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 Yes

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 (12 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Poor resale value/ costly servicing

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Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

The is car is fun to drive and comfortable for long distance driving. It has plenty of pep. Unfortunately, I have learned too late (as in before I bought it), that its at least $500 to service every 30K (almost 70K at 60K servicing since you have to shell out extra money for platinum spark plugs). I put on >25K per year so I am hitting these milestones quickly. I had it appraised and after 2 years and 60K miles, it is work only 1/3 of what I paid for it and it will only go down from there. Even more expensive cars cost less to service. I nthe long run, not worth the investment.




Gets the job done.

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Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I don't think I would ever say to anyone, "Oh yeah, I love my car." Having said that the car itself, for what it is, is great. I paid 13,500 for it. I've driven it 32,000 miles since I bought it 9 months ago. I'd say 30K miles were spent on I-95 to and from work at 80 miles an hour. The car does what it needs to do everyday- starts and stops. There has been hesitation in the engine on more than one occasion. Something to expect out of a car with 100K on the engine, not a brand new car. I asked the maintenance people about this and they said that should be expected out of a Hyundai. The car came with features that would cost 30K on any other car. For the cost, the value is great.




Best car for the buck

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Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Great car. Best bang for the buck in its class. Has more safety features than its competitors. Excellent gas mileage. First new car I've owned and worth every penny.




Great value for the money

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Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I have always bought new vehicles and driven them between 250-300,000 miles. After exhaustive research which included talking to other Elantra owners I purchased one. I got a tremendous deal out the door including financing for about 15k(on an SE not GLS). On the last trip at 75 mph with the air on, a full load of passengers and full trunk I got 34 mpg. This wasn't based on the trip computer, it was the old fashioned way of calculating.Mixed driving 29 mpg. After 20,000 miles I am thoroughly convinced that this is the best deal out there. I test drove all the other cars in the class and sure some are peppier or handle better but if you are looking for best bang for you buck, here it is.




Front crash

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Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I recently just crashed my car into a tree head on. This cars air bags did not deploy. The insurance adjuster could not believe it. I was lucky that I was not hurt. This car has a huge crumple zone which is good I guess. I loved my car and I serviced this car every 3000 miles. Good car but I don't think the security of having 6 airs bags should make you feel safe. If I could include pics I would you would not believe the damage this car suffered in a 30 mph crash.




Fun little car

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Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

We purchased our Hyundai Elantra around the middle of June. We already have over 5000 miles on it, and we have not had a single problem. We love almost everything about the car. It gets decent gas mileage-we are averaging 29 mpg city/highway combo. It has an excellent safety rating in Consumer Reports. It comes in some way cool colors. There is one issue we have: the back window is too small, so sometimes I'm nervous changing lanes, especially on the freeway. Anyway, it's a cute little car that does what it says it will do. In the Valley, you'll pay a little more-ours 14000 with no extras.



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