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2012 Hyundai Elantra

Overview
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2012 Hyundai Elantra Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra continues to offer the consumer a tremendous value, combining elegant good looks, a long list of standard equipment and an industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. At up to 38 mpg/highway for both automatic and manual transmision models, the Elantra sedan can help you go farther between fill-ups. The Hyundai Elantra Touring wagon, however, is carried over from the 2011 model year – looks and all – but continues to offer roomy versatility in addition to value.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your price range says economy car, but your taste says sleek and stylish, the 2012 Hyundai Elantra may very well be the answer to your dilemma. Looking somewhat like a miniaturized Hyundai Sonata, the 2012 Hyundai Elantra sedan definitely outclasses just about everything in its segment, yet its low price, feature-laden standard-equipment list and large interior defy the compact-car image.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a small car that is more sporty than smooth, the 2012 Hyundai Elantra may not be the best choice. A Mazda3 and Ford Focus may deliver superior driving experiences, but neither can match the Hyundai Elantra's impressive equipment list or lengthy warranty.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra compact sedan gains Hyundai's ActiveECO system that modifies engine and transmission controls for maximum fuel economy and smoothness. All Elantra models get recalibrated steering systems for better on-center feel, while cars equipped with the GLS Preferred Package gain fog lights and a passenger-side sun-visor extension, as well as a rear cargo cover and premium cloth interior on Elantra Touring models.

Driving the Elantra

Driving Impressions The 2012 Hyundai Elantra sedan and wagon may not have the responsive handling characteristics found with the Mazda3 or Ford Focus, but they are still a fun and engaging pair....

There is enough feedback through the steering wheel to allow for confident twisting-road romps, and the suspension manages to keep the car fairly flat while soaking up road imperfections. The new steering calibration delivers better on-center feel, which helps for going straight down the road, as well as added feedback for more accuracy when turning into corners. The Elantra sedan's 6-speed automatic transmission shifts as smoothly and accurately as any we've tested. The sedan's 6-speed manual transmission shifts smoothly and easily and would make a solid choice if you wanted to save the added premium that the automatic adds to the bottom line. For 2012, the Elantra Touring wagon soldiers on with its 138-horsepower 4-cylinder, and the choice of a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

HEATED REAR SEATS
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra Limited sedan's standard heated rear seats are a feature you won't find on any other car in this segment. In fact, you won't even find them in a Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan.

NAVIGATION PACKAGE
It's true that, with the onslaught of smartphones, having a navigation system in your car is less of a priority, but Hyundai integrates the 7-inch screen so well into the Elantra sedan's instrument panel (and includes a rearview camera) that we would spend the extra money to get the optional package.

2012 Hyundai Elantra Details
Interior

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra's interior is beautifully styled, but suffers from somewhat low-end plastics on the doors and switches. The instrument cluster and center console's elegant design have the look and feel of a much more expensive sedan, with user-friendly controls backlit by attractive blue lights. The Elantra's cabin is impressively roomy, particularly the sedan which has more total interior volume than a Volkswagen CC or Nissan Maxima. However, the volume story doesn't extend in all directions and, due to the sedan's sharply-raked rear window and C-pillars, taller rear-seat passengers may find themselves wanting more headroom. Trunk space is larger than with most competitors and 60/40 split-folding rear seats make it easy to transport bulky items. And for even bulkier items, the Elantra Touring is up to the task as it offers 65.3 cubic feet of cargo volume with rear seats folded down.

Exterior

The Elantra sedan delivers the 2012 Hyundai Elantra fashion statement, awash in flowing, fluid lines, deeply-sculptured wheel arches and side body panels, and an aggressive grille and headlamp treatment. The base trim gets 15-inch steel wheels, but 16-inch alloys are available. If you have the extra cash, go for the upgrade. The 16-inch wheels not only improve the Elantra's appearance, they also help enhance its handling. The Elantra Limited sedan features stylish 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as body-color side mirrors with integrated turn signals, front fog lights and a power glass sunroof. For those looking for a more subdued look, the Elantra Touring blends simplicity with elegance and features 16-inch alloys when the GLS Preferred Package box is checked.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan comes with the essentials and more, including cruise control, air conditioning, power accessories, tilt steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seats and a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system with Satellite radio and USB/auxiliary input jacks. All 2012 Hyundai Elantras include an impressive array of standard safety equipment, including six airbags, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and a remote keyless entry anti-theft system with panic button.

