By KBB.com Editors
As part of Hyundai's program to update or introduce several new models, from its flagship Azera to the entry-level Accent and a luxury sedan coming in 2008, the Korean manufacturer has rejuvenated and revitalized its mid-size Elantra four-door sedan. For 2007 it's been given a high priority on safety, and it's now a spacious, fuel- and budget-conscious car that can comfortably pack in a family of five and its cargo. From front to rear, the Elantra's new styling, interior and engineering qualifies this fourth-generation version as a fully contemporary and economical sedan, and it's available in three trim levels: basic GLS, sporty SE and upscale Limited.
You'll like this car if high mileage is a must and regular is your gasoline of choice; its 28/36 city/highway EPA fuel economy numbers trump the Volkswagen Rabbit's, for example. If safety is your issue, the Elantra offers front, side-impact and side-curtain airbags, plus antilock brakes (ABS), as standard equipment.
You may not like this car if your daily drive demands constant gear shifting, as the SE's five-speed manual transmission tends to be notchy.
This year's Elantra is taller and wider than its predecessor, with more space than the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. Challenging competitors for price, value and quality, the Elantra has a new chassis, many appealing features as standard equipment and it's included on the "Greenest Vehicles of 2007" list of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
Driving Impressions Zippy little engines are no longer a surprise in economy cars, but the SE's 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, 138-horsepower CVVT ULEV engine, teamed with the five-speed transmission, is particularly impressive, especially on...uphill climbs. Quieter than one might expect, engine noise is drowned out by wind and tire noise when the windows are rolled down. Ride and performance are average, with handling far more responsive than the previous version. A comfortable car to drive, the Elantra feels secure and reliable, and its owners will likely appreciate its straight-forward predictability and control.
Audio System Controls
Steering wheel-mounted audio controls are a huge convenience and are standard with the Elantra SE. Nestled neatly into the left side of the wheel, the flush-mounted buttons for Volume, Seek and Mode are within easy reach.
The generously-sized trunk stretches into the car and, with the 60/40-split rear seat folded down, the space is even larger.
The interior is comfortable, functional and spacious, with well-padded seating, but not necessarily an example of modern style. The SE's somewhat dated-looking velvety seat fabric, the instrument panel with its expanses of plastic and the over-designed door panels appear a little old-fashioned. Otherwise, the roominess, headroom and rear-seat legroom are welcome in a car of this size, the trunk is exceptionally deep and large, the rear seats split 60/40 for added convenience and an auxiliary jack and power outlet allow for plug-in accessories.Exterior
The impressive exterior styling, with its clean lines and sculpted body sides, borrows design characteristics from the larger and more expensive Azera. With increased width, the 2007 Elantra has a wider stance than the 2006 model, and the short decklid covers a generous trunk. Prominent among the pleasing exterior appearance features is the grille, with three horizontal bars, finely integrated headlights and a two-bar air duct with corner lamps.
The SE's generous list of standard equipment includes air conditioning, tilt/telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, remote keyless entry with alarm, power locks/windows/mirrors, a sunglass holder and rear window defroster. In addition to the front, side-impact and side-curtain airbags, other safety features include anti-lock brakes (ABS) with four-wheel discs, active head restraints and available fog lights.
If carpeted floor mats are all you want to add, you'll pay just a little extra for them, but most buyers will likely want the four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and lockup torque converter, as well. The only other options on the SE are a power sunroof and heated seats. On the GLS model, the optional cruise control also includes fog lights. Optional on the Limited is a more powerful audio system, and XM satellite radio is available on all three trim levels.
A competent 2.0-liter super-clean engine powers all three Elantra models, scoring high on the EPA's Green Vehicle Guide. The combination of Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and dual overhead camshafts gives the engine a very broad power spread, coupled with high fuel efficiency and low emissions. The manual transmission helps get the most out of the engine.
2.0-liter in-line 4 (ULEV)
138 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
136 lb.-ft of torque @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/36 (manual and automatic)
2.0-liter in-line 4 (PZEV)
132 horsepower @6000 rpm
133 lb.-ft of torque @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/36 (automatic)
By darryl on Monday, October 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "workmanship and quality"
Cons: "Noise and comfort"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Good, reliable car. Ride is a little noisy, comfort is fair to good. Quality and workmanship is good. No engine problems. Good pep for a car with this mileage"
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Bliggs on Saturday, October 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value for your $$"
Cons: "Back seat is a little cramped. Not much leg room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love my Elantra! Best bang for you $$ on the road!! Gets great gas mileage, has decent acceleration, and is a relatively quiet ride. Very satisfied customer! Thank you Hyundai!"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By MrApple on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,750overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very peppy, 5spd man, easy to handle, economical."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought with 13k miles and have used it as a commuter, first for a 30mile round trip car and now a 100 mile rt car. Never had any issues other than body damage in a low impact fender bender, which was repaired, with the exception of a parking lot dent in right rear fender. This is my most favorite personal car and I am 55. Cold A/C, XM equipped, auxiliary jack and about 35mpg on my hwy commute. I need a 4wd so I am replacing this one."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Kesh on Saturday, September 20, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Traded in for a new car
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I owned it for seven years and it never gave any troubles. Only thing I did was change oil and filter. I only put about 3000 miles per year. I once drove it from SC to CO and it behaved very beautifully, and I enjoyed the ride and the drive. Used less than 50 gallons of gas for 1600 miles of drive."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By NolaMom on Thursday, August 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Mechanically holding up well"
Cons: "Interior, exterior quality is lacking"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"This car has been solid mechanically. However, it lacks comfortable seating and things in the interior break rather easily. The door handles peeled leaving sharp edges that cut my son. I just peeled all the silver off instead of investing in new handles. Covers in the corner of the windows have fallen off. Small things like that have happened on this car that I never experienced when I owned other vehicles. The car shimmies when I go over 60. I have had everything checked. Apparently this car isn't designed to cruise well on the interstate. But it is a good basic car if you are budget conscious."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By leonardjf on Friday, July 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very reliable, well-built, good value"
Cons: "Mediocre handling, no ESC in the GLS model"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I purchased my 2008 Elantra GLS in January 2009 for under $15,000. For the price, I expected a good car, but my Elantra has been extremely reliable. It had no "from the factory" defects, and I've had no mechanical problems since then. Other than a minor fender-bender on ice, the only work that's been done to the car has been routine maintenance. The car's not perfect--handling is "meh," and I'm sorry that I allowed the salesperson to convince me not to buy the SE model with Electronic Stability Control, which would have enabled me to avoid the fender-bender."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful