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Hyundai Elantra 5-door



  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Based on your requirements, I would go with an 06. If you look at current pricing, the new 06 Accent costs almost as much as the Elantra, and all Hyundais seem to go up a bit in price as the new model is introduced. If you think you will buy the all-new 07 for the same price as the 06, I think you'll be disappointed. If you buy the 06, you're getting a mature design that, if you care to look around, has massive support online in terms of owner forums where the car's quirks are well known and solutions and/or preventative measures are documented.

    I think the 07 Elantra will be a great car as well, but the hatch version may not be released at the same time as the sedan, as is the practice with Hyundai/Kia, so you may have to wait for your hatch.

    In your price range you can get a fully loaded 06 Elantra. I don't see any reason to wait.
  • Thanks for these comments! We were already drawing the same conclusion ourselves: there really is no reason to wait, especially when the '07 will be an unknown.

    We're hoping we can get an '05, which will drop the price with incentives even further. From what I've read, there were no significant (to us) changes between '05 and '06. Fingers crossed! :D

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    Right, the only significant difference between '05 and '06 on the GLS 5-door is that cruise and the 6-speaker CD stereo are standard for '06, so the list price with those features is a little lower than for '05 (but incentives are more of course). Also, for '06 ABS/traction and moonroof are offered together in the only options package, so maybe ABS will be easier to find on the '06s, if that is important to you.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    Here is a good lesson: when the weatherpeople say "It's treacherous to drive out there, stay at home unless you absolutely have to drive!", it's a good idea to listen to them.

    On Monday we got about 10" of heavy wet snow--which compacted on the roads, making many of them skating rinks. I told my DW, "Don't go out this morning, it's really bad out here!" So she proceeded to go to the post office, about 1/2 mile from our home. On her way back, she took a sharp curve too fast and slid very hard into the curb. The right front alloy wheel on our GT was shredded, with a big chunk of the rim peeled away at a 90-degree angle. Miraculously, the tire remained inflated. So she drove home and called me later to tell me she had a little accident and damaged the "wheel cover." I tried to explain to her what an alloy wheel is and asked my oldest son to look at it and tell me what it looked like, but he wasn't too clear.

    When I got home, I was shocked at what I saw, figured the alloy wheel was toast, and called the nearest Hyundai dealer to see if they had one in stock. They did, just one! My lucky day! So I drove over there and noticed that I had to hold the wheel at a 60-degree angle in order to make it steer straight. Not good. I limped into the dealership and asked them to check it out.

    Next day I learned that a control rod needed to be replaced and also the tire, total work of about $900 with the alloy wheel. They also told me that they didn't have an alignment rack :surprise: and that an alignment was needed to determine what other damage there was. :confuse: So I decided that I didn't want to put just one new tire on a 2-year-old car, and that I could buy four new tires with a lifetime replacement warranty at a local tire shop for about the same money as two of the Michelins ($140 each). So I told the shop to replace the control arm and toss the alloy in the back, drove over to get the four tires replaced (Kelly H-rated tires, about $330 including lifetime rotation/balancing/repair/replacement), and headed over to a shop that could do the alignment.

    Today I found out that a strut and other components need replacing, about $600 worth. So I cried uncle :cry: and called my insurance ($500 collision deductible). The parts aren't available in town, so it will be a few days before I get the car back. Another big storm is coming tonight, so my DW will have no car to drive tomorrow. :)

    At least I got four new tires out of the whole mess, which are quieter and will last longer than the Michelins, plus I'll never have to pay for another rotation or balancing.
  • 5port5port Posts: 395

    If its any consolation she's not the only one. My friend did this same thing in a snow storm with his Suzuki Esteem and ended up with about the same size bill. Its amazing how much damage you can do by just sliding into a curb.

    This lesson reminds me of my first new car in the 80's. I just HAD to check the oil level at +10 degrees F. When I pulled the hood release it came off in my hand. My first thought was "why couldnt I just wait till it was warmer".
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    I know you think this isn't possible, but a friend was in Houston last week on a job interview. He wrecked his car. Walked into a dealership and bought another car. Wrecked it later that day. Got a rental car. Bingo, wrecked it that night. Found a hotel and hunkered down until the karma passed! Actually, if you have driven in Houston lately you could so understand how this could happen to an out of town visitor in downtown.

    Three wrecks in less than 24hours. ouch.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    Did he get the job?

    (Did he want the job--in Houston?)
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Still waiting to see. The interviews were down there, but I think the job will be in Central Texas. This guy deserves all the good. Did two tours in Iraq and retired from the military after 20 years. The last tour was exceptionally tough as he was in and around Bagdhad pretty much for a year.
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    Feeling a little more pleased with my Hyundai's quality, mpg, and standard features today as I pass a gas pump at $2.59 a gal. Was thinking about trading in for a trk...gulp

    Most fuel efficient cars. Elantra is number 10. Not too shabby for such a low cost vehicle. Might have to wax it tomorrow. lol
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81 and make great claims.

    More Power: Are you looking for more power from your wheels? Whether you have a stock or aftermarket intake system, the Turbonator will add up to 35 horsepower to your vehicle.*

    Better Gas Mileage: The Turbonator allows your engine to burn fuel more fully and efficiently, resulting in MPG gains as high as 31%*. It pays for itself in no time.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    In short: It doesn't work.
    I think Popular Mechanics did an expose on these things and said the turbanator was so poorly made they were afraid pieces would be sucked into the engine. And even then, they saw no improvement with it installed.

    Update: Yep, it was Popular Mechanics August '05. They tried two of the vortex units from two different manufacturers. The turbonator looked good, it was the other one that looked like it would come apart. At best, there was no change. At worst, they lost 20% power on a dyno. Great article, covers all sorts of gizmos.
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    Thanks jlflemmons. It's hard to tell who's telling the truth nowadays. The claims did seem a little outrageous.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    The auto manufacturers have buckets more money for R&D than the "inventors" that come up with these miracle fuel saving devices. Now, if I were GM (or Ford, Dodge, Toyota, Hyundai, etc...) and I could come up with a method of improving gas mileage 20%, with a substantial increase in power, all the while lowering emissions, they would be screaming from the rooftops that their vehicles had that advantage over everyone else's.

    Think it through; if a Tucson got 40mpg while a Rav4 got 30 or a CRV got 28, and it could out perform either of the later, and pass emission tests like 2nd grade math, who would be selling the most small SUV's in North America???
  • dovid2dovid2 Posts: 90
    Interesting they consider the Elantra mid-size and the Sonata large cars. I know they have large interior volume but I thought they would be classifeied by the exterior.
    I thought the classification of the Bentley and Aston-Martin as compact & subcompact was quaint.
  • inharmswayinharmsway Posts: 153
    We went on a road trip this weekend. checked the gas mileage on the computer at 65 mph. 32.5 mph we usually get a little better, but then I noticed we had a head wind. tried drafting behind a big rig it went up to 38 mpg then we had a flat, and I had to put the donut on and was restricted to 50 mph, gas mileage went up to 45mpg, quite interesting how speed lowers your gas mileage. we had 35000 miles on the original tires so had them put a set of kumho's on since one was ruined anyway. they shake a bit and after some miles will probably have to have them re balanced.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    Why wait to have the Kumhos balanced? When I got new Kumhos on my '01 GLS in late 2004 I had the fronts balanced by the tire shop that installed them and they were smooth as glass, until a year later and I rotated them. Then I had a little vibration at high speed so I had them balance the fronts, and now it's smooth again.
  • inharmswayinharmsway Posts: 153
    Backy. I just thought that a re balance would be more effective after the new tires have seated in a bit. Don't know if that is true though.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    Maybe so... I'm not an expert on tires. I just know what worked for me.
  • tsgeiseltsgeisel Posts: 352
    I'm in the process of hunting down a new car, and hadn't realized that Hyundai made a 5-door Elantra.

    Would you recommend it? What are things I should watch out for?

    How's it handle? How's the storage space in it? I'm also looking at a Spectra5 - has anyone done any comparisons with that?

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    I recommend the Elantra 5-door. I own the GT model and it's a solid, versatile car, a great value and fun to drive. It also is relatively unique in the low-end hatchback world with its fastback styling.

    It has a sport-tuned suspension compared to the Elantra sedan, so it takes curves a little flatter. But it's no sports sedan/hatch. Interior room is very good for a small car. It is EPA rated as mid-sized car, and there is good room in back for two adults. The rear seat folds flat so there's a lot of storage space, and the load floor is relatively long compared to some other hatches (unlike most hatches, the Elantra 5-door is the same length as the sedan).

    So go take it for a drive. Try out the Spectra5 also, which is similar in some ways to the Elantra (same engine) but it's a wagon style so it has a taller load floor, albeit shorter. But IMO the Elantra is a better value, e.g. GLS 5-door fully loaded with ABS/traction control, automatic, and moonroof is under $16,700, which is less than the Spectra5 (which has bigger, alloy wheels though). The other thing I like about the Elantra vs. Spectra5 is the Elantra's driver's seat is more adjustable, i.e. seat height has two knobs for adjustment vs. a single lever.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    As mentioned above, the hatchback with the rear seats down will allow you to carry as much as a 33gal upright compressor in the box home from Sears. With the hatch shut. And with room to spare.

    And if you want sportier handling, there is a 30min ~$150 mod that really makes it corner flat.

  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Would I buy another one? In a heartbeat!

    It's the largest in its class (compact)... to the extent that for the purposes of fuel economy testing the EPA calls it a mid-size.

