2006 Hyundai Elantra Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Hyundai Elantra Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Hyundai Elantra Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Hyundai Elantra

  • With its low price, roomy cabin and above-average materials, the 2006 Hyundai Elantra is still worth a try if you're looking for value in a small sedan or hatchback. Keep in mind, however, that newer competitors have moved ahead of it in performance and overall refinement.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Long list of standard features, comfortable interior with lots of storage, generous warranty.

  • Cons

    Engine lacks midrange pep, floaty highway ride with base suspension, hard to find equipped with ABS.

  • What's New for 2006

    A Limited sedan with leather seats and wood grain accents has been added to the Elantra lineup.

Full 2006 Hyundai Elantra Review

What's New for 2006

A Limited sedan with leather seats and wood grain accents has been added to the Elantra lineup.


The Hyundai Elantra has always been a winner in our opinion, especially after it got a complete overhaul in 2001, adding interior space and exterior size, along with a full load of standard equipment, without a substantial boost in the price. For those who still have their doubts, Hyundai continues to back the Elantra with an industry-leading 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.

To keep things interesting, Hyundai began selling a five-door hatchback version for the 2002 model year. Hatchbacks offer 28 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats in use and 37 cubes when they're folded. Cabin accommodations are simple yet comfortable, and all of the controls are easy to find and use. Further, the Hyundai Elantra caters to commuters, providing a smooth ride on the highway and no-fuss handling in the parking lot. Some buyers may find the base GLS too soft in the corners, but if that's the case, the more firmly tuned GT sedan and hatchback are available, though even the GT is a bit on the soft side as well.

The Elantra is not without faults; ABS is buried in expensive option packages, and the car's engine is not as strong or refined as the class leaders. Additionally, the cabin, though comfortable, is becoming rather dated. Adding insult to injury, the Spectra offers all the good things we like about the Elantra, along with more features, for a lower price. The 2006 Hyundai Elantra is not an undesirable car, it's just not the complete package it once was. Until the redesigned Elantra hits showrooms, we suggest you carefully consider the competition before you buy.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Hyundai Elantra sedan is available in GLS, Limited and GT trim, while the five-door hatchback comes in either GLS or GT. Standard equipment on the GLS includes air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and locks; keyless entry; a center armrest with storage; and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat. In addition to that, the GLS hatchback includes a sport suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. The Limited adds wood grain trim, leather seating, chrome trim and foglights. GT models provide all of the above, plus alloy wheels, cruise control, an instrument panel with red/blue illumination and trip computer, a six-speaker CD audio system and a rear spoiler. Among the factory options are cruise control and a CD player on GLS models, and antilock brakes and a sunroof on all trims.

Powertrains and Performance

Every Elantra comes with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine good for 138 horsepower (132 with SULEV emissions equipment). Drivers have their choice of either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. If you like shifting your own gears, the manual is definitely the way to go, as it makes it easy to keep the engine in its power band. Equipped with the automatic, the Hyundai Elantra delivers ample around-town power but can feel sluggish during highway passing maneuvers, as the transmission waits too long to downshift.


Side airbags for front occupants are standard on all Elantras, and antilock brakes are optional. In government crash testing, the Hyundai Elantra earned five stars out of five for driver protection in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger. In side-impact tests, the Elantra received five stars for front-occupant protection and four stars for rear-occupant protection. The IIHS gave it a "Good" rating for frontal-offset protection, but a "Poor" rating for side impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the Elantra has a dated but simple layout. It's not exciting, but the switchgear is high in quality and all of the controls are right where you expect them to be. GT models have a more upscale flavor with leather wrappings on the seats, steering wheel and shift knob, as well as Volkswagen-inspired red-and-blue gauge illumination -- it's a nice idea, but it clashes with the green backlighting on the center stack. Hatchbacks offer 20 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats in use and 37 cubes when they're folded.

Driving Impressions

The 2006 Hyundai Elantra excels at Point-A-to-B driving where a comfortable ride and light, easy handling are assets. In GT form, the suspension has slightly thicker stabilizer bars and firmer shock tuning, but the ride quality remains smooth and forgiving. There's plenty of body roll around corners with either setup, but the car behaves in such a predictable manner you're never caught off-guard.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Best car i've never owned

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I know, the title is weird, but hear me out. My brother got one of these when he got a job. It was a mechanic owned, 35,000 original mile elantra with no problems with it (other than a CD that was stuck in the Stereo.) The car is very comfy to ride in the front, but rear hedroom is not too great for anyone over 6 foot. It's also a good looking car, for what it is. The car's achilles heel is the Slushbox they call an automatic. We happen to have an '04 manual as well, and it's MUCH more fun to drive. other that that, it's just a great comuter car. 5K miles in 5 months, with no issues. Maintenence is pricier than you'd expect though.

The little car that could

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Many hate Hyundai, but never really give them a shot. So far I haven't really been disappointed. I might wish for more, but I'm happy with the sub $14k price paid. Takes to mods well, including using factory items from higher Hyundai models Car will also take a beating and keep on ticking. Had a compressed piston rod from water logging the engine, but it ran for 20k miles with naught but a misfire code. Have had a couple of minor quality issues dealing with poor taillight fitment and center arm rest fabric coming loose. Only other minor thing would be the mpg. Tho others report more, I ~27 mpg mixed tho have got 33 mpg on long road trips. Still way better than my 18-20 mpg in last car.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Still going strong at 116,000

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my car 4 years ago and I have only replaced the ambient air sensor (warranty work) and an O2 sensor (out of warranty) my only complaint at the moment is that my steering wheel is coming apart. I has been such a great car. Recently made a 4,000+ mile road trip and not one problem. Average 36 mpg on the highway and 28 in town. Just need to figure out why i am going through oil a little faster than normal. Definitely a good car and highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GT 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car used a few months ago and couldn't be more pleased. I routinely get 37+ MPG on the highway and it handles great in the deep MN snow. Great storage with the hatchback and the interior is great. Can't beat the leather, sunroof, etc. that you won't get with a Civic or a Corolla.

Very pleased

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GT 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This was the first car I ever got to choose - rather than "inheriting" from a family member or buying in a hurry. Very pleased. More options and comfort and thousands less than a similar mileage Honda Civic. More fun to drive, too, has a little more power. I think the GT hatchback is a cool, very Saab-like european design. I haven't really needed it as a feature very often - a trunk would be fine - but for a few things it has been helpful. The interior is without many annoying quirks, nothing stands out, which generally is good in design.

Its an alright car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my Elantra used 1/22/07 with 16,000 on the clock. For the first year of owning car was really nice , but has come down with a plague of problems a clicking when only turning the wheel to the right, a clicking or tapping noise from the engine compartment, and a hesitation problem only when really cold out side till it warms up. Been to the deal for all of these issues more then once and still not fixed. It rather cold in Nj and a week ago the car interior has come down with some creaks and rattles as well. be sides these issues the car does drive and handle well. I may have just got a dud. Gf has an 04 tibby V6 and it has been amazing no issues at all. I would buy a Hyundai again tho

Talk About The 2006 Elantra

2006 Hyundai Elantra Discussions See all Started By

This will be my first used car and I?m trying to make sure all my basis are covered as I would like to have it for awhile. After looking around I?ve seen some common problems posted about this model ?...

I got to see the 2007 Elantra close up for the first time today at my local dealer. As mentioned above, they got two in this week, a grey SE AT with mats and a black GLS AT with Preferred Package and...

What do you think about the seats on the Elantra? Are the dual-knob height adjusters on 2006 and earlier Elantras too hard to use or the best thing since sliced bread? How's the lumbar support? Wha...

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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