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 Tom on Thursday, December 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "is fun to drive, performance peppy, mileage great!"
Cons: "somewhat rough ride on less than smooth pavement"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Like the car and its features a lot, esp. the heated seats and bluetooth. Only derogatory comment is bit of a rough ride on anything but smooth pavement. On smooth pavement the ride is just that-very smooth. Car is also very quiet!"
By Jim on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price , MPG , Workmanship , Great looks."
Cons: "None to date"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Having owned a 2012 Accent( which I loved ) got a great black Friday deal on an Elantra. Got around 40 MPG on my Accent and never any problems Hyundai really impressed us and wasn't sure if I wanted to trade up , but the Elantra is even better. On two road trips I averaged 44MPG at 65-70MPH . So far around town looks like about 35 . It is a very quite car with great ride and looks . Power is good but not a race car . I am very pleased and have never bought two cars of same make in row before . I'm really impressed with Hyundai and I don't impress easily. Can only think a couple of reviewers before me must work for Toyota."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Funnychik on Monday, December 08, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Pros: "Great handling, awesome body style, cool dash"
Cons: "Gas mileage, weak stereo, expensive warranty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I owned a brand new 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe but had to sell it due to financial issues. Drove it for almost 2 years and I absolutely LOVED this car! It handled so nicely, the car was well equipped and comfortable, paint was beautiful, and the trunk was crazy roomy with a large opening to fit big boxes and furniture into! My only complaints: gas mileage I got was way low to what was indicated on the sticker price and by the dealer. It was supposed to get up to 37 highway. I worked 52 highway miles from home and I never got better than 29mpg. Very disappointing. Also, the stereo was on the cheap side, volume wouldn't go up beyond what I call a "loud for an old woman" level. I wasn't seeking a booming system but I would have liked to crank up my fave tunes and actually feel like they were cranked! Lastly, Hyundai offers a 10 yr, 100K warranty but the things they require you to replace and maintain at OWNER expense was kind of ridiculous. For example, they have an air cabin filter in the vehicle the requires changing at 12K miles. Why? I don't smoke. I don't manufacture pollution inside the vehicle. But I had to replace it to maintain the warranty. Kinda crazy. And you have to BUY your own spare tire for the vehicle and it's not even a full size spare! $300! But .... I loved the car. I am actually in better financial shape now and I am on my way to look at another Elantra Coupe, this one used. (Hyundai stupidly discontinued the Coupe after just 2 years.) SO all in all, I would recommend the car, but expect some things you might be disappointed in!"
4 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Rocky10 on Sunday, December 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Cons: "Too many to list here. Pay a little more and get s"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Fit and finish CHEAP. Its like trying to drive an ice skate, in the Winter. Noisy, poor ride, handling is awful"
3 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By disappointed on Friday, November 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Cons: "no rear windshield wipers"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Horrible paint job, scratches with ease, Interior feels like cheap plastic. Only had this car for 8 months. Feels like it is ready to fall apart. Will never buy a Hyundai again.."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By gofaster24 on Monday, November 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Upgraded from an Accent hatchback and it was a great decision. Handles well and the ride is comfortable. Have not taken a long trip in it, so not sure how the comfort would be in that regard. Gets better than expected gas mileage and even better (at least 5 mpg) if you can find and use ethanol free gas. Plus, keeps the engine cleaner. Great car for the price. If you are thinking about getting one...get it."
6 people out of 10 found this review helpful