2008 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Hyundai Elantra Sedan

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Hyundai Elantra Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 138 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 24/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Hyundai Elantra

  • A roomy and well-built economy car with surprisingly sharp reflexes, the 2008 Hyundai Elantra is a must-drive if you're shopping for a compact sedan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth and secure ride, attractive cabin design, roomy interior with adult-friendly backseat, solid construction, responsive handling, low price, long warranty.

  • Cons

    Unrefined engine is noisy at mid-to-high rpm, likable interior is otherwise let down by a few low-grade interior plastics.

  • What's New for 2008

    Last year's top-of-the-line Limited trim level has been dropped, but much of its equipment can still be had via an optional package for the midgrade Elantra SE trim. Stability control and brake assist have also been added as standard equipment to the SE.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (16 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

About as good as it

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

We've had this car since it was new and it now has 52k miles on it. Despite what other reviewers have said, you won't find a car that has lower maintenance costs. So far, the only things I've had to worry about, as per the owner's manual, were oil changes and an air filter. That's it. Oh, and the battery went out after 4 years, which is better than your average stock battery, especially considering the Texas heat this year. This car couldn't be cheaper to run, period. The gas mileage is decent (35 mpg) and the power and handling are phenomenal for this class of car.




Not so into this car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I have had this car for a year now. When I bought this car it had 50 miles on it. I don't really like it much though. To me it's noisy when I drive. The alignment screwed up a few months after owning it. The dealership gave me crap when I took it in for the warranty to get my car fixed. My door handle on the outside of the car sticks and makes the door stay open. It sucks in the snow. The beak system sucks. I lightly touch them in the snow. I don't feel safe with the breaking system. It takes me 3 times to get it in reverse cuz it sticks. There's a few more things wrong with it and it only has close to 28k miles on it.




Leaky car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This car has had a water leak since new and has been to the dealership 7 times for it. After going to a body shop, it was determined that the seam sealer was falling out all over the bottom of the car. Hyundai refuses to replace the now mold smelling, rusting in the trunk, car and closed my case knowing that I will loose too much money if I lemon Law and probably not pursue this.I will never buy another Hyundai and will discourage as many as possible, as I have never in 20 years of new cars seen such poor customer service , and shoddy practices by a manufacturer and a dealership. Buyer beware.




Follow up to 8/10 review

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This is a followup, I have had the car for 4 months and am very pleased with it. I have been getting anywhere from 35 - 38 mph in mixed driving. The brakes are excellent, the a/c cools the car down quickly and the heater warms it up just as quick. Again, I do not know why anyone would buy a Civic after owning this car. It is bigger, base models come with more, is much quicker, and costs anywhere from 2k to 4k less.




First time foreign, 8k mi

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Purchased an 2008 Elantra GLS with a 5 speed and the popular equip package for low $15k in July 2008. So far I LOVE it. Before this I was a strict 80s GM boat guy. This car is much quicker than I would have expected, and my MPG has been between 29-36mpg per tank. I am very happy, and I can't stress how much fun the car is to drive. The interior is more roomy than you would think from the outside and the back seat is more than sufficient. All around, I am very impressed with the quality of design in this car. I feel that Hyundai may be entering the realm that Toyota and Honda entered in the early 90's. Give it another few years and these cars will have the reputation they deserve!




This car does everything well.

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

We have had this car for about 5 months and we are very pleased. It has zippy performance and gets 27MPG City and 35 MPG Hwy in the process. Braking is excellent. The four wheel discs do make a difference. The sound system with the XM radio, while not world class, is very pleasant to listen to. In town, it handles beautifully. At speed, there is a bit of extra body roll (especially right turns for whatever reason). I would recommend the 5 spd M. It makes for much more driving fun. The shifter does great as long as you don't force it. This car is extremely comfortable under pretty much all conditions (front and back). There are a lot of things "well done" about this car.



Full 2008 Hyundai Elantra Review

What's New for 2008

Last year's top-of-the-line Limited trim level has been dropped, but much of its equipment can still be had via an optional package for the midgrade Elantra SE trim. Stability control and brake assist have also been added as standard equipment to the SE.

Introduction

Every once in a while, a car will really surprise you -- the 2008 Hyundai Elantra is one of those cars. Past Elantras offered a long warranty and a low price, but couldn't really compete with all-star compact sedans like the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla. Now in its second year since a full redesign, the Elantra is the real deal, capable of standing toe-to-toe with the big boys. Plus, it still has that long warranty and low price.

Larger than the car it replaced, the supposedly compact Elantra is now considered a midsize sedan by the EPA. (Mind you, the EPA also classifies the Dodge Magnum as an SUV, so take it with a grain of salt.) Still, the Elantra is more spacious overall than its economy car rivals, and Hyundai is quick to point out that it boasts more interior volume than an Acura TL. The backseat is particularly impressive, as its high-mounted bench and generous foot room make it an easy fit for full-size adults.

The Elantra's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is an old design and isn't as refined as those found in its Japanese competitors, but it's surprisingly responsive and returns pretty good fuel economy. It also runs clean, as it's classified as an Ultra-Low-Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) in most of the country, and a Partial-Zero-Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) in California, Oregon and the Northeast.

Once underway, the 2008 Hyundai Elantra continues to impress, with decent steering and handling responses, as well as a smooth ride and a stable demeanor at high speeds. It often feels like a more upscale car than it really is, an impression furthered by the handsome, well-constructed interior. Top-quality plastics and other materials are utilized throughout; however, they are betrayed by some cheap plastics here and there, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel (on the SE trim) prone to making your hands feel a bit clammy.

As always, there are a multitude of choices in the small economy car segment. Although top-ranked sedans like the Civic may be better known, the 2008 Elantra manages to keep up with them, matching or besting each in a number of different ways. In particular, it's hard to beat the Elantra's level of features, space and quality construction at such a low price. Of course, taking a test-drive of all these choices is recommended, but when it comes time to stop by the Hyundai store, prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Hyundai Elantra is a small sedan available in GLS and SE trim levels. The base GLS is sparsely equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a tilt steering wheel and full power accessories. The GLS Popular Equipment Package adds air-conditioning, foglights, cruise control, vanity mirrors and a six-speaker stereo with CD/MP3 player, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. The SE includes this equipment, but adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a trip computer and a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls. This year's new SE Premium Package outfits the Elantra with heated seats and a sunroof. (The latter is a stand-alone option on the GLS.) Leather upholstery can also be added to this package.

Powertrains and Performance

The Elantra is front-wheel drive and powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine capable of 138 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. All trim levels can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. In California-emissions states, automatic-equipped Elantras are certified as Partial-Zero-Emissions Vehicles (PZEV) and are rated for 132 hp. Fuel economy for 2008 is a very respectable 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway regardless of transmission or which state it is sold in.The Elantra is front-wheel drive and powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine capable of 138 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. All trim levels can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. In California-emissions states, automatic-equipped Elantras are certified as Partial-Zero-Emissions Vehicles (PZEV) and are rated for 132 hp. Fuel economy for 2008 is a very respectable 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway regardless of transmission or which state it is sold in.

Safety

All Elantras come standard with antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and anti-whiplash front head restraints. The SE trim level adds standard stability control and brake assist for the ABS. In crash testing conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2008 Hyundai Elantra earned a top five-star rating in frontal-impact collision protection and a four-star rating for side collisions. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal offset testing, the Elantra received a rating of "Good," the agency's top score.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Elantra's interior quality is quite literally hit or miss. For instance, the dash-top grain and cool blue lighting looks like it could have been removed from an Acura. However, there are a few pieces here and there that wouldn't cut it in a Honda Civic. Still, the overall design is attractive and pleasing, looking as if it belongs in a much more expensive car. Your carpool buddies should be impressed. They'll also appreciate the Elantra's generous amount of space provided by the generous head-, shoulder, hip- and legroom found in both the front and rear seats. Storage is also plentiful, with plenty of cubbies and a 14-cubic-foot trunk.

Driving Impressions

Considering its so-so 138 horses, the 2008 Hyundai Elantra is decently quick out of the gates (zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds), especially when equipped with a manual gearbox. The engine suffers from a somewhat coarse demeanor above 3,500 rpm, however. More refined is the ride quality, which is smooth yet stable, even at high speeds, and is one of the Elantra's best attributes. Wind and road noise are also negligible. Although its personality isn't overtly sporting, the Elantra is actually a capable handler. Body roll is moderate, but this Hyundai manages to hold tight through turns, offering plenty of grip and decent steering response.

Talk About The 2008 Elantra

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 24
  • cty
/
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs