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2012 Hyundai Elantra

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2012 Hyundai Elantra Review

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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
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 370 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    7.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

good reliable car in good condition

By on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "realable"

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

"I am sorry to have to sell this car, but living in Manhattan,NY, it is not convenient. I don't use it enough"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love my ride!

By on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

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

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

"I have nothing negative to say about this car. I recently changed out a few light bulbs and purchased all 4 new tires. Other than that, no extra money went into the car so far. I love the sporty look and the fact that I could drive a week and a half on a full tank of gas. Very economical!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

The Car Hyundai Forgot About

By on Sunday, January 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 958

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Roomy, decent design, not many if any blind spots"

Cons: "No remote start, tech updates, Bluelink is Junk"

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

"I would like to give a true opinion on the 2016 Hyundai Elantra Sport. The car is overall a nice car, but Hyundai decided to leave all the bell and whistles out of this model and they have no future plans to make the car any better. The car has plenty of room and decent pickup for a 4 cylinder. It shifts well and doesn't have any noticeable blind spots. If your looking for a basic car, then this might be just right for you. Now for the bad...I want to start by saying that Bluelink is horrible at best. Bluelink only has a couple of features for the Elantra. For example..You can start the car with Bluelink (on rare occasion it actually works) but you cannot turn it off. You cannot see a vehicle status but you can unlock the doors. Other models have this feature, but Hyundai decided this wasn't need for Elantra owners. The next thing I found annoying was you CANNOT start the car with the key fob. Just about every other auto makers has this feature, but Hyundai wants everyone to purchase the Bluelink subscription, so this was left out. I would also like to say that if you keep Bluelink deactivated they will permanently disable Bluelink and it will cost you over $500 to get it turned back on. After talking to Hyundai I discovered that the Elantra will not get Android Auto. Just about every other model will have it available, but us Elantra owners are left hanging. Hyundai decided to only offer Leather in the Limited edition. The cloth seats are made very cheaply and if you sit in the back you will see what I mean about being cheap. I also found the steering to be rather harsh. You get a good workout just trying to keep it on the road. The brakes work well and stops like you would expect froma new car. Hyundai makes good cars, but the Elantra is the red headed step child in the group. I suggest you pass on the Elantra and choose a model or makers that offers options or future upgrades. If you buy a 2016 you will be looking for more and not get it. I have emailed Hyundai's customer service and I get generic answers. I can tell you I will not buy another Elantra unless Hyundai decides to support the 2016 Elantras."

This is the best car I've ever had.

By on Monday, December 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great value (limited edition) great gas mileage"

Cons: "Navigation screen hits sunlight glare"

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

"The only thing that needs to be changed is the location of the navigation screen. Sometimes the sun light will hit directly on the screen and there is a glare. Other than that I love this car!!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

I absolutely luv, luv, luv my 2013 Elantra GLS.

By on Friday, December 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

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: "What else can I add? Just buy an Elantra!"

Cons: "Nothing, just wish someone would pay-off my loan."

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

"I have owned 3-Tiburons but after I found myself struggling to get out of it, finally had to grow up and get a compact car. I'm so happy with my 2013 toy that I named her Lannie. It's okay to laugh because everyone else does. My car is not only gorgeous but stylish, sleek, and fun to drive. Most of all, Lannie is dependable which is vitally important to me. I travel 90-miles daily and never feel the road, only comfort and quiet inside my cabin."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Love my 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

By on Friday, November 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,365

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I now have 39,000+ miles and the only problem I had was the radio not always working so I gave it a "9" for reliability. Dealer replaced it under warranty. This car is quiet, steady, reliable, practical, and this base model came with all kinds of standard options such as heated seats, etc. I drive it around town and on the highway at times for <300 mile trips. MPG is around 30-31 in mixed driving, probably around 28 in pure city and 34 pure highway. This was my first Hyundai and I will certainly look at another when the time comes. Warranty is great too."

16 people out of 31 found this review helpful

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