This was initially a European product that Hyundai imported to North America for 2 or 3 years. Even though some publications have said this is a worse-than-average vehicle for frequency of repairs, my experience is that the 2011 version has been highly reliable. The recalls were for minor problems that local dealers straightened out in an hour or less each trip in. My only issue areas are the seat comfort for longer trips and the amount of road noise that gets into the cabin. On the other hand, the 5-speed manual is very pliant and well-synchronized going both up and down. The car has never let me down.
I bought this car as my family was expanding and wanted something practical but still fun to drive with decent looks. I have not been disappointed.
For me the 5spd manual transmission is a must, I have gone one some long extended road trips - 20 hours in a single day and the bullet proof engine just keeps on going. I'm 115,000 miles (185,000km) in with no problems. I just keep up my maintenance, oil changes and changed my timing belt (400$) and the car has treated me well.
The space with the seats folded flat is incredible - I have carried tables, lounge chairs and everything in-between.
I bought this car when it was 33 months old with 31K miles from a Honda dealer. After a year I can say I'm quite happy with the car. Sporty handling and a decent combo of power and economy. I'm a DIYer so I was happy to see oil & filter changes are a breeze. Engine uses no oil between oil changes. The hatchback practicality is great. A golf club bag fits neatly across the back. I had narrowed my decision down to this car or a Toyota Matrix. I'm happy with my selection. I average over 30 mpg in mixed driving and about 34 highway mpg
handling, fuel economy, reliability
leather front seats need more padding, performance would be better with a 5 speed auto transmission
'Does everything very well; truly great in several areas: driver/passenger comfort & cargo space w/compact exterior size, both low and hi-speed handling, ease of parking and maneuvering in heavy-traffic, braking distance, driver-visibility, fun-factor & winter-weather driveability (with 5-speed manual tranny), reliability, ease of service, and a long list of standard features. All that and an expectation of good long-term reliability for 19G including tax and title? I'm pretty happy.
UPDATE: In February 2015, I rear-ended an SUV that had suddenly stopped on a merge ramp. 'Totalled my poor baby, but it protected me. No incursion of damage into the passenger compartment. I'm very, very sorry to see this car go bye-bye; it was terrific.
Hi, update after 20,000 miles in my 2011 elantra touring se model. Right to the point; could use more top end horsepower for higher speed interstate travel, it doesn't really like to average over 80, especially up hills of any consequence. Off the line response is excellent, making easy work of around town driving. Better than many cars I've driven like a turbo VW or small mercedes; they are built for the high speed cruising at some expense of around town response. Perfectly reliable thru 20k miles. Drove through the 100 year storm last winter across tennessee, arkansas and oklahoma. I mounted Conti DWS tires, as the stock tires couldn't get me out of my snow covered driveway in Nashville!
great looks, reliability, in- town response, huge cargo area, inexpensive, comfortable for a few hours at a time.
Softer seats for the leather clad versions, more top end horsepower for high speed travel, better fuel economy would be nice; I average 20 in town, 28 on the freeway (75mph, or so)