Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Compact Car Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000
Go

2008 Hyundai Elantra

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Hyundai Elantra Review

By

The 2008 Hyundai Elantra carries over largely unchanged form a major redo last year. The spacious and fuel-efficient Elantra can comfortably and safely pack in a family of five and its cargo. From front to rear, the 2008 Elantra's sharp styling, roomy interior and quality-conscious engineering qualifies this fourth-generation version as a fully contemporary yet affordable sedan.

You'll Like This Car If...

You'll like this car if high mileage is a must and regular is your gasoline of choice; its 25/33 city/highway EPA fuel economy numbers trump the Volkswagen Rabbit's, for example. If safety is your issue, the 2008 Hyundai Elantra offers front, side-impact and side-curtain airbags, plus antilock brakes (ABS), as standard equipment.

You May Not Like This Car If...

You may not like this car (at least with the manual transmission) if your daily drive demands constant gear shifting, as the five-speed does not have the smoothest operation in our experience.

What's New for 2008

The SE Premium plus leather package replaces last year's Limited trim. The SE also receives electronic stability control and brake assist, while a tire pressure monitoring system is now standard on all models.

Driving the Elantra

Driving Impressions Zippy little engines are no longer a surprise in economy cars, but the Elantra's 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, 138-horsepower Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) 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 wheel's left side, the flush-mounted buttons for Volume, Seek and Mode are within easy reach.

Ample Trunk
The generously-sized trunk stretches into the car and, with the 60/40-split rear seat folded down, the space is even larger.

2008 Hyundai Elantra Details
Interior

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 seat splits 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 Hyundai Azera. 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In addition to the front, side-impact and side-curtain airbags, all 2008 Hyundai Elantras feature anti-lock brakes (ABS) with four-wheel discs, active front head restraints, remote keyless entry, power locks and windows and heated power mirrors. The SE's generous list of standard equipment includes air conditioning, tilt/telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, fog lights, rear window defroster, alloy wheels and a 172-watt sound system with XM Satellite Radio. Standard safety features for the SE include Electronic Stability Control and Brake Assist.

Optional Equipment

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. Other options on the SE include a power sunroof, heated seats and leather seating surfaces. On the GLS, options include cruise control, fog lights, 172-watt sound system with XM Satellite Radio, illuminated vanity mirrors and extendable shades on the front sunvisors.

Under the Hood

A competent 2.0-liter super-clean engine powers the Elantra and scores 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: 24/33 (manual), 25/33 (automatic)

2.0-liter in-line 4 (PZEV)
132 horsepower @6000 rpm
133 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Hyundai Elantra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 432 Ratings for the 2007 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

decent car for the money good on fuel

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "affordable good on gas"

Cons: "cabin is oddly set up not great for short folks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"this car has been very reliable having had only a wheel bearing go bad at the age of 6. sway bar links were bad also but i blame our bad roads. otherwise this car has been trouble free. it has gone from ri to florida a couple times and virginia a few times. you really cant beat the gas mileage this car gets on the highway."

Very reliable and good in the snow.

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage, handles nice, comfortable ride."

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Owned a 99 Corolla before this and it is comparable in size, handling and comfort. Automatic with cruise control, overhead lighting, lighted visors, ergonomic comfort controls, comfortable seats, stylish interior with everything within reach. Owned this since new and have only done regular maintenance to it. Great little car and very reliable though it is a bit sluggish on an uphill climb, but nothing that you wouldn't expect from a small engine."

Ignore 1 star reviews

By on Thursday, April 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, Excellent Handling, Sturdy, Affordable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The short: Engine= good power; Handling= steady and quick; MPG= average 28-30, even in rush hour; Interior= not cheap, though plastic/vinyl it is sturdy and appealing; Treat your car well and it will last for a long time. I expect this car to easily surpass 250,000 miles in its lifetime. The long: I bought this car about 2 years ago at 55,000 miles. It had one previous owner. Back then it was about $10,000 after negotiation. I'm very pleased with it. The car has never had any problem. I do all the servicing myself and keep the oil regular at 5,000 miles. I changed the manufacturer spark plugs after I bought it; it could have gone several thousand more miles. At 75,000 I changed the transmission fluid and timing belt. The fluid needed changed, but the transmission itself is still flawless. The timing belt was fine. The belt could have waited till 100,000. I performed all of the other maintenance in the manual. I see other vehicles that are hard to service and that fall apart, but this is not one of them. The owners usually are responsible for breaking the car. So, you'd be better off ignoring the 1 star reviews."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Best Car

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "If you take care of it, it will take care of you!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"One of the best cars I have owned. Never a problem. The only thing I've had to do is replace the battery (it was 5 years old)."

fantastic car

By on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fantastic mileage. quiet ride"

Cons: "radio needs to be rebooted periodically"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"bought it new Now at 104,000 miles and have not spent one cent on repairs. Maintenance only. Changed timing belt, water pump and plugs at 80,000. All looked like new."

biggest pain in the rear

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,200

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Cons: "transmission issues, power window issues, etc."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I dislike this car. I will NEVER own another Hyundai. I had to replace the transmission after a year and a half and I am having problems with the transmission again already and it is less than a year since I had it replaced."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?