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Hyundai Elantra 2001-2006



  • Hello Elantra owners/fans. At the present moment my husband and I are considering another car in a different class/price range. We are big fans of this other midsize but I am having reservations about the affordability and would hate to be driving a car that I love at the price of living check to check!
    So I am looking into the smaller Elantra. We are city drivers with only one small child.
    Price wise I feel its right up our alley. I am concerned about reliability issues and also whether my 6' 200 +lb husband will fit in the drivers seat.
    I have run the Elantra idea by my husband who seems dead set against it. He would be embarrassed to own a Hyundai- we were out the other day and as one drove by he commented on how it sounded like a wind-up toy.
    Personally, I like the styling and I am thinking first and foremost about value.
    I guess I am looking for some more resons for us to consider this car. All comments welcome! Thanks.
  • dmarzo1dmarzo1 Posts: 37
    I never would have dreamed about buying Hyundai (as recently as a month ago) until reading these message boards and test driving both the Elantra and Sonata.

    Hyundai is a terrific value. Have your husband read through the posts here and then test drive one. If you like it, I am reasonably confident you won't find a better value. Compare the GLS and GT (hatchback) by the way. You can get a GLS cheaper but the GT is worth a few extra dollars IMHO.


  • lokannalokanna Posts: 22
    Thanks for the advice!

    dmarzo1, I would greatly appreciate the spreadsheet offer! I'm looking for a 2002 Elantra GLS Automatic with package 3, with carpet floor mats and trunk cargo net. Obsidian Gray is my first choice of color too ;) Taxes in my county are %7.00

    As for the GT, while I realize the suspension is supposed to be tweaked a bit and it has a bit more luxury, it's also a little more expensive and for some reason I detest the look of the thing :( I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the GLS looks like a respectable compact sedan, whereas the Hatchback looks like a ... Saab wannabe? I dunno, just didn't click with me. Now the new 2003 Tiberoun on the other hand... >=)

    Backy, I've been reading your posts awhile and generally value your opinions. I definately plan on driving the vehicle before I sign anything, as I want to avoid a bad car experience.

    I do have a question about negotiating, perhaps you have more experience with this process. When I go into the dealership and they show me a sticker with $15,500, do I say "Look, Edmunds should TMV at $13,800, get it down there and we'll talk?" Or should I realize they're there to make money, but I'm there to buy a car? One thing I have is a crappy trade in, if they say it's worth something near $500, should I say "Let's get this price down to around $13,800, with a decent monthly payment and a workable interest rate, and you can have the car for a steal to up your front end commission?"

    Just curious with what style works best? Right now, price and low monthly payments are my concern. I understand the sales person is there to make money too, and being in sales, I want it to be a "win win" situation. I know that's difficult to do, and I'll go into the situation stating that I won't be taken for a ride, but if he works with me, it will be beneficial to us both.

    What ways work? Thanks again for the advice, this is seriously helping me a lot!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    There is no one right way to approach negotiating. I personally favor the "start low" approach as the buyer. This means your opening offer is lower than what you would actually pay for the car. That is why I suggested offering invoice less rebates. There are actually dealers that will take this low of an offer, if you stick to your guns. Some will not, but you'll never know if you don't try. You can always come up in price; you can't go the other way. Note that many car dealers use the "start high" approach as the seller, making their initial offer MSRP or even above MSRP (a.k.a. "Additional Dealer Markup" or add-on fees for advertising, paint sealant etc.). They don't expect most buyers to buy at that price. But some will, or perhaps they will accept a few hundred dollars off that high price, and then the dealer makes out well and the buyer thinks he/she got a good deal.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to do a facimile of a Karrass-style negotiating course here. I do believe that the dealer has to win in the deal too. I want them to stay in business so they can be there when I need service, warranty work etc. But I don't set the price at which they will sell their cars--they do. I can give them a low-ball price and they can tell me to take a flying leap if they want to, it's up to them. If they want to sell me a car for $100 over invoice, or invoice, or under invoice, it's up to them. It's my job to try to pay as little as possible for the car. The dealer knows how much profit they need to make on their cars, and I want them to be up front with me on that.

