "trashing" when you say things like:

    First, stating that the Elantra placed 4th place is a bit misleading...

    How is it misleading? The Elantra finished in 4th place by the point totals, did it not? And it handily beat the 5th and 6th-place finishers--topping the Corolla by 15 points and the all-new Sentra by 23 points.

    The Elantra received low marks for fuel economy...

    The Elantra returned 28 mpg overall, which was third best in the test and in C/D's words "just a fraction below average" (test average was 29 mpg). That is a "low mark"?

    The Elantra received low marks for... transmission...

    Here is what C/D said about the transmission: "Slick shifter and clutch," "a smooth, low-effort shifter", and overall its transmission was rated 7, one mark below the #1 car, the Rabbit, equal to the Civic, and better than the Corolla and Sentra. That is a "low mark"?

    Surprisingly, the Elantra took no awards for interior space either. The Elantra neither had the largest Front, Rear, nor Trunk space. In addition, both the Civic and Sentra have longer wheelbases than that of the Elantra.

    You are confusing "awards" with the raw data that C/D published. In the raw data, Elantra tied with Sentra for most interior space in the group, and if you look at the manufacturer's published figures you'll see that the Elantra actually has a bit more interior space than the Sentra--and the most in its class. The Elantra has one cubic foot less up front than the Sentra and one cubic foot less in the rear than the Rabbit. Otherwise it has at least as much room front and rear as any other car in the test. Its trunk space ties the Corolla's for roomiest of any sedan in the test, and it's 1 cubic foot less than the hatchback Rabbit's rear cargo space. As for longest wheelbase: who cares? The Civic has the longest wheelbase in the test but is next-to-last in interior room--just 1 more cubic foot than the Corolla.

    As for "awards", here is what C/D said about the Elantra's interior room and comfort: "sit-all-day seats", and "As a passenger hauler, we give this one top marks for both space and comfort [emphasis mine]." They also gave the Elantra the highest possible numerical scores for rear-seat comfort, rear-seat room, and trunk space, and 2nd place for driving comfort and ergonomics.

    SAFETY: No stability control nor traction control even available, though lots of standard airbags to maybe save your life when you crash.

    True, Elantra does not have ESC or traction control available. Neither does the Civic LX or the Sentra. Of the tested cars, only the Rabbit and Mazda3s Touring have more standard safety equipment--which is kind of interesting because the Mazda3s Touring doesn't qualify for C/D's self-imposed price limit for the test of $18,000 (the Mazda3s Sport does, but it doesn't have ESC or traction control). C/D couldn't even find a Corolla with ABS to test, and certainly couldn't find one with VSC.

    If you want to avoid having others think of you as a "trasher", you could stop making every effort to cast positive attributes of a car in a negative way.
  • "If you want to avoid having others think of you as a "trasher", you could stop making every effort to cast positive attributes of a car in a negative way."

    Many could say the coverse about your comments which always seems to either ignore or put a "positive" spin on obviously negative attributes about anything Hyundai produces.

    How exactly could one read the C&D review and come away with a sense they recommend the car? abysmal handling, "downright annoying" noise on the highway, less than stellar fuel economy (for a car "rated" at 28/36, one would have expected better), and lack of available safety systems. These are "positive" attributes that I somehow case in a negative way? I think the numbers and comments speak for themselves. Feel free to attempt to spin them as you wish.

    Let me be clear: If all you want is a car that can comfortably carry passangers from point A to B and are not concerned about its handling, stability at high speeds, nor are concerned at engine NVH, then the Elantra is a fine car. But, if someone wants a car with good, safe, stable handling (not "teetery-tippy) car with available safety systems, has unobtrusive engine noise, has a solid reliability track, get's excellent fuel economy, and has good resale value, maybe the Elantra is not the car for that person.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,721
    How exactly could one read the C&D review and come away with a sense they recommend the car?

    Maybe you're not familiar with how C/D reviews cars. Unlike Consumer Reports, C/D doesn't formally stamp cars as "recommended" in their comparos. It ranks them in numerical order based on test results and the editor's opinions.

    But consider what C/D's editors said about the Elantra:

    As a passenger hauler, we gave this one top marks for both space and comfort.

    At metro-traffic speeds the car feels agile and trusty. Grab it and go, like you're old friends.

    The Verdict: If your car-pool passengers have a vote, you'll drive this one.


    What I take from comments like those is that C/D's editors think the Elantra is a good choice for someone who carries passengers a lot (e.g. in a car-pool, or a parent toting kids around) and drives mainly around town. If someone is looking for a "sporty" car and drives over 70 mph a lot, then they believe the Elantra SE MT is only the 4th best choice in this group.

    BTW, C/D did not call the Elantra's handling "abysmal" or "unsafe". This is just another example of how you "spin" things to be as negative as possible. It's clear C/D doesn't like the handling on the Elantra. But they didn't call it "abysmal."

