Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Compact Car Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000
Go

2012 Hyundai Elantra

Overview
Share this page
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?

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)

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?

2012 Hyundai Elantra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 332 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

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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

excellent car

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "This car exceeds your expectations for a low price"

Cons: "Shocks"

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

"Was very surprised by this car. The feel, the features, the fuel economy, the value. To get all of the features at such an affordable price. Push button start/stop, power everything, SiriusXM, navigation, cruise, telescoping tilt steering, steering wheel controls, heated front and rear seats, dual zone temperature. I could go on a lot more. The only thing I can say I have a problem with is the sock package. You do feel the bumps. After market shock upgrade is in the works. You get more than your money's worth."

12 people out of 25 found this review helpful

good smaller car

By on Sunday, April 05, 2015

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fair price and mpg"

Cons: "very much road noise"

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

"this is a good car fair mpg good looks there is a lot of road noise would probably go back to Sonata if trading"

14 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Best Bang For The Buck

By on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "ALL the options and steering wheel control and mpg"

Cons: "Need a turbo version"

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

"I have owned over 20 cars in my time but, this one takes the cake. I went to Hyundai to look at the new Veloster but bought the Elantra Limited instead because of the value and all around experience. I bought the Limited version with the tech package. Too me, It is a sporty high end car with all the options which are: Heated seats front and rear, 360w stereo, navigation, Bluetooth, very nice leather seating with leather door inserts, 17" allot wheels with 45 series tires, moon roof and the list goes on. The car is just a pleasure to drive and I am averaging 32mpg. I feel it is one of the most under rated bargains out there."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Completely satisfied with the 2015 Elantra GT

By on Monday, March 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Smooth transmission, good around-town gas mileage"

Cons: "Highway speed road noise, no power liftgate"

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

"The GT is great value for money. Mine is equipped with both the style and the tech package. Leather seats are of high quality, and the navigation system is far superior to some systems on other automobile brands. The sound system is quite good but should be have been upgraded in ine with the sedan upgrade. The car drives like a dream, seamlessy shifting up and down the gears. Steering can be set to sport, normal or comfort mode. I am getting 26-27 miles around town, in eco mode, which is better than advertised. At speeds above fifty miles an hour there is probaby more road noise that some would prefer but less than the last car I owned. I would not hesitate to recommend the GT to anyone. It has a power driver's seat and panoramic sun roof and I added a homelink auto-dimming mirror and cargo net as accessories."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

i love my car, hyundai has really stepped up!!

By on Monday, March 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,679

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great gas mileage, looks great, sporty..."

Cons: "can't lock glove compartment..."

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

"this is my first hyundai, and wont' be my last..i had the car for a little over a year, and i'm looking to upgrade to another hyundai...really enjoy the car, it is sporty and has a great look..i get many compliments on it, and i would recommend to anyone."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?