2006 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Hyundai Elantra Sedan

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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

116,800 mi, 8 years--never let

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I'm surprised at all the mixed reviews here. I live in PA and bought my Elantra new in '06. roughly 6 months are cold, some snowy. I do 50% highway, 50% city. I do all recommended maintenance and in almost 8 years, changed brake pads 2x, tires 3x, headlights 4x, radiator 1x (102kmi), and an 02 sensor. The car NEVER let me down and repairs have been minimal and reasonable. I'm considering getting a new Elantra due to greater safety specs, but I'm leaning towards just putting in another new timing belt at 120 and doing the service. I totally see myself getting over 200K. Those who report bad things probably beat the hell out of their car. Just take care of it!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Extremely unhappy with my choice

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I bought a Hyundai Elantra in 2006. About 11k miles on the car that I noticed my right rear tire's treads are exposed. I TOOK THE CAR TO FIRE STONE ON TALBERT AVE. IN FOUNTAIN VALLEY CA., TO BUY A NEW TIRE, THE ATTENDANT BEFORE SEEING THE CAR ASKED ME IF I NEED TO REPLACE THE RIGHT REAR TIRE OF A HYUNDAI. I asked how did he know about the exact tire of the specific car he told me this is a common problem with HYUNDAIS Shortly after my driver side door handle broke while under warranty TUTTLE CLICK HYUNDAI said it is vandalism and not covered under warranty. I followed all procedures and finally went to SMALL CLAIM COURT where the judge ruled no one is responsible for the warranty work

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Engine blew out at 34k

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

Very disappointed in the car as well as manufacturer. Car was rarely driven and well maintained. Engine power was significantly pales when compared to a similar Toyota or Honda model. Brake pads do not last at all. Our car's radiator blew out at 34K and damaged the engine. Manufacturer refused to cover repair cost under warranty even though it has not expired, basically has been a big fat lie about warranty. Will not ever consider the brand again.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

2006 elantra gls still going

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car new in june of 2006. The only thing I have done to this car is change the oil every 5,000 miles. I have gone through 3 sets of tires and front brakes 3 times. at 120,000 I did a complete tune up and had the trans and radiator flushed. This is my 4th elantra and they heve never let me down. Just make sure you do the basic maintaince and it will last a long time. I do drive 90% of the time on the highway. With the cruise controll set at 68mph I am still getting 32mpg on the highway. If i set it at 78mph it drops to 28mpg.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Transmission problems

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I've had my 2006 Elantra for 3 years. Up until the last week I was pretty impressed with the value. These cars are much cheaper than those in its class for any given year. I had to replace the A/C condenser and a power steering pump but not bad for three years. ENTER YEAR 4 & THE TRANNY PROBLEM! I didn't read a single review about Hyundai tranny problems... but once my car started having problems I googled "hard shift from 2nd to 3rd after car has warmed up" and WOW! A lot of people have had this problem. Replacement was the only successful fix (appears it doesn't lead to failure but I can't live it). These car also have timing belts, another expensive maintenance item so trade it in I did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Still going strong

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

Well, here it is 2013 and my 2006 Hyundai Elantra GLS is still going strong. 128k miles on it, its paid off, and it has only had a few issues over the past six years other than standard maintenance. The one thing that still irks the hell out of me though is the staring wheel material. It has degraded and is basically crumbling away. I took it to the dealership when i was still within the 60k bumper to bumper warranty. They had the nerve to tell me it was not covered and i was causing the damage with my finger nails??? Oh well, that's what black electrical tape and steering wheel covers are for. All in all i am hoping to keep this car another two years for my daughter.

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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