    I'm not sure why one (you) would expect much better than 28 mpg for the Elantra--its EPA city rating--in C/D's tests, when four of the six cars, including the fuel-sipping Corolla, were within 1 mpg of their EPA city rating.

    Also, C/D's editors made no negative comments about the Elantra's complement of safety features. I accept that you'd like to see more safety equipment in the Elantra (and I would too--it would be great to get all the safety features the nearly-$19k Mazda3s Touring has standard, but on an Elantra that sells for $2500 less!). But those are not the sentiments of C/D.
  • "Maybe you're not familiar with how C/D reviews cars. Unlike Consumer Reports, C/D doesn't formally stamp cars as "recommended" in their comparos. It ranks them in numerical order based on test results and the editor's opinions."

    I'm very familiar (having been a subscriber for the past 15 years). 4th place is not recommending a car.

    "If someone is looking for a "sporty" car and drives over 70 mph a lot, then they believe the Elantra SE MT is only the 4th best choice in this group."

    So this $16K car is relegated to driving at city-speeds? That's not a bit limiting? BTW, I would imagine, the majority of this country drives at over 70MPH (it's the speed limit in many/most southern/western states)

    Placing second-worst above a 4-year old Corolla (which performs poor) in handling is abysmal in my mind. I have an opinion, so shoot me. Somehow, I expected a "brand new" car touted by a company as one of the safest cars in its class to perform better. I guess i'm the only one.

    BTW, you don't think describing the handling as "teetery-tippy" and the steering as "unnerving" isn't suggesting the car isn't the safest on the lot? After all, what does the Lane Change MPH test? Passanger comfort levels?

    "it would be great to get all the safety features the nearly-$19k Mazda3s Touring has standard, but on an Elantra that sells for $2500 less!"

    The Elantra Limited (while being equipped with leather) costs $19K loaded up and STILL doesn't even offer any safety systems a Rabbit or Mazda3 makes standard. Where is Hyundai's commitment to safety?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,721
    No, 4th place isn't recommending a car. Neither is 1st place, in C/D's comparos. Refer to the quotes I cited for C/D's recommendations on who might find the Elantra to their liking.

    C/D talked about the Elantra being "agile and trusty" at "metro-traffic" speeds. What does that mean? I drive within a large metro area about 95% of the time. Speeds are mainly between 30-65 mph. I'd have to drive a long ways to hit a road where I can legally go over 70 mph. So it's not a bit limiting, no. For people who drive those mountain canyon roads and/or 80 mph a lot, that would be limiting. For over-70 highway cruising, the Elantra AT would probably be a better fit, based on other reviews that noted lower rpms and less engine noise.

    Don't you think that if C/D found the Elantra to be an unsafe car, in handling or lack of safety features, they would have mentioned that?

    Why are you comparing a loaded Elantra Limited that has leather, moonroof, etc. to a Rabbit and Mazda3 that don't have that kind of equipment at near the same price? If you want a Hyundai for about the same price as a base Rabbit 5-door or Mazda3s and with comparable or better safety equipment (and also more power and lots more room), how about the Sonata GLS which lists at $17,295 after rebate and includes ABS with EBD, traction control, ESC, and active front head restraints standard?
  • "For over-70 highway cruising, the Elantra AT would probably be a better fit, based on other reviews that noted lower rpms and less engine noise."

    So, one needs to sacrifice not having a manual because Hyundai can't seem to engineer the transmission to provide an unobtrusive highway ride? Lovely. Gives me great confidence for the rest of the car.

    Judging by Autoweek's long term review of the Sonata, the car suffers from the same handling problems as the Elantra, not to mention other deficiencies. No thank you Hyundai. http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061023/FREE/61011003/1011/L- - - - ONGTERMTESTS
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,721
    Did you notice that the Elantra was the quietest car of the group at 70 mph on the highway, in C/D's tests? I wonder why the other automakers can't seem to engineer their cars to be as quiet as the Elantra on the highway? Do you have a loss of confidence in VW, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan because of that?

    Anyway, what good is a manual transmission if the car's main mission is cruising on the highway?

    Have you taken the Sonata on a long drive cross-country? I have. Seven hours behind the wheel and nearly 400 miles in one day. Very pleasant trip. But there were no mountains. I guess the people who travel a lot in the mountains need to buy a different brand. ;)
  • john_fjohn_f Posts: 30
    I have to say that as a not completely neutral observer (I recently purchased an '07 GLS AT), I find backy to be logical, reasonable, and positive. On the other hand, germancarfan1 seems to go out of his way to highlight negative things about the car. I vote for backy.
  • cjgtcjgt Posts: 28
    Yea, Backy may always shine a positive light on Hyundai but it's backed up with real info. Germencarfan's "info" is mostly his opinion. That's the real definition of spin.
  • bp25bp25 Posts: 11
    Germancarfan is not here because he is interested in the Elantra objectively. He is here to promote other vehicles by attaching a negative connotation to Hyundai. Please don't come into the discussion with an alterior motive.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    we're not here to talk about other members. Let's stick to the cars, please.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,721
    It's interesting. Hyundai tried to make some styling statements in the past, e.g. XG, Santa Fe, and Tiburon. Even the 2002-2005 Sonata. Those efforts were not exactly received with wide praise. So now Hyundai is going a more conservative route on styling--a route that has proven very successful for companies like Toyota and Honda. And Wards complains about it, even though the new Elantra has some "Korean" styling cues found on no other compact sedans.

