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 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/33 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


My elantra is a great

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

I bought my 2008 Hyundai Elantra brand new. I have never had a more dependable car. I have never had a tune up and I now have 145K miles on it and it runs great. Just got back from a 10 hour (each way) vacation trip and we had no issues.




Has been a great car,

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

This car is a well-built machine. Solid, fun to drive, reliable, modest (well, very modest on gas), A/C and heat are great. I bought the car used from a dealership in 2011, with 35,000 miles. My jeep completely had died and I was desperate. But since then, (it is now May 2014).. no problems. None. I've driven long-distance, I commute to work Mon-Fri, and also worked weekends carrying people and 100s of pounds of equipment up to 2 hours away. In all weather, the car did great. This past winter, the battery finally went. 2 degrees F will do that to a battery! Took the car to Sears Auto..new battery...back to normal! If you think you are "settling" for a Hyundai...think again. Test drive one.




Outstanding small car

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

Purchased for $12,000 used with 12,000 miles on it, and I love this car. Well worth every penny its quiet, stable, and solid. Handling is neutral and predictable, steering is effortless, and the brakes are very strong. I looked at a few of the "top" cars in this class before pulling the trigger on this car, and none could match it. The ride is good, interior comfortable and pleasing to the eye, and it handles better then expected. Good stereo, excellent ergonomics, classy looking exterior. Its an impressive small car in its class. I've shown it to friends and family and they all think "wow nice little car!" Especially from those who expect junk from Hyundai. This car is far from junk.




Great deal

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

I've been through alot with this car, it took its bumps and bruises. It stood STRONG! Aside from plastics on the cheaper side, you get so much for what you pay for. Plus, i got a STEAL on it, don't overlook the Elantra! BEAST CAR!




I am just shocked

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

Truly amazing how much car you get for the dollar. Pzero, fuel economy, fun to drive and less of an economy feel than expected. Hyundai certainly has come a long way. Thank goodness the hybrids at the time were too in demand and their dealers were so high and mighty. We started to look most fuel efficient and then cost efficient and ended up at a Hyundai dealer. After checking consumer comments here, the price and the test drive, there was nothing left but to do the smart thing and buy. The sparkles in the paint help it look clean even when it's not - bonus for the lazy owner.




Walked away alive

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

I purchase this car in June and have loved driving it for the past three months. We took a long 2,000.00 journey and the car performed great and was a pleasure to drive. Two weeks ago we were rear ended at a light by a SUV and forced in to a truck in front of us (bad enough to declare the car totaled). The car crushed by the impact but protected everyone in the car. I can't complain one bit about the way the car held up in the crash. We're on our way to get a new Elantra next week.



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

  • 25
  • cty
/
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs