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 TravelGirl on Monday, August 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, good on gas"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"My car is a 2013 with only 4,500 miles purchased brand new. My transmission went out three days ago."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Tony on Monday, August 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I traded in Honda civic to get the Elantra sports. Great car packed with punch, style and above all great gas mileage."
11 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Al on Thursday, August 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,010overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best bang for the buck."
Cons: "Standard radio a bit whimpy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Going on three years with my Elantra. I leased it and considering buying it at end of lease or lease another one. This car will get over 43 MPG on the interstate cruising at 65MPH with no AC. It's been very reliable and a sharp looking compact. Interior is roomy and standard equipment is impressive. Great car value. Move over Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla."
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Wendy on Tuesday, August 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price and fun to drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My Hyundai Elantra is fun to drive. It is very functional as it drives well. It has plenty of space inside and is comfortable in front and back seats. Tons of room in the trunk. It has had no operating issues for the 2 years I've owned it. Great car! I would recommend it."
By Rick on Friday, August 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sporty look, Great Price, Great Warranty, Good MPG"
Cons: "Drivers Seat High, Some Cheap Interior Parts, Acc"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"My wife loves the sporty look. I love the price tag, warranty and gas mileage. If I'm being picky: - Drivers seat is too high for taller people. I wouldn't get it if your much over 6 foot. - Some of the Interior looks great, while some parts look / feel a little cheap. (Visor, Center Console....) - Could have a little more go on acceleration. For the money I still think it's a great buy."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Dave on Monday, July 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sporty looking with lots of features."
Cons: "Weak Acceleration and Poor Fuel Economy."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Dependable vehicle. Doesn't live up to appearance. Expected much better fuel economy, getting around 30 mpg on highway. Harsh ride and bump steer. Very poor acceleration on grades and at highway speeds. ECO button worthless. 17 inch tires ride badly, cause drag and are prone to bubbles. Have replaced 3 tires before 35K miles. Small trunk with seat up. Does have spare tire."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful