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 jerry on Saturday, March 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,100overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great overall value for the $."
Cons: "mileage less than hoped. frnt seats uncomfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Traded my much-loved '10 Elantra Touring for this '13 GT cuz the overall deal was too good to pass up. I'm still happy with the new car, but... The EPA #s are over-enthusiastic (perhaps due to how I drive w/ the 6-speed manual trans), but still 4-6 mpg better than those with the '10 Touring (5-speed manual). BTW... I can only imagine what the mpg #s are for the '14 model with the 2.0L motor + manual trans! Both my wife and I are 200+ pounders and the front seats seem to have "collapsed" (ok, so we'll lose some weight). I DO miss all of the glass and outstanding visibility the '10 Touring provided, and which is missing in this '13 GT. The 17" wheels and low profile tires look nice but the tradeoff is a rougher ride. So I have a few complaints - mileage is good, but less than advertised/hoped for; front seats are uncomfortable; all-around visibility suffers in comparison to my '10 Touring model; the ride is a bit "aggressive". But on average I'm still happy with the car. It's "fun" to drive (although I didn't buy a car to "have fun"). It's a "Hyundai", which for me translates into value for the $, quality and reliability. I LOVE the fold-down rear seats (I use the back of the car as a "cargo hauler" a LOT!). The A/C and heating work well for me. I've added 16" wheels and snow tires on all 4 corners for winter driving, and the car performs well in this mode. The interior gizmos (e.g. Sat radio, bluetooth, Bluelink, etc) add some value, but, again, I bought a "car" and not an advanced home entertainment system. All in all... I'll keep it! But I certainly would jump at the chance to buy an "I30" bodied, 160 hp, (true) 40 mpg, AWD, diesel powered Hyundai if one ever became available... but that almost sounds like the little Audi. Oh well."
By Michael C. on Friday, March 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,715overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car, and it is my very first "foreign" badged car. I have been a "Chevy Man" for a long long time, yet when I needed to trade in my 2005 Chevy Malibu Classic, I decided to give this car a try. And oh boy was I impressed! What a car! Let me say that again: WHAT A CAR! Fun to drive. Comfortable. And great looks! Interior design is fantastic, though there are a few "cheap" plastic areas, but all cars of this price range have that. Those areas don't deter from the over-all quality of the car at all. I test drove the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, and Dodge Dart. The Cruze was a bit more comfortable, but not by much and not enough to sway me. The Focus and Dart were both rather smallish feeling in comparison. I also test drove the Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, and Chrysler 200, and though all were out of my price range, they didn't feel THAT much better than the Elantra considering the price difference. All-in-all, I must say, Hyundai has themselves a very good car here, and if you are looking for something that sips gas, drives great, looks fantastic and is very comfortable along with the feeling of solid safety, the Hyundai Elantra is a great choice!"
By stayloose on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Hard to think of one??"
Cons: "Too many to list!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Engine has a tapping when cold even with synthetic oil!Front of car bounces [bad] left and right over any small bump in road.Feels out of control [bad]!!Lied to me about gas mileage,would not have bought the car."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By AL in Texas City on Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, good value, good mpg, safe, comforta"
Cons: "there is no spare tire, only an air pump."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my new Elantra. I got a great end of year deal and got 38mpg on the first tank of gas. The front driver and passenger areas are roomy and comfortable.I feel safe driving my grandchildren through Houston traffic. It has amazing handling and a very small turning ratio-I can turn and park in spaces that I wouldn't have tried in my old car. My 11 gallon tank has a 400+ mile range. I am looking forward to taking a trip this summer."
By rk on Friday, February 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Cons: "no spare tire"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"great car ... great milage ... but very disappointed there is no spare tire that comes with the car ..."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Mr Bill on Friday, February 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quality build, sporty, fun to drive !"
Cons: "Needs a bit more power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my 2013 in September, I had just test drove a new Civic so that experience was in my mind. Hyundai a few discounts and rebates so I got a $ 4000.00 off the sticker, making it a great value. I love the car, it is fun to drive, the hatchback is a real convenience, and it is sporty and stands out on the road. I put on an after market bra to protect the front of hood and that really gives it a special look. The engine does have to work a bit climbing upgrades and getting to 65 MPH, but I noticed that a larger 2.0 engine is now standard in the 2014 model. Lastly, the mileage is not close to 40 mpg, but when I keep my RPMs low and use mid grade gas I am getting 35 mpg on the hwy and 30 mpg around town. Over all, this is a quality car and fun to drive. If you are looking for a pocket rocket, there are many out there but you will pay twice what I paid for my Elantra GT"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful