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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
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 285 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    7.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Great value, exceeds mpg ratings, but noisy inside

By on Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Delivers as advertised. Competent and reliable."

Cons: "Road noise, ride - noticeable, not terrrible."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Only issues have been with the low profile tires provided on the Limited model. I've had to replace two of the Hanook originals and repaired a third. Replacement Michelins have had no issues. No other quality or warranty issues or repairs. A bit noisy and bouncy, but I'm ok with that considering the MPG and reliability. Overall average mpg has been 32-33 for the 45k miles driven. For the money, it is a great car."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

value needs great improvement!

By on Sunday, August 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

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

"I am in shock. I wanted to move over to a SUV only to find I am several thousand dollars in the whole with this. I knew it would depreciate a little but not like this. Great on gas mileage but I have found it to not be dependable in the winter and very undependable to hold a stable value. I have done my homework and will probably not go this route in the future. Hard lesson to learn and I have a few years that I am going to have to eat this . . .disturbing to say the least."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Nice little car but promised MPG falls way short

By on Sunday, August 31, 2014

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

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "great looks"

Cons: "MPG nowhere near what is advertised."

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

"Purchased this vehicle solely for the advertised MPG of 40/33. Not even close in real life driving, more like 30/22. I am a hypermiler that coaxed 35/23 mpg out of my 2003 Camry, which was rated at 33/22 by Toyota. Using the same driving techniques with this Elantra- my MPG falls well short of the 40/33 that Hyundai advertised. I am extremely frustrated by this and will never buy another Hyundai vehicle."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Perfect car for a 6' 5" man

By on Friday, August 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "MPG, Looks Nice, Well Made, Fun to Drive!"

Cons: "None really! It's a great car for the value!"

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

"This is a great car! I have 7500 miles on the car and have driven it for six months. The longest trip was a 300 miles and I averaged 40.3 mpg. I usually average about 34 mpg for standard daily driving. I have taken shorter 2 hour trips and have averaged about 37-38 mpg. I am very happy with the gas mileage. Next, I am going to cover the interior of the car. I am 6’ 5” and will never be sitting in the back seat, but it is not bad for a smaller person. There is some leg room in the back but just not much for head room. Other than that, most everything on the inside is positive. The seats are comfortable and there is a lot of leg room and head room. I can even move my elbows to the side and not come close to hitting a passenger. I like the look of the inside and also the many different places a person can store items. There is not a lot of cabin noise for the 2014. The company took steps to address that and they did a great job. I was a little concerned about engine performance, but they also fixed that issue. It is still a four cylinder car, but most of the time it has enough pick up and go for what I need on a daily basis. The only negative seems to be moving from 50 mph to 65 mph in the left lane. It seems to struggle just during those speeds. After six months, I can still say that I am very pleased with this car and would highly recommend it. I save about $120 a month in gas compared to my F150 pickup. Gas money savings pays about half my car payment a month."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

LOVE LOVE

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"I LOVE THIS CAR! I traded off my 2010 Hyundai Accent GLS that has 35,134 miles on it for this sporty looking car and I don't regret it one bit! I have more room and better features and this car has more power and lots of room! I would suggeest anyone to buy this car!!! AWESOME GAS MILEAGE too!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

i love this car

By on Saturday, August 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very fun to drive, love the body style"

Cons: "n/a"

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

"i would be delighted to introduce anyone to this car, it has all the features of a high end car like a lexus or an acura very reliable and affordable"

8 people out of 13 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

Buying this car?