    When I bought my Elantra in October 2000, I drove a hard bargain with the sales manager, and he was tough as well, but when we agreed on a price (which allowed them some profit) we shook hands and he thanked me for my business. I actually paid $100 more for my car at that dealer than at another one across town because they had exactly the color I wanted in stock, offered free loaner cars if my car is in the shop more than one day, plus free car washes. I figured all that was worth at least $100 over the life of the car. So it's not just about the sales price. Another consideration is how well you are treated by the dealer and the quality of their service department (my dealer had, at the time, two of the three Hyundai-certified technicians in town, so they would have a certified technician doing even routine maintenance).

    If you are not comfortable with intense negotiating (I am in sales so it is not a big deal for me, I actually enjoy it), the TMV approach might be better. You may not get the absolute best price, but you will get a very good price and less stress.
  • dmarzo1dmarzo1 Posts: 37
    Hey Lokanna,

    I have put together a spreadsheet for you. Please drop me a line at [email protected] and I will send it on to you. Here are some additional ideas for your negotiations:

    - Backy has good advice on negotiations. Do what feels comfortable for you. That being said, here are a few additional suggestions to keep in mind.

    - For every person who comes into a dealership armed with information and is able to get "invoice" or better, there are 1 or 2 others who will take the MSRP without much question and the salesman makes out. So while you want the salesman to do well, don't go overboard in being too "nice" if you know what I mean. From what I can tell, Hyundai offers a lot of incentives to its dealerships on pure volume--so they are willing to deal on a thin margin because if they hit their volume bogey, Hyundai will give them some incentives (like $400 per car)--so don't worry too much, they will make money from you. Just don't let them take advantage.

    - If at all possible, try not to do the trade in. Try to sell it on your own. It complicates the process as it gives the dealer another margin to negotiate on. To be honest, the salesmen I talk to are usually relieved when I tell them I don't have a trade-in. It allows you to focus on the new car alone and I really think that is the best way to go. Especially considering the value of your car that you mention

    - If at all possible, get pre-approved for a car loan. It usually only takes a phone call to your bank. You get pre-approved. When you get to closing at the dealership, you simply call your bank, give them the specifics (Vin, final selling price) and they will mail you a check. Typically, the dealer will let you take the car home and you just drop the check off when you get it from your bank. (The bank may also send you an open draft check--and you just write it out at the dealership. Pretty simple) Know what your bank's interest rates are and there is a chance the dealer will be able to match or beat the rate so that is always an option. But being pre-approved is simple and takes a lot of stress out of the process

    - Do not negotiate on monthly payments! Negotiate the price of the car. When you negotiate the price, be very clear that you are comparing apples to apples. For example, don't say, "I will offer you $15,000 for the car." Instead, say "I offer you $15,900 out the door" or "I offer you $15,000 plus tax, title, license". Back to monthly payments: In the spreadsheet I did for you, I give you a range of monthly payments you can expect--so you have that info for your own budgeting--but DO NOT get into payments with the sales person.

    - Do not use the TMV as your starting point. The TMV is a good guide but they are not up to date. The best guide is to go to They have dealerships in my area (Maryland/VA) and yours (Florida). They have a real-time stock on-line and they tell you what their "no haggle price" is. They update these prices constantly and this offers a much better ballpark figure since it is so current. For the exact car you are looking for (for one in Maryland), their no-hassle price is $700 below invoice! Print this page out (Stock#H295555) and have it for back-up. The deals in Florida are right about the same

    - There are two charges which vary by region: advertising fees and dealer processing fees. I did not include these in your spreadsheet but they are usually non-negotiable. In VA, the advertising fee is $400 for the Elantra and dealer processing fees are $200+. Just add those in to your final figures--they are considered "legitimate" I think for the most part

    - If you go $700 below invoice, you should be out the door (car, taxes and registration) at about $13,700, plus the possible advertising and processing fees. If you are serious about making a deal, just print the spreadsheet out and say here is my offer. It is a fair tactic and a fair offer in my humble opinion.

