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2008 Hyundai Elantra

Overview
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2008 Hyundai Elantra Review

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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)

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2008 Hyundai Elantra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 422 Ratings for the 2007 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

This car was near bulletproof

By on Saturday, February 21, 2015

I don't own this car

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Mileage,reliability, incredible heater and AC,"

Cons: "Noisy, not the best in snow, trunk space is small,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I had this for a company car for 2 years. It had 100k miles on it when I took it over. I racked another 154k onto it. Only oil changes. No other manufacturer maintenance. Aside from rear shock breakdown which led to rear tires cupping prematurely, due to continuously having 60-70lbs of equipment in the trunk, this car was flawless. I had no other issues or breakdowns. Interior noise is a little high, the driver seat was getting a little uncomfortable due to the high mileage but otherwise everything else on this car was incredible. I'd have never chosen a Hyundai previously but this car changed my mind. Great vehicle."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Dependable, low cost off ownership, keeper

By on Friday, February 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Low cost of ownership, dependable, looks good"

Cons: "Could have a bit more power but it has not been a"

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

"I have taken good care of the car and it has taken care of me. Reliable, low cost of ownership and it still looks good and runs like new after 125000.00 miles. I'm still getting my money's worth. Used it for business for a couple years and now use it in retirement."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

What a reliable hunk-a-chunk

By on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 184,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Cost of ownership, durability"

Cons: "easily stained cloth (grey),"

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

"Hi there, I was checking the value of my elantra online and thought I'd leave a review. I purchased my 2008 Hyundai Elantra with 31k on the clock in 2011. It was a previous rent-a-car but I wasn't too scared, I needed a reliable, fuel efficient vehicle in a pinch. I paid too much, 13k. Now let me tell you, I've done nothing but consumables (brakes, tires, wipers, batteries, and oil changes between 4k-10k miles apart. Rarely was I not at full throttle or taking it through fields or hopping curbs and whatnot. This car refused to complain, breakdown, anything. I didn't do the timing belt (recommended at 60k), or any other fluid flushes (oil only). The motor finally broke (spun a bearing and a broken rod or something like that) Guess what, used motor with 51k for $600, $800 labor including fluids, timing belt, etc. to install and I expect to be back on the road this Friday. The car cleans up pretty well too. It's not a prestigious vehicle but I've been pretty darn lucky and can't wait to get another 180k+ out of this motor. Wish me luck. Oh, the interior plastic bits haven't held up too well, the knick knack holder above the radio stays open, the sunglasses holder drops down randomly, and passenger side sunvisor doesn't like to stay put but there's a good chance that my abuse and the Florida sun didn't help them either. Have a great day!!!"

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Very good value and reliability, Ride needs imp.

By on Monday, October 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

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"

13 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Excellent value

By on Saturday, October 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

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!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Perfect commuter. 34-36mpg hwy.

By on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,750

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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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

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