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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 314 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

Best car I have ever own

By on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,600

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

"This car is very agile driving and quick exhilaration. 38.2 mpg on the hwy easy to park in small parking spots"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

very good car

By on Saturday, January 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "styling, fuel economy, cargo space"

Cons: "road noise, handling"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"This car is a great option if you are looking for an inexpensive compact car. I am very pleased with the styling of the Elantra, the exterior looks more like a luxury car than an $18,000 compact car. I also like the trunk space, interior, fuel economy, and the audio system. The problem points are road noise, middle seat in the back has no cushion whatsoever, it handles very poorly in bad weather, the front hood doesn't close unless you put so much force you have a fear of damaging the car, very cheap plastics inside even for a compact car, and some blind spots. Other than that the Elantra is a great choice"

13 people out of 21 found this review helpful

My zippy friend 3 months review

By on Friday, January 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great daily driver, lots of bang for the buck."

Cons: "A pillars hinder visibility, uphill acceleration."

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

"I'm not going into detail about the standard features on the GT, you probably know all that by now. I've now owned my 2014 GT for 3 months. The car handles like a dream and decent acceleration can be achieved if you try starting out in 2nd gear in manual mode. Somehow the gearing seams to favor economy over sportiness. Once it gets going though, the car speeds up quite nicely. I like the predictability when going through the twisties. This car is not a VW GTI, Civic Si or Mazda 3i. It is a very capable compact hatchback that seems to do most things very well. What I don't like is when going up hill it seems like the car keeps on searching for the correct gear to be in. Something else that bugs me is the A-pillars. They seem to be placed so it hinders front corner visibility. Fuel economy is avg. 27 overall. The AC blows cold really quickly. The heated seats is something I didn't think I would like, but on a chilly morning it's great to have until the heater warms up. On the interior features, everything is within easy reach. It would have been nice to have a covered area at the bottom of the center stack and a locking glove-box. It also would have been nice to see some optional items that are available in packages only available on an individual basis. There was no problem seating 4 adults and luggage for a weekend road trip. Everyone at the dealership has given excellent service."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Perfect Fit

By on Monday, December 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Gas Mileage, Reliability, Style, Design, Comfort"

Cons: "None"

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

"I love everything about this car. I was deciding between this and a corolla and I chose an Elantra and have never looked back. It is a great car with great gas mileage, comfort, and reliability. I even comfortably took it on a road trip with a few other people."

16 people out of 41 found this review helpful

Good car.Was a problems at a beginning.Now good.

By on Saturday, December 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "its good price for this car"

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

"Acceleration power was delay. I'm reseated by myself ,dialer doesn't now .Second problem was a oil leak .Leak was from oil plug .Plug was loose .One more antifreeze level go down from the beginning and now stopped ,probably was a air in a system."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great car. Completely rattle and squeak free!

By on Thursday, December 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "is fun to drive, performance peppy, mileage great!"

Cons: "somewhat rough ride on less than smooth pavement"

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

"Like the car and its features a lot, esp. the heated seats and bluetooth. Only derogatory comment is bit of a rough ride on anything but smooth pavement. On smooth pavement the ride is just that-very smooth. Car is also very quiet!"

20 people out of 42 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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