Optional Equipment

Opting for the up-level, sedan-only Limited trim adds a 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic, 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, and leather seats. The GLS offers a Preferred Equipment Package, which adds Bluetooth, fog lights, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, 8-way power driver's seat, a retractable cargo cover (Touring model only), and 16-inch alloy wheels. The Limited sedan can also be equipped with the Technology Package, which features remote push-button start, 360-watt premium audio, touch-screen navigation, a rearview camera, and automatic headlights.

Under the Hood

The only engine offered in the 2012 Hyundai Elantra sedan is a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that produces 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque. It can be matched with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic with Shiftronic for those drivers who want to shift their own gears on occasion. The sedan's 4-cylinder engine is also available as a PZEV (partial zero-emissions vehicle) variant. Although it has slightly less horsepower (145 vs. 148), the Elantra's PZEV engine is as clean-burning as some hybrid vehicles. The Elantra Touring retains the powertrain from yesteryear, consisting of a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder that is mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

1.8-liter inline-4
148 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
131 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/38 mpg

2.0-liter inline-4
138 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
136 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg (Manual), 23/30 mpg (Automatic)

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2012 Hyundai Elantra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 337 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    7.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Sporty Style

By on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great milage, very roomy for a two door"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is a great car and if you like more of a sport type vehicle with the same quality Hyundai offers in its Elantra's, this car it the best. I get lots of compliments on this coupe. They are discontinued so will be a sought after Elantra one day."

Gets good mileage.

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive - manual transmission."

Cons: "Must shift from 1-2-3 within 25 feet."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Have not had mechanical problems since I purchased the car in 2011. Good car for the number of miles I put on it for my job."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great value, look and reliability

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,650

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car because I wanted to own a brand new wagon. While it isn't a full sized wagon, it is very close. It is sporty yet roomy and has plenty of storage (as well as hidden storage) for groceries, work, travel, etc. I find the seats to be very comfortable and with Hyundai's 10 year/10,000 mile warranty with roadside assistance-- that CANNOT be beat for the price. I really enjoy the leather and the roominess of the car. I don't have any complaints actually. My husband did find the back of this vehicle a "little" tight when navigating or turning, but he admitted it was the only complaint he could find as well!"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Good car

By on Friday, May 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Low maintenance"

Cons: "Won't win any drag races"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I really think I would buy this car again. My wife is primary driver and it fits her needs perfectly. I have had little or no shop time. And, when I take it in for regular maintenance,the other customers have no complaints. I was shocked to find that the car will do well in excess of 100mph. The fuel economy is priceless."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

good for the price

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "fun to drive sporty"

Cons: "no spare tire"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I like the car, but it is poor for winter driving in my area. I had a Sonata before and it was great in winter driving"

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Cost - Dollar per Dollar, Elantra is Unbeatable

By on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks, Interior & Cargo Space, MPG, Value 4 money"

Cons: "Rear passenger greenhouse, road noise on bad roads"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have owned this vehicle(SE Auto with Preferred Pkg) for about 10 months, 10,000 miles now and I am in absolute love with it. A lot of features/Car for the price, be it convenience or comfort. My expectations were less when I chose a compact class car over the mid-size sedans but Elantra had exceeded my expectations well. My primary use is for commute to work and the Elantra does an exceptional job. Heated front seats helped a lot in Minnesota winters. Some competitors do not even offer them. Overall build quality is good, except for some creaking noise on the door handles inside. Nice touch of having two 12-Volt car power outlets, really helps when my spouse wants to charge her cellphone while I am charging mine. The 4 inch touchscreen even though is small is still adequate for the rear camera display. Radio listeners will love having the XM satellite radio receiver standard(initial 3 months trail is free) apart from standard AM/FM, single CD-MP3 and AUX/USB options. Drive is very smooth on well paved tarmac roads but road noise seeps in as soon as you hit Concrete(bridges, some toll roads)or badly paved roads. This is not that I cannot live with but more sound deadening material will improve the overall experience. My only gripe would be the glass window area for the rear passengers, the curvy and swoopy lines outside, did take some glass area out of rear passengers, some of my rear seat passengers felt claustrophobic. I hear a lot of people complaining about the car is not giving as much mpg as estimated and I do not understand those people for these reasons & few things I do to get the most out of this car: A) For god's sake these are estimates(meaning on standard testing conditions) which is not the case in our day to day, Stop and Go traffic. B) Being Gentle on Gas, meaning avoid to rev beyond 2000-2500 rpm and I do 65 mph on highways, these cars are not designed for race or atleast traffic light races - I get around 35 mpg combined(70% highways & 30% City). Lastly, if you can treat it as an appliance(like a fridge or washing machine), it can last really longer. Overall, worth the money spent."

10 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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