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 Disappointed on Thursday, July 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The car had problems since the first week I drove it. It handled well in the snow with the manual overdrive, however, good luck trying to drive more than 25 mph and hitting a bump in the road. *Every time that happens the car would jolt over into the other lane. VERY scary! *I have had to buy 2 new tires on the same front left side of the car in under 6000 miles! The balance of the car is terrible and they refused to cover the first one at 3000 miles. *My rear window defroster interfered with my FM radio an issue unheard of on "new" cars. *I average 13 MILES PER GALLON! 13!!! What a shame this car sounded great until you buy it and realized everyone else fell for the same trick!"
By Bill on Sunday, July 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,300overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"So many defects. Paint ,plastic ,doors and trunk not lined up. My car start leak after 1000 miles. Warranties its fiction .You going to a Diller to fix under warranties but They found the reason don't do it."
3 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Rick on Sunday, July 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "lots of room. front and back."
Cons: "lousy blue tooth and gas mileage. dealership stink"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"The blue tooth system in this model is awful. I t has never work properly from the 6th month on. would not recommend this car because of this reason and the gas mileage has dropped from 30 to 25 miles to the gallon. very disgusting. for these 2 reason I have decided to sell."
By LBM on Friday, July 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice interior and good turning radius"
Cons: "Cheaply made, lousy mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Pros: Interior is comfortable, looks nice, and controls are arranged well. Handles nicely, good turning radius. It's roomier that one would expect in a small car. Infant car seat fits very easily and securely. Climate control is slow but works OK once it's at the right temperature. Cons: Bought the car at 30,000 miles. Transmission failed at 36,000. Rough ride when pavement is not perfectly smooth. Mileage is very low for a new, small car--25.5 mpg. Pick-up is very slow, especially at lower speeds (5 to 35 mph), so in the hilly area I live, a lot of gas is wasted just getting started. I think the difficulty in cooling the interior and need to have the AC high for a long period may also cut into the mileage. In Hyundai forums, the people who get good mileage live in flat, open areas with straight highways. The body is very cheaply constructed. The price seems reasonable, but the product is cheaply made, so it's really overpriced for what you get. Hyundai dealerships are few and far between, so getting the car fixed can be a hassle. It also takes a long time to get parts; my transmission took six days to replace. I've heard the parts have to come from Korea."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By TheNutjob on Friday, July 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I've owned this car for one year and I really like it. The exterior of the vehicle looks great - very sporty and shines beautifully when waxed. The interior is so-so. You can tell Hyundai skimped on the interior due to the cheap plastic it's made from. It has modern features such as bluetooth compatibility, SiriusXM radio and USB ports. There's a lot of room even though the car looks small. My brother is 6'3 and had no issues sitting comfortably. Mileage is about 28 city and 32 highway. I have a bit of a lead foot so it could be higher. There are blind spots on the left and right corners of the driver's side windshield which are pretty severe. Also the front windshield and back window fogs up very easily. In the winter I had to keep the defroster on all the time. Even in the summer I found myself turning it on early in the morning. The handling is responsive and pickup is more than enough for passing on the highway. The car gets pushed around easily, however. And any tiny bump in the road jerks the car around. The engine constantly makes a ticking noise. I've noticed this on all the Hyundai models I've driven. Despite its flaws this car has good gas mileage, looks great and is fun to drive around."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Alexis on Friday, June 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great MPG"
Cons: "Not all windows are auto"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Comfortable to drive and gets awesome gas mileage. People are always surprised at how big the trunk is. I love my car. Going to keep it for a long time!"
15 people out of 29 found this review helpful