    When I first test drove it, I was luke-warm on the handling, but once you get to know the car it really is a pleasure to drive. If you're handy, you can quickly improve the handling by upgrading the rear sway bar from the stock 15 mm diameter bare to a 19 mm bar from the Tiburon GT for about $100-150 (for dealer parts- or maybe even less if you can find one at a junkyard). This is the mod jlflemmons is referring to. It tightens up the rear body roll significantly. If you want to go that route, let me know and I can tell you everything you need to know (you can email me through my profile).

    When I bought, it came down to the Elantra 5-door and the Spectra5. I bought at the model year end last October and the Elantra 5-door is not as common as the Spec5, so I had to drive to the next county to buy my Elantra. The trade-off between the Elantra and Spectra which are very close mechanically (Hyundai owns Kia) is that the body style is a little different (I prefer the Elantra), and the Spectra isn't quite as well-equipped for the same price.

    I personally think the styling on the Elantra is better in a "classic" sense than the Spectra. I parked next to a Saab 5-door hatch yesterday, and except for the grill they two cars compare very favorably, style-wise.

    To be honest, I would have happily bought either car, but I think the online community for the Elantra is a little better established which is one factor in its favor for me.
  • wonderwallwonderwall Posts: 126
    I would highly recommend an elantra. the hatchback models seem to handle better than the sedans due to suspension tuning and stabilizer bars. i bought a 2005 GLS hatchback in december to replace a mazda protege 5 that was totalled :( while i miss my little mazda, the hyundai is a great car. very solid, good pickup, decent handling, good braking, super comfortable seats, lots of room in the backseat and also very good cargo space.

    i looked at kia too and while i know the guts are the same and it's the same company, but something about the spectra seemed inherently inferior to the hyundai.
  • tsgeiseltsgeisel Posts: 352
    Thanks for the recommendations - I'm certainly looking that way.

    Now, a local dealership has an '05 5-door, but only in GT with sun/moon roof combo. Basically it's the tricked out version, that I wouldn't really ask for.

    Is there anyone out there with strong feelings one way or the other? If I can get a good deal out of this, there's no reason not to go with all the extras, especially if some of them are more useful than I might think.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    I think it's a matter of how important extras like leather, alloys, fog lamps, and purple gauges are to you. You might find a great deal on a GT but it will still cost you hundreds more than a GLS. Personally I really like the sport cloth interior that is in the GLS 5-doors that have a grey interior. Alloys tend to get scraped on curbs. I never use the foglamps on my GT. And the purple gauges are neat, but I can live without them. The only reason I got a GT two years ago was that the GLS 5-door wasn't available then. Also I got a great deal, just $13.2k for a fully-loaded GT including all maintenance for 3 years. But now I'd go with the GLS, with the ABS/moonroof package. See if you can find one on the lot that has the lower sticker price--prices just went up about $300.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    I think it's a matter of how important extras like leather, alloys, fog lamps, and purple gauges are to you.

    That is exactly where I was in October when I bought. I decided that leather really wasn't such a good idea in the Texas heat (when I took a test drive on a 100 degree day!), alloys- I wish I had em and I'm looking for opportunities to pick some up, but only if I can get a good price, fog lamps- I just put in some aftermarket ones that look very OEM:

    And purple gages? I think I like the GLS green better anyway.

    I really like the sport cloth interior that is in the GLS 5-doors that have a grey interior.

    Agreed! You can't find it in the brochures, but it looks like this:

    The picture quality is bad; you can see the image full size here.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    I would highly recommend an elantra. the hatchback models seem to handle better than the sedans due to suspension tuning and stabilizer bars.

    And you can further tighten up the rear end noticeably by replacing the Elantra rear sway bar with the one of the 03 Tiburon GT, which increases the diameter from 15 to 19 mm, a very siginficant increase in stiffness. If you go to some of the Tiburon forums people upgrade their Tibbies and sell the bars there, probably for $50-80. You can get one brand new from the dealer, including the bushings, for about $120. If you buy your car new, it is a very simple upgrade to do yourself- six bolts and you don't even need to jack up the car if you can shimmy under it. (If the car has seen a few winters, the bolts can be difficult to loosen.) If anyone is interested in this mod, I can answer any questions; email me through my profile.
  • pocono35pocono35 Posts: 89
    If you can find a 5-speed GT hatch with moonroof and abs, traction control, please send me an email. I cannot find one anywhere. This is the single-great value of any car I have ever seen and they just are not anywhere to be found. A loaded hatch with leather and Hyundai quality for $16k? Gotta have me one for a 3rd car and the new driving daughter.
  • I am just curious..
    Can 04 elantra handle +48mm offset..?
    I did some research, I'm thinking 45mm is max..
    but not quite sure.. :cry:
  • 5port5port Posts: 395
    Any car will handle a positive wheel offset for a while. The more the offset though the more leverage you are applying to the wheel bearings. This usually means and early failure of one or more bearings. I have to laugh when I see peeps driving around looking cool on their Honda with the wheels directly under the wheel well lips (or fenders). Is it worth the early bearing failure?
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