By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.5
For years Hyundai was dogged by a negative reputation for sub-par vehicles, but the Korean manufacturer has turned the corner and drastically improved its image by producing higher-quality and more appealing products like the 2011 Elantra. Often costing about a thousand dollars less than similarly equipped versions of the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra, the Elantra is an exceptional value with a host of standard features, one of the best warranties on the market and an EPA rating of 40 mpg on the highway. For 2011, the Elantra has been redesigned and sports a style that is sure to steal some attention away from the category leaders.
If you're looking for a compact sedan with a sporty design, excellent fuel economy and loads of safety and tech features at a lower cost than comparably-equipped competitors, then the Hyundai Elantra should be on your test-drive list.
If you don't hang on to your vehicles for a long time, the Hyundai Elantra might not be the right choice for you. Although its 36-month residual value is on par with the gold-standard Honda Civic, the Elantra loses its value faster over time and falls behind the Civic after five years - meaning you will get less on your trade when it's time to buy a new car.
The 2011 Hyundai Elantra ups the ante in the compact-car segment by offering 40 mile-per-gallon fuel economy at a price lower than many of its competitors.
Driving Impressions The Hyundai Elantra may not be the sportiest car in its class, but it is still fun to drive. You can feel enough of a connection to the road that...you wouldn't mind putting it through the paces on a curvy weekend drive, but you also won't feel every pothole or road imperfection, making it a great daily commuter car. Steering is just right, and the turning radius is one of the best in its class - which helps in crowded parking lots. Our one caveat is that the engine can get a little buzzy when pushed on a grade or on the highway, but the shifts are smooth and the minor engine noise is a small price to pay for the savings you'll see at the gas pump.
Heated Rear Seats
The 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited offers not only heated leather seats in front, but also in the rear - a feature practically unheard of in anything less than a luxury vehicle.
It's true that with the onslaught of smart phones having a navigation system in your car is less of a priority, but Hyundai integrates the seven-inch screen so well into the Elantra's instrument panel (and includes a rearview camera) that we would spend the extra money to get the optional package.
The Hyundai Elantra's interior is nicely appointed and, although plastic can be found on nearly every surface of the cabin, the style is functional and well-done. The Elantra's gauges and center-stack controls are very user-friendly and the integration of the optional navigation system is one of the best we've seen. The 2011 Hyundai Elantra also features 43.6 inches of front legroom, allowing even tall people to stretch their legs. In back, passengers have equally robust legroom, but headroom is a different story. Since the exterior design of the cabin roof slopes to the rear quite a bit, back-seat passengers over six feet tall might find themselves hitting the headliner. Trunk space is larger than most competitors (only bested by the Chevrolet Cruze) and 60/40 split-folding rear seats make it easy to transport bulky items.Exterior
The 2011 Hyundai Elantra looks sporty, with a sculptured fascia and an aggressively sweeping shoulder line. Competitors offer less-flashy styling, giving the Elantra sedan a leg up in terms of aesthetics. The GLS rides on 15-inch steel wheels while 16-inch alloys are optional. Moving up to the Limited adds athletic 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and turn signals on the body-color heated power mirrors.
The 2011 Hyundai Elantra's base GLS trim level comes with the essentials and more, including a six-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, power accessories, tilt steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seats and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system with Satellite radio and USB/auxiliary input jacks. The Elantra includes an impressive array of standard safety equipment, including six airbags, electronic stability and traction controls, Electronic Brake-force Distribution and a remote keyless entry anti-theft system with panic button.
Opting for the up-level Limited trim adds a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC, 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls and leather seats. Packages available for the GLS include a Preferred Equipment Package, which adds Bluetooth, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 16-inch alloy wheels; and a Navigation Package, which adds a seven-inch navigation screen, automatic headlamps and a rearview camera. The Limited can be equipped with the Premium Package, which features remote push-button start, navigation, a rearview camera and automatic headlamps.
The only engine offered in the 2011 Hyundai Elantra is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that produces 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. It can be matched with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC for those drivers who want to shift their own gears on occasion. We had the opportunity to drive both the manual and automatic Elantras and found both drivetrains have their virtues. The manual transmission shifts smoothly and easily and would make a solid choice if you wanted to save the $2,000 premium that the automatic adds to the bottom line. The automatic provides sure shifts, and if you want to shift your own gears, the SHIFTRONIC system is easy to use.
1.8-liter in-line four cylinder
148 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
131 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/40 (manual), 29/40 (automatic)
By Bluebird on Friday, September 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had my Elantra a little over 3 years. I have had to real issues with this car. I love the Bluetooth feature on my car. Handling is great. As I am not a speed demon, I average 41 mpg highway and even as high as 45.6mpg on long distance trip! In city driving will average me 30 mpg. I love my Elantra!"
By Bluesman on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "alot of car for the money"
Cons: "steering is a little tight at first"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I purchased this car because it was advertised as a compact with a midsize interior. I searched the web for the best compact cars for 20 thousand or less and Ford had 2 on the list of 10 cars and being a ford man I tried them both and being a big guy felt like I was stuffed into the car and was not only uncomfortable it was hard to get in and out of. I went to the Elantra dealer and I was surprised at how much car I got for the money plus the 100000 mile warranty and all the feature sold me. One thing turned me off and that was how tight the steering was but I went with it hoping I would get use to it but I didn't have to after about 8-10K miles it smoothed out and I love a lot of the features like the automatic transmission it is a great car-I love it!!!!!"
7 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By bud on Monday, September 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "good mileage, gps, bluetooth. ride"
Cons: "road noise, sun reflects on display"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought it for the design and mileage. I have receieved compliments on how it looks.It is like a sports car, and the get up and go satisfies me. Mileage is good in the 35 to 40 range on the highway. 26 to 31 range in city driving. It saves me money."
11 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Tbone on Thursday, September 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The car rides & handles well. With the ECO button on the car gets very sluggish when accelerating and the gas mileage instead of better-- is Worse!! The front passenger seat is low to the ground with no controls to adjust it. The seat bottom slants a lot from front to back. This needs to be a power seat to make it comfortable. This is really bad for anyone with lower back problems! If I had thought to sit in this seat before purchasing the car, this would have been a deal breaker."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By 48explorer on Tuesday, September 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Delivers as advertised. Competent and reliable."
Cons: "Road noise, ride - noticeable, not terrrible."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Only issues have been with the low profile tires provided on the Limited model. I've had to replace two of the Hanook originals and repaired a third. Replacement Michelins have had no issues. No other quality or warranty issues or repairs. A bit noisy and bouncy, but I'm ok with that considering the MPG and reliability. Overall average mpg has been 32-33 for the 45k miles driven. For the money, it is a great car."
14 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By Dumbfounded on Sunday, August 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I am in shock. I wanted to move over to a SUV only to find I am several thousand dollars in the whole with this. I knew it would depreciate a little but not like this. Great on gas mileage but I have found it to not be dependable in the winter and very undependable to hold a stable value. I have done my homework and will probably not go this route in the future. Hard lesson to learn and I have a few years that I am going to have to eat this . . .disturbing to say the least."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful