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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 303 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 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

Nice car for the money.

By on Monday, November 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Solid,strong(absolutely!) & + economy!

By on Friday, November 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Wife made trip to Illinois & back--1300 + miles..epa says 33mpg (GT model). Computer spat out 37.2mpg..... going by plain jane math--mileage divided by gallons..& I'm stil shaking my head over it..41.7 per gallon. Would think 1300 miles would be a good measuring stick! Not sure what to think--she usually drives 72-73 in 70 zones...car terrific so far.Heated seats plus..only 2 small details bother me-one..view out back-being hatch a bit more of a blind spot & secondly..can't just go thru satellite presets-have to run thru am & fm too- a small pain! Otherwise all good!"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Not worth the $, Poor gas mileage/costly flats.

By on Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "body style and inside conveniences"

Cons: "No spare tire, poor bluetooth, lights burn out"

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

"To my family's dismay, I purchase a my Elentra with just looking at it. Its appearance is sleek and stylish. However, the goodness stops there. With a promise of "free towing" if you have a flat tire, the fine print was that they tow you to a dealership (only) and if it's after-hours, too bad… it's up to you to get a taxi to a car rental and you have to rent a car, get a hotel, etc. until the dealership opens to fix your tire. Then the rear lights have already burned out, before one year. Then the blue tooth drops EVERY call after 20 minutes. Finally, the gas mileage is NO WHERE near what is posted. I average about 23 mpg. Learn the lesson from me and don't be awe-struck with the looks.. it's the fine print that will have you paying in the long run. Compare with a more reliable Honda Civic."

5 people out of 12 found this review helpful

3 months in and love almost everything

By on Thursday, November 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Awesome MPG and Stlye"

Cons: "none"

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

"Purchased in VA, live in NC and commute to VA for work. Avg MPG is actually closer to 40 on a daily basis. Interior design I love - Only wish my son couldn't reach the back of my seat with his feet. THAT gets annoying. This car (respectably named Black Betty) is a great zippy little car that I enjoy driving. my 1hr commute I look forward to after a long day at work. Road noise is minimal and the engine is quick to respond. exterior design I also love. Steering can be adjustable from "Sport" to "comfort". Although it's an automatic I can still control the shifting in a different setting."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Very Relyable

By on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,784

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great price, great mileage."

Cons: "rides a little rough."

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

"this is a Hyundai Elantra limited. I'm disappointed that it doesn't have navigation and back up camera."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Love the MPG

By on Monday, October 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great MPG, excellent handling around corners"

Cons: "Don't like the headrest"

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

"The gas mileage is excellent and has exceeded what was listed on the window especially for highway miles. At less than 15,000 miles it already had a clinking sound in the back end. Still unsure what it is as it didn't get checked at the 15k mile service. Handles great around corners. My only true complaint is the head rest. For the life of me I cannot figure out how to make it go back towards the backseat. I have to take my rubberband out of my hair as it is too uncomfortable how forward it is. If there is an adjustment, I can't find it. Otherwise I like it."

4 people out of 6 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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