    Look at the top-selling sedans: Camry, Accord, Corolla, Civic, Impala, Malibu, etc. Not many unique styling exercises there, including Hyundai's own Sonata. Hyundai made the '06 Sonata more mainstream in styling, and what happened? Sales surged (of course, the whole car was better than the old one).

    Anyway, styling is subjective. I like it just fine.

    The rest of the article was pretty positive overall I thought. I noticed they didn't mention engine noise as have some other reviews--I wonder why? Also interesting were the notes about future Bluetooth availability--first I had seen that--and the fact that Elantras with XM radio have been built since mid-October (none of the cars I saw today at my dealer seemed to have XM, but I suppose they were all built more than a month ago). Also the note about supply constraints keeping shipments to the U.S. below 100k was interesting--that could mean HMA won't have rebates on the Elantra as big as in the past, when they were trying to sell more of them. :(

    I thought this comment was curious:

    In response to complaints from owners of previous-generation Elantras, the new car abounds with storage cubbies, including a dash compartment, seatback pockets, rear cupholders and a dual-level armrest with ample space inside.

    What's odd about it is the only significant difference in storage cubbies between the 2007 Elantra and the previous generation is the little lidded compartment on top of the dash. But my '04 Elantra has a lidded compartment in the middle of the dash, below the radio, so I don't see any significant advantage there.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Elantra Montreal Gazette

    My, my, how far Hyundai has come in such a short period of time. Famous for bringing the original disposable car to Canada (the Pony), it has blossomed into a full-fledged company with an enviable array of products.

    A handling complement :surprise:

    Where the Elantra does surprise is its ability to carve a corner. I expected it to heel over and feel skittish - it does roll gently into the corner, but skittish it is not. Credit the car's well-calibrated suspension and meaty 205/55R16 tires. On a bang-for-the-buck basis, the Elantra is tops in this category.
  • This article confirms that some features were not available in the first batches, such as XM radio, bluetooth, etc. My SE was produced in early September and it has a removable pole antenna, while picture in the promotional brochure has an integrated type of antenna. So I think that may come later in the production.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Elantra Runs Cheap, Feels Cheap

    quote-
    Then there's the new Hyundai Elantra.

    From the very first minute, this car like wearing socks with sandals.

    The seats are flat rather than flattering, the steering wheel has all the tactile feel of a garden hose and as you attempt to drive off you find the accelerator pedal is touchier than a domino expert at the end of a long day.
    -end quote

    Where is the ESP for USA? :(
  • The models for Australia are clearly not the same as those for the US. "the cheap price means side-impact and curtain airbags are not standard". Not true for US models, 6 airbags are standard on all trims. they're even standard on all Accent models.

    you might as well post a review of Chinese version of Elantra, as I'm sure they are even worse.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    The models for Australia are clearly not the same as those for the US.

    The changes in the Elantra for the Australia market are minor for the most part, not major.
    They have the same engineering, are built in the same assembly plant, use the same materials, the same 2.0L engine.

    you might as well post a review of Chinese version of Elantra, as I'm sure they are even worse.

    Really? :blush: The steering wheel may be on the wrong side, however, the review is relevant to the US Elantra.

    I'm very disappointed you did not find the review to your liking. :P
  • You call 6 airgags minor difference? That's pretty major in my book. Did you see a complete list of features in aussie models or it's just your assumption that they have only minor differences? Cars sold in different countries by the same manufacteur can be quite different. Several years ago I heard some cars sold by major makers in China don't have seatbelts.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,721
    There's more differences--see the follow-up article below. Note the different steering tuning for different parts of the world. Now the question is, which steering set-up does the U.S. get? The Aussie tuning or the Asian tuning, or something else?

    http://carsguide.news.com.au/story/0,20384,20707994-5003140,00.html

    And there are lots of other differences in Elantras from one country to another, besides steering feel and airbags and ESC. For example, the old Korean-spec XD got heated seats, active front headrests, automatic climate control, a nav option, rear-seat center armrest, and a bunch of other stuff the '01-'06 Elantra didn't get in the U.S.

    The most important comment in the whole (original) review was this one, IMO:

    ... indeed, amid the mundanity of everyday driving, the car's failings would hardly be noticeable.

    Meaning for people who buy the car to do with it what people who own compact economy cars do, it's a good choice--which the reviewer finally comes out and says at the end of the follow-up report:

    For those who simply have to have a new, family-ish-sized car, but don't want to spend a lot of money, the new and improved Elantra is an obvious option.
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