Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra Wagon

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1996 Hyundai Elantra
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1996 Hyundai Elantra

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

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.

1996 Highlights

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.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Hyundai Elantra.

A great little car for the money!
Kalikiano,12/28/2009
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!
A very economical, fun little vehicle!
Kalikiano,03/18/2010
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!
hyundai eval
ku rainbow,08/25/2002
This little vehicle ssurprised me as being an off-brand, I was a little skeptical. However, I really liked the styling & the price range for a second run around town car. It gets over 400 miles to a tank & is spacious for all my cargo needs.
96 Elantra Wagon
JD2618,03/06/2004
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.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
130 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
21 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
130 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra Wagon features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 1996 Hyundai Elantra
Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra Wagon Overview

The Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra Wagon is offered in the following styles: 4dr Wagon, and GLS 4dr Wagon.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra Wagon?

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Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra Wagon Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Hyundai Elantra Wagon.

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Can't find a used 1996 Hyundai Elantra Elantra Wagon you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Elantra for sale - 11 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $24,207.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 7 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $22,994.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Elantra for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $9,408.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 2 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $18,762.

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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.

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