    Keep us posted

  • dmarzo1dmarzo1 Posts: 37
    The advertising fees are a little confusing but are usually included in the invoice. Don't offer to pay it unless they bring it up. Just may get a little tricky on what invoice price you are talking about (invoice with the advertising fee versus invoice without the fee?)

    Can discuss with you a bit more via email on how to handle this
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The Elantra is larger inside (because of it's height, like the Focus) than many mid-sized cars. I'm 6'4 and 225 and have more than enough room. It's the most powerful engine in its class and I'm more and more impressed by the total sophistication of the package for the price. This is why Hyundai sales are going through the roof. The Focus, Elantra and Protege were on my final list and I chose the Elantra because of the overwhelming positive comments by owners in forums like this and also the troubling comments from Focus owners on its reliability.

    If you look at owners ratings in Microsoft Carpoint, you'll see that the average owner is happier with the Elantra than other brands such as Civic and Corolla. These cars are being decontented rapidly IMHO and driving a Corolla after an Elantra showed me a big difference in room and quality (of course I haven't seen the '03 yet).

    Having said this, you and your husband have to live with the car. Some people are very status conscious (I strive for value) and for these people owning a Hyundai is not an option at this time. Based on your remarks I doubt if you would be happy with the car no matter how much better than the competition it is (and it is better than the competition).
  • I was going to write exactly what csandste wrote. You can read this whole thread and find many people in love with their Elantras, but if your husband's ego won't even allow a test drive, then you need to move on.
  • beeryr4beeryr4 Posts: 19
    I have several dealers within 50 miles. When my closest dealer wouldn't budge much off MSRP, I called up the others and asked a simple question: "I'm price shopping. Will you sell me an Elantra at invoice?" A couple hemmed and hawed. A couple said Yes. I figure I saved about $1000. But also ask about dealer perks. One dealer who said No also offered free lifetime oil changes. But he was too far away to drive over just for an oil change.

    If your local dealer can come close to the price of a more distant dealer, stick with your local dealer.

    Another thing to possibly do is check the dealers internet sales person. I've heard some are much more willing to give a lower price. If you've already been working with a salesperson from that dealer, be careful about "going behind his/her back".
  • Hi Everyone,
    I am planning to buy 2002 HYUNDAI ELANTRA. Would you please anyone tell me how does it run after 50,000 miles? All I want to know is maintainance wise, how do you rank it?

    Thanks a lot in advance,

  • one other thing i might add is if possible buy your car at the end of the month . you seem to get a better deal because if they are close to the quota they are more willing to move the car it seems . Also i would say do your homework . Look at these boards and see what others have paid . you can get a good average from that and set a price in your head and STAY with it at the dealer . if they want your business they will come down to it . It might take some time but if you go in and say this is what i want to pay and it is within reason they will go to it . I offered 13800 for my gt with only mats , mudflaps and net . i also had a dealer that said they would do it over the phone for 200 over invoice so with that i went into the closes dealer with the offer of 13800 and walk out at 13900 +tax&dmv fees . so just hold your guns and you will be suprised . don't be afraid to walk out either if they won't move .

    colorofspring ,
    I am 5'10" 250 so your hubby might be taller but ummm i bet i am a bit wider :) and i fit nicely . My roommate is 6'3" and he owns the smaller accent and like the heck outta it and it is a smaller car than the elantra.have him go test drive it what can it hurt . Sure he will get it from friends that don't know what they are talking about but when he tells them what it cost they will think twice .

