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 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 (24 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Sorry i'm late

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

Should have posted this back in April. This is one of the best vehicles I've ever owned.. Had over 50 of em... If you are thinking of a new car... Put this at the top of your list. Check the residual value ( surprising ).. Have owned the others, toy, niss, etc. Would recommend this car highly.




Great car for those on

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

I was looking for a car to drive back and forth to school going to college and all. I was really satisfied with the interior design of the Elantra, except for some of the cheap plastics. The car is a nice smooth ride, and is reliable, but it gets boring driving it after a while and it could use a little more power.




5 months 7000 miles reality

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

This is a follow-up of my 1st review. I still love my Elantra and still think it is unbeatable for the $$. Those of you who complain about it should definitely consider spending more money and buy in another segment...Since I put brand new winter tires on, I don't get more than 27 MPG. Got free XM for 3 months then 4.99 $/month special; told them would cancel after and got another 3 months at 4.99/month...Bought the trunk tray and find it essential. Just experienced the ESC taking over on icy road and it did a TERRIFIC job!




Really nice for the money

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

Really Nice car for its price. Fuel economy in the city 23 mpg using it for pizza delivery around 100 miles a day. Suspension can be better. Also there is a little bit of cracking in the interior but can't complain since I got the car for only $14,200 (a lot of negotiating). This car is made for gas saving so don't expect any good acceleration for racing. A lot of room inside and trunk is huge. Looks a lot better with tinted Windows and make sure you get seat covers in they are not black. All my friends have been impressed. If I don't get any mechanical problems, I will recommend this car to everyone.




Great car for little money

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

I've owned this 08 Elantra SE for just a couple of days and have been loving it so far. This is not my first Hyundai, more like my 4th and they have all been excellent cars. The 2008 is no exception, great price, so many standard features, good performance, quiet ride and good handling.




Thrilled

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

I purchased this car as an alternative to driving my gas guzzling full sized SUV. I was debating between this and the Honda Civic. I test drove both. There was no significant difference in performance or comfort. The lower price, better warranty, and cash rebate made the choice of the Elantra an easy decision. So far I'm thrilled with the car and my decision.



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