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2009 Hyundai Elantra

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2009 Hyundai Elantra Review

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A value-packed and inexpensive alternative to the segment-leading Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, the 2009 Hyundai Elantra makes a great first (or even second) car. The spacious and fuel-efficient Elantra can comfortably and safely pack in a family of four (five in a pinch) and its cargo. From front to rear, the 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 2009 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. Also,the Hyundai's resale values are nowhere near Toyota or Honda.

What's New for 2009

Changes are limited to a new audio system with larger display, USB and iPod auxiliary inputs and an enhanced suspension.

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 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 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.

2009 Hyundai Elantra Details
2009 Hyundai Elantra photo 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 2009 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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2009 Hyundai Elantra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 446 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

500,000 miles - Here I come!

By on Saturday, April 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 240,500

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"I have 240,000 miles on my 2010 Elantra. Very Reliable. My commute is 182 highway miles. I drive 40,000 miles per year. I change the oil every 10,000 miles. Either Mobil 1 or Amsoil- their best synthetic."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Bought wife a 2013 Elantra I loved it so much !

By on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

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"

Cons: "None"

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

"Can't say enough wonderful things about this auto. Best decision I ever made. So much more interior than you'd expect with a compact sedan. As mentioned above, bought my wife the new 2013 Elantra when it came out. She loves hers, as well !"

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I've owned

By on Wednesday, February 03, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 182,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliability, owner cost, mpg"

Cons: "some wind noise, no lumbar in driver seat"

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

"Bought my Elantra brand new. I'm a traveling nurse and needed something reliable and easy on gas. I put over 20k miles a year on my car. It has never broke down or left me stranded. I have done nothing but the maintenance the owners manual suggests. This by far is the cheapest car to maintain that I've owned. It's great on gas and has the pick up when you need it. I put good winter tires on mine and it handles winter weather with no problem. I never planned on owning it past 100k miles, but now it's more of a mission on seeing how long this car will go. I feel completely comfortable driving this car all over the country."

13 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Great condition car, 2008 HY Elantra, great on gas

By on Sunday, November 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Value, easy to drive, sun roof!"

Cons: "A couple scrapes"

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

"2008 Hyundai Elantra, looking to get best deal for trade in. Tires and brakes were repaired in the past few years. No ongoing concern. Loved it as first car out of college, just ready for something new."

14 people out of 25 found this review helpful

good little car. No major pro.

By on Friday, October 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good little car for the money"

Cons: "trunk unlocks, not noticeable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"The only thing that bugs me about the car was the electronic trunk opener. If you happen to press the trunk button on the key fob, the trunk opens. Duh, yeah but... The problem is that the trunk door doesn't open much. It's quite easy to miss that it's open, by just looking at the car. I don't drive much, so especially in winter, I'd get a dead battery for not noticing that the trunk is unlocked. If, unlocked, the trunk door rose about an inch or more to be noticeable; it would solve that problem."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Very Reliable Car

By on Friday, October 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reliability, Great value"

Cons: "Tires"

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

"Bought the car new after my Corolla was totaled. this is a much heavier car than the corolla so I feel safer in this car and I still get 28 mpg. Only problems with it to date was a broken sun visor and 2 wheel speed sensors. It has been the most reliable I ever Owned."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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