    the new style elantra is only 2 years old so i doubt you will find a person with 50k on it yet . But if this helps i have a 95 Hyundai accent and it had 158k on it . I have yet to have to spend any money on REPAIRS . i have done the needed things (timing belt , water pump , cause they had to take it off to do timing belt so why not change that also ,tires ,front brakes , it still has orginal brakes on rear, oil changes , headlamps , battery , plugs and wires . If the elantra is anything like my accent i think it will be a great car also . I have 700 mile on my gt and luv it . the ride if firm but not hard and man it is a quiet for a little car .
  • hyundaimahyundaima Posts: 197
    This addresses the 2-3 shift slip problem.
  • I as quite surprised that it didn't take too much prodding for my husband to agree to go. He fit in it nicely and we were both pleasantly surprised with the roominess. It drove like... well.... $14,000 car should drive.. and that's not a bad thing! My husband took it on the parkway and said that it accelerated impressively.
    I can't say we'll definitly buy one but my husband is actually CONSIDERING it!!! If we do end up getting one, he'll definitley get reamed by his friends (who drive Expeditions). But I guess we'll be the ones laughing all the way to the bank .. and to the gas station as well.
  • I don't think this has been covered before, but I apologize if it has. Does anyone else think it is funny that all Elantras are "GLS" models? I'm not knocking Hyundai here, folks. I just think it's strange that no matter if you have Package 1 or Package 5, the rear end of them all says "GLS." What if Hyundai changed this to reflect certain trim levels? We all know the difference between a Sonata and a Sonata LX, right? If you pay for Sonata LX, you like knowing that yours can be differentiated from a base just by looking at the rear end. What if a "Package 1"--or base--Elantra was simply called "Elantra?" Then, say, a "Package 3" was known as "Elantra GL"--that way it would be known yours has keyless, cruise and CD. Then a "Package 5" would be an "Elantra GLS"--that way it would be known that yours has ABS and TCS. Package 4 only offers the sunroof over package 3, so make it an option on GL and GLS models. Package 2 is keyless and cruise, so eliminate it as a "trim level" and just go with a GL package 3. I think simplifying the levels could hold costs down because there would be fewer set ups. Maybe I'm alone in this, but it's just a thought.
  • Sure it will let other people know what you paid for it thats about all . As for holding down costs . that it won't it . It would raise costs because you would have to buy all the different markers and change the manual and also raise cost because u would have to set up different spots on the line to add all the new items . But one thing you said was true , it would let others know what you paid . Lets face it you bought a hyundai you didn't pay alot so is status what you want ?
  • If you have 3 levels of Elantras instead of 5, costs would have to drop because you are eliminating 2 levels. Extra cost because you now have to have "GL" labels? Come on. You are using fewer "GLS" labels, and not using one at all on a bunch of cars. It has nothing to do with status--you don't buy an Elantra if you are looking for status. It just shows the trim level. A Sonata is not Sonata GLS is not Sonata LX. An Accord DX is not Accord LX is not Accord EX. A Jetta GL is not a Jetta GLS is not a Jetta GLX. An Elantra package 1 is not an Elantra package 3 and is not an Elantra package 5. Why call them all GLS?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Prior to '99 there were multiple trim levels for the Elantra: a base Elantra without the power features, and the GLS with the power features, nicer stereo etc. Then in '99 Hyundai decided to simplify things and go with one trim line for the Elantra. Since this trim line had equipment comparable to the old GLS trim line, and also comparable to competitors' G-whatever or E-whatever or L-whatever trim lines, they called it the GLS. Makes sense to me. I think multiple trim lines are superfluous given that the GLS costs less than the base trim lines from competitors like Honda and Toyota. Now if they want to add a sports trim line (GTS?), with alloys, the GT's suspension, 4-wheel discs, and maybe the Tiburon's V6, I wouldn't mind. :-)
  • First I want to thank everyone for your input. I used this board back in December of 2000 to purchase my 2001 Elantra. I now have 42,000 miles on it. To answer Neil's question....I love this car. I have not had ANY problems. I have only had the oil changed and tires rotated every 7,000 or so miles. I drive this car 125miles roundtrip 5 days a week to work. I put a K&N (lifetime) air filter and my MPG's increased by 4-5 miles per gallon. . For the record...I have the Automatic,with keyless, alarm, and cruise,mudflaps,and yes...the floormats. I paid $13,500 minus a $500 rebate=$13,000 + tax. I went to the dealership 3 times before they agreed to that price.I also used I would highly recommend them. Very quick approval and a check was overnighted to my house.
  • lokannalokanna Posts: 22
    Good to hear a "Success" story of that milage for one of the newer models. Makes my decision all that more sound.

