1996 Hyundai Elantra Review
1996 Hyundai Elantra Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
All-new Elantra is a slickly styled sedan or wagon featuring dual airbags, side-impact protection and a more powerful engine. Pricing is up as well, pushing this Hyundai squarely into Dodge Neon and Honda Civic territory.
1996 Elantra Highlights
- Combined MPG
- 24 MPG
- Cost to Drive
- front wheel drive
- Engine Type
The Excel is long dead, and it's time to stop thinking of Hyundai as a second-rate automobile manufacturer. Last year, the Accent and Sonata provided a strong hint that this South Korean automaker was finally learning how to build a good car. This all-new 1996 Elantra provides the proof. Larger and more powerful than the first-generation Elantra, this new car offers quite a bit of bang-for-your-buck in either sedan or new-for-1996 wagon bodystyle.
Under the hood is a 130-horsepower 1.8-liter Hyundai-designed "Beta" engine, which produces 90 percent of its torque at 2,300 rpm, resulting in snappy around town performance. Riding on a four-wheel independent suspension, the new Elantra features a longer wheelbase and wider track, which contributes to smoother, more stable handling. An all-new speed-sensitive rack and pinion steering system communicates improved road feel to the driver. GLS models can be ordered with four-channel antilock brakes, which read each wheel separately.
Dual airbags debut on the Elantra this year, housed in a two-piece dashboard designed to reduce the development of squeaks and rattles. Side impact beams mounted in the doors meet 1997 safety standards. Adjustable headrests and seatbelt anchors are standard, and all models come with driver's side lumbar support and seat height adjustments. GLS models get a 60/40 split folding rear seat. Extensive sound deadening materials have also been added to the Elantra.
Base price for a five-speed sedan is $10,900. This price includes five-mph bumpers, rear window defroster, dual remote control mirrors, rear seat heat ducts, remote fuel and trunk releases, tilt steering, and speed-sensitive steering. Another $2,250 nets buyers a GLS model with an automatic, cassette stereo, power door locks, power outside mirrors, six-way adjustable driver's seat, split fold rear seat, power windows, four-wheel disc brakes, and performance-oriented tires. Add Option Package 11 to the GLS, and you'll get air conditioning, cruise control, and antilock brakes, bringing the MSRP to $15,040 plus destination.
Good value? Let's take a look. A Civic LX sedan equipped with air conditioning, automatic, and anti-lock brakes runs $15,850. A similarly-equipped Dodge Neon Highline comes in under $15,000, including ABS. A sporty Pontiac Sunfire SE sedan with a powerful 2.4-liter engine stickers for $15,500 and includes traction control. A fully loaded Kia Sephia GS will cost $13,290.
The 1996 Hyundai Elantra is much-improved over its predecessor. But like other Hyundai products, once a few options are added, the value disappears. The Pontiac offers superior content, the Dodge superior performance, the Honda a better reputation, and the Kia better value. If Hyundai had priced the Elantra a bit more down market, it would make a compelling choice. We like this new Hyundai, but as it stands, the new Elantra is likely to be passed over by most consumers, simply because of the nomenclature affixed to the decklid.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra.
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
3.75 out of 5 stars
96 Elantra Wagon
1996 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Wagon
Overall the vehicle performed well. It was reasonable on gas. It seemed to require more brake maintence than normal. The extended warranty was worth the cost as several items needed to be replaced before 75,000 Scheduled regular maintenance by Hyundai is pricey, especially the timing belt. The Dealer fixed items at no charge that were no longer under warranty for … Good- Will. I would recommend the purchase of an Elantra if you get rebates and a good price.
4.75 out of 5 stars
A great little car for the money!
1996 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Wagon
I bought my 1996 Hyundai Elantra GLS wagon used (in 2008), with 117,000 miles on it. Since I wanted a white paint exterior, I really had to search a bit until I found one (in Arizona). I've put about 3000 miles on it so far and it has performed like a champ. Lots of room for myself, wife, and two large dogs. Well appointed, comfortable, with excellent cooling/heating capabilities and … superb 360 degree visibility, I soon grew quite fond of this modest but sturdy little Korean automobile. With excellent fuel economy (27-30 mpg average for both city and highway), it's really the frugal person's Honda Civic: high quality for low cost. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good used car!
4.5 out of 5 stars
A very economical, fun little vehicle!
1996 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Wagon
Bought my 1996 white Elantra GLS wagon from an Arizona dealer. It had 118,000 miles on it and was in excellent overall condition (well maintained by a NASA engineer) at the time. I have been quite pleased with this vehicle. Fuel economy excellent (30+ mpg) and reliability solid. Only problem I had was with the 'check engine light' coming on, but adjustment at the local Hyundai dealer … resolved that and the car passed California emissions tests quite easily. The car's great fun, handles well, and extremely practical for passenger or cargo use. A few squeaks due to age, but they just add personality to what has proven to be a very satisfactory purchase. I'd buy another Hyundai in future!
2.63 out of 5 stars
1996 Hyundai Elantra 4dr Sedan
Elantra 4 door with 86 K bought it used, have had nothing but problems ever since. Ther pathetic engine is clean but makes it hard to accelerate at a stop sign. And those wonderful emissions controls that make the engine run like a deisel and not to mention the awesome(note sarcasm) blinking check engine light. Interior nice, though, reliable transportation, gas … mileage lower that what specs say, 20-25 city, 25 highway max!
More about the 1996 Hyundai Elantra
Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra Overview
The Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra is offered in the following submodels: Elantra Sedan, Elantra Wagon. Available styles include 4dr Wagon, 4dr Sedan, GLS 4dr Wagon, and GLS 4dr Sedan. Pre-owned Hyundai Elantra models are available with a 1.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 130 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic.
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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Hyundai Elantra?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Hyundai lease specials
Check out Hyundai Elantra lease specials
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