2009 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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 2009 Hyundai Elantra

  • The 2009 Hyundai Elantra is often overlooked, but it's a roomy and well-built small sedan with surprisingly sophisticated road manners. It is a must-drive if you're in the market for an economy car.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    High-class cabin for the price, smooth and secure ride, spacious interior with adult-friendly backseat, well-equipped, low price, long warranty.

  • Cons

    Engine is noisy at mid-to-high rpm, a bit bland to drive, a few cheap interior bits.

  • What's New for 2009

    The Hyundai Elantra gets enhanced suspension and steering tuning for 2009, along with new interior instrument and radio displays. A USB/iPod audio jack is now available.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Great little car at an

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Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This is our first Elantra. Came down to Focus SES and this. Liked the drive and price of this better. It gets good mileage (about 30 avg). I've driven manuals all my life, but struggled with this clutch a bit, stalling much more than 96 Accord. It does not do well in snow, I siped the tires and it helped a bit. I think it is the tires. I like the tighter steering and well thought out interior. I wish they had made it easier to use iPod. I feel the car at high speeds is working too hard. Noisy at highway speed. Love the reliability and ownership cost of this little car. After Cash for Clunker paid 10,800.




21,000+ miles in 9 months

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Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This is my first Hyundai, and I love the car. It is well built, and gets the advertised mpg. On the trip computer my avg is 31.4 mpg. I mostly drive highway. It handles very well, especially compared to its competitors, I love the stick shift, tight shifter, short throws. Very roomy, even for four adults. Low road noise, but the back window creaks when I go over odd bumps, like pulling out of a steep driveway. Otherwise no problems, and would definitely recommend. I will buy from Hyundai again, and would recommend the same to anyone. Did great in the snow for a low sitting car with low profile tires.




Love my elentra

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Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I love my new elentra - i have about 1500 miles 0r 2 months - received an excellent deal - the end of the year savings - originally drove several minivans over the years - but now kids are grown - no more soccer mom - my husband is purchasing a 2010 sonata




The best buy!

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Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I just bought my Hyundai, and I have no complaints! Its performance is amazing compared to my old mazda, and you can't beat the price, 12,000. If anyone is looking into the Hyundai Elantra, you should really consider it!




Se is fantastic value for

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Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This is yet another happy Cash For Clunkers story. My trusty '06 Accord lease was ending and I happen to have an F-150 I was holding on to. I got an early '09 (no USB - just AUX) with BlueTooth option and walked out the door paying just under $10,500 TOTAL (taxes included!). The great deals are available because, even though this car is highly rated, Hyundai's are just not coveted like Honda and Toyota are - yet. Build quality is excellent and interior is nicely laid out. I got the manual, which is similar to German gear layouts with a unique reverse lock-out feature as well.




Wow - all for $17k!!!

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Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I was forced to buy another Elantra after hydro-planing mine into the guardrail on I-70 at 60mph. My 2004 absorbed the accident perfectly and I was thrilled how it did. So, I went to Hyundai and they have improved everything on this newer model and after 700 miles I love the new car



Full 2009 Hyundai Elantra Review

What's New for 2009

The Hyundai Elantra gets enhanced suspension and steering tuning for 2009, along with new interior instrument and radio displays. A USB/iPod audio jack is now available.

Introduction

If you're reading this, that means you've stumbled upon the 2009 Hyundai Elantra. Good for you, because like Aladdin discovering the lamp inside that giant sand cavern, the Elantra represents a rewarding find among a variety of seemingly more tantalizing choices. Although compact sedans like the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla get most of the attention from car buyers, the Elantra manages to match or even beat these little big boys at their own game, while featuring a lower price and a longer warranty. It's certainly a diamond in the rough.

For starters, the Elantra is the most spacious vehicle in the compact sedan class -- it's so big, in fact, that the EPA classifies it as a midsize. This can best be experienced in the backseat, where a high-mounted bench, generous foot room and ample head clearance make it an easy fit for full-size adults. The front seat also provides an impressive amount of space for taller drivers, given that competitors are often inhospitable for those north of 6 feet. The trunk and storage cubbies are also sizable.

On paper, the Elantra's engine is unremarkable. It's a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 138 horsepower and a heavy iron block. In the real world, however, it's surprisingly responsive and fuel efficient, with only a somewhat agricultural engine note at high rpm being a distraction. Once under way, the Elantra continues to impress with a smooth ride and confidence-inspiring handling. As long as you opt for the Popular Equipment package, even the lower trim level GLS cossets its passengers with a generous amount of features and a handsome, well-built cabin. In short, this Hyundai feels much more expensive than it is.

Now in its third year, the current-generation Elantra carries over with only the addition of a new USB/iPod audio jack, redesigned gauges and radio displays and enhanced suspension and steering tuning (although we never really complained about either). All said, the 2009 Hyundai Elantra continues to be one of our top choices in the compact sedan category -- especially for buyers who prioritize space and comfort over a fun driving experience. If your priorities are reversed, you should check out the Mazda 3. And if you're somewhere in the middle, try the Honda Civic. But no matter where you think you may land, congrats once again for stumbling upon the Elantra. We can't promise a genie, but you should at least be pleasantly surprised.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Hyundai Elantra is a small sedan available in GLS and SE trim levels. The base GLS is sparsely equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and a tilt-only steering wheel. The Popular Equipment package adds air-conditioning, foglights, cruise control, illuminated vanity mirrors and a six-speaker stereo with a CD/MP3 player, USB/iPod audio jack, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. The SE adds that equipment, plus 16-inch alloy wheels, a telescoping steering column and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The SE Premium package adds a sunroof (optional on GLS) and heated front seats. Leather upholstery can also be added to that package.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive Elantra is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for 138 hp and 136 pound-feet of torque. Both 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 squeaky-clean Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEV) but are rated for 132 hp. In performance testing, an Elantra with the five-speed manual went from zero to 60 mph in a respectable 8.4 seconds. Fuel economy also is right up there with the class leaders at 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined for an automatic-equipped Elantra. The manual transmission drops the city and combined numbers by 1 mpg.

Safety

Each Elantra comes standard with antilock disc brakes, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. The Elantra SE adds stability and traction control and brake assist. In government crash testing, the 2009 Hyundai Elantra received five out of five stars for frontal protection and four stars for side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Elantra its top score of "Good" in its frontal offset test but the second-worst score of "Marginal" in the side test. Rear-seat side protection was rated as "Good," though it was "Poor" driver torso protection that resulted in the low overall score.

Interior Design and Special Features

As far as economy car interiors go, it doesn't get much nicer than the Hyundai Elantra. Sure, there are a few plastic bits, and the buttons are notably downgrade, but for the most part materials and build quality are impressive. For instance, the dash-top grain and cool blue lighting look like they could have been removed from an Acura. Indeed, 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 head-, shoulder-, hip- and legroom found in both the front and rear seats. Storage is also plentiful, with lots of cubbies and a 14-cubic-foot trunk.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Hyundai Elantra only has 138 horses, but they're a hard-working bunch capable of getting this spacious sedan up to speed surprisingly well. They're also rather noisy, however, particularly above 3,500 rpm. More refined is the ride quality, which is smooth and stable, even at highway speeds. Wind and road noise are also negligible, making the Elantra one of the better choices in its class if you do a lot of highway driving. Although it's not especially fun to drive, the Elantra manages to hold tight through turns, offering plenty of grip and decent steering response.

Talk About The 2009 Elantra

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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