    Brent, I looked into and found it interesting, however, (without applying), I do know I don't have the *best* of credit and was curious if you (or anyone else for that matter) knew of any online 'second chance' financing sites? I know I've been approved at one of my local Hyundai dealerships for financing, but I know they deal in second chance lenders as well as first class tiers.

    Also, a general question to anyone... When I negotiate the price, I know Tax/title/tags are extra, but generally speaking, how much? I know my sales tax is 7% where I live, so that's an easy number to figure in, but title and tags? I currently have plates on my car now that are up to date, and the title is my own as well, how do I figure these costs, and are they financed as well, or are they extra on top of the downpayment?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (or whatever they call it in Florida) should be able to tell you what the license fee will be. If you call the dealer's business office, or just as the salesperson, they should be able to tell you what the other fees will be (which may include a Documentation fee, typically $25-50).
  • dmarzo1dmarzo1 Posts: 37
    Hope you got spreadsheet okay...Title and tags should not be any more than $50 to $100. If you trade in, you can transfer the tags and it will be even cheaper. You can pay these fees separately or you can roll them into the loan amount--just a matter of personal preference.


  • jyk1981jyk1981 Posts: 37
    I'm guessing that you're living in the Seminole County (since you said the tax is 7%).

    I believe new tag price is about $170
    and transfer is about $75.

    By the way, if you do ive in Seminole county, Don't go to Bob Dance Hyundai, they will rip you off in the finacing office. They add $100 for creadit checking fee without telling, and other stuff.
  • th003gth003g Posts: 149
    please elaborate on this post and what it means?
    thanks in advance
  • Haveing different trim levels would raise overall cost of making the cars . it isn't just the badges . It is the all the other things that go along with it . advertising for the dealers , all the different printed material that would have to be done . thats not even taking into account all the different things that would have to be set up at the factory to produce all the different trim levels . there is alot more into changing a name than just changing the badges on a car . Now you might not agree with me , and you have that right , but i think it would be more costly to do it the way you say .
  • desgdesg Posts: 52
    We have two levels of trim here - GL and GLS.

    From what I see of the US "packages" these are really what I would call accessories rather than trim differences.

    The trim levels here differ not only in features (like no power rear windows in GL, no centre console - things they you really wouldn't or couldn't add as an accessory) but in Engine size 1.8 vs 2.0 and even basic trim materials e.g different seat materials
  • browneybrowney Posts: 104
    Your post #2234 says there is a fix for the 2-3rd shift flare(slip) problem.
    Could you post the specifics about this? (TSB#, dealership that knows of the fix)
  • hyundaimahyundaima Posts: 197
    It's posted on the service web site. Your dealer can download the S/W pack from there.
  • jcaccjcacc Posts: 10
    I just took my 2001 GLS in for its 12,000 check up. No major problems to report. I did have some trouble in extremely cold weather with the lock on the rear driver's side door seizing up, so I had the dealership lubricated it and the next time the temperature dips into the teens, we'll see if it's okay.

    Other than that, I've had a year of no problems. I'm getting about 26 mpg in the city about 31 on the highway with an automatic, package 4. All in all, this car has exceeded my expectations.
  • Two things. First, I was thinking that if they have 5 trim levels now, then going to three would streamline operations and--I would think--reduce costs. Second, I guess a better question would be, why call them aything but Elantra? Since there is only one trim level, why have the GLS name? It makes it look like there is more than one level. It's no big deal. I was sitting behind one at a light and saw the GLS and thought "They're all GLS."
  • well i guess they have a method to there madness. maybe GLS at the end makes them sound better with all the other cars having extentions on them that are sold in america. who knows and your right it is no big deal . all i know is my am very happy with my cars i own that are made by hyundai. so what if coworkers think it is crap . i laugh when they tell me what they paid and see what they got . bang for the buck i think , at least in my mind , they can't be beat . hahahah a guy i work with just bought a 98 fourrunner and paid 19k . so he can pay his 300+ a month and i will stick to my 200 a month payment .
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