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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
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 437 Ratings for the 2007 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Very reliable

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 185,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price, comfort, reliability"

Cons: "Can be sluggish on hills,"

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

"I'm the original owner and have only done regular maintenance and I have more than 185,000 miles on it. I have never had any major problems or issues. I have just done tune-ups, changed my belts and change my oil regularly. The only problem is I have had to buy tires more often than any other car I've own. I would buy this type of car again and would recommend it."

reliable and roomy!

By on Friday, July 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "easy and fun to drive! roomy!"

Cons: "some road noise."

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

"We bought this car at the 45k mark, it has 113k. Its a manual 5 spd. Has really good power, for a 4 cylinder, hugs the tight curves really well. It does have a bit of road noise in the front, but thr radio volume assends as you go faster, so its not bad, really. Plenty of storage in the trunk, you'd be surprised! Roomy in the backeeat. now, we have done regular oil changes, and outside of tires, NOTHING ELSE! We are overdue to change the timing belt, its on our list, for next week. They recommend it at about 68k. This is an extremely good midsize car for the value, and the reliability is outstanding! Not to mention, great gas mileage! Really all around great car, and affordably priced."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great car, nearly maintenance free

By on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, good value, great gas mileage"

Cons: "Tachs high when climbing."

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

"I am puzzled by the negative reviews on this car. Mine will roll 90,000 by the end of the week, and it's been a dream to drive. I have replaced nothing but tires, brakes, bulbs, filters, etc. After years of very heavy use, my Bluetooth connection is a little shaky sometimes. Position 3 on the heat/AC fan control doesn't work and the passenger window motor is also getting a little iffy. I haven't even attempted to fix these minor things, so I can't speak to the cost, but I should also point out that I haven't had a full service done on the vehicle since it was less than a year old!"

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Seems to have hea problems

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
3/10

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

"Trim and other problems with the car. I am avoiding buying another one of these again. They also do not stand behind their warranty"

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Worst vehicle that I have ever purchased.

By on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Would never purchase this brand of car again!!"

Cons: "Waste of money!! Going today to get a new car."

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

"This is a cheaply made car. Was told by dealership that different items on the car, would have to be purchased regularly. Must spend $700.00 for a timing belt. Door handles have been recalled, etc, Very poor made car. I have done all maintenance and oil changes as suggested."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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."

15 people out of 26 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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