Used 1998 Hyundai Elantra Wagon

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1998 Hyundai Elantra
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1998 Hyundai Elantra

Pros

  • Tight, well-built, and surprisingly zippy, the Elantra is a compact worth considering.

Cons

  • Interior fabrics are nasty.
Hyundai Elantra years
1998

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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. Several years ago, the Accent and Sonata provided a strong hint that this South Korean automaker was finally learning how to build a good car. This Elantra provides the proof. Larger and more powerful than the first-generation Elantra, this car offers quite a bit of bang for your buck in either sedan or wagon bodystyles.

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 Elantra features a longer wheelbase and wider track than the original model, which contributes to smoother, more stable handling. A 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 are standard on the Elantra, housed in a two-piece dashboard designed to reduce squeaks and rattles. 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 use of sound deadening materials helps quiet this compact car.

Base price for a five-speed sedan is $11,499. 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 $2,100 nets buyers a GLS model with a 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. Option Packages can add air conditioning, cruise control, and antilock brakes for less than $1,600.

Good value? Let's take a look. A Civic LX sedan equipped with air conditioning, automatic, and antilock brakes runs about $16,500. A similarly equipped Dodge Neon Highline comes in around $15,000, including ABS. A sporty Pontiac Sunfire SE sedan with a powerful 2.4-liter engine stickers near $16,000 and includes traction control. A fully loaded Kia Sephia GS will cost $13,500.

The 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 Hyundai, but as it stands, the Elantra is likely to be passed over by most consumers, simply because of the nomenclature affixed to the decklid.

1998 Highlights

No changes to the Elantra for 1998.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Hyundai Elantra.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Very reliable
supgamer,07/16/2012
I bought this Elantra with 76,000 mi. , now I have 172,000 mi. on it. I don't know if the first owner did all the fixing, but this car has been very reliable to me. I use this car for long distance deliveries (courier), therefore, most of the mileage have been highway. Besides regular maintenance (tires, fluids, brakes, tune up, etc), I had to change the crank shaft position sensor, slave cilinder, clutch, the AC fun that was out of balance and making noise, driver's inside door handle (switched with the same side back door, fits perfectly), did change the timming belt and water and that's it. My only complaint are the air vents that are very delicate (all broken). Love this car!!!
Utilitarian Plus
SmallWagonDriver,11/06/2009
Bought this in '99 w/30,000 and it's still used daily in-town and on long trips. At 158,000 total miles it has suffered a couple problems, the worst a cracked exhaust manifold at 124,000. Clutches do wear out, and that was replaced at 152,000. Otherwise, it's very solid and has been very reliable, however we do keep it well-maintained (the secret to car longevity). It has seen some pretty tough duty in the mountains and in hot, dry desert-like conditions and never left us stranded. It's never had any electrical problems, no leakage from underneath, does not use oil (we've always run synthetic), heater and AC still works great, and to top it off, a tree fell on it but it just pushed back!
Still going
supgamer,01/04/2014
I bought this car about 6 years ago for $1600 with 76,000 mi, now I have over 213,000 on it and still going like a charm, everything is working properly. Some of the things I had to repair were: 1 clutch, 2 oxygen sensors, 1 crankshaft position sensor, radiator, 1 air blower, driver's side interior door handle ( used the one from the back door as still opens the door with minor difficulty), 3 out of 4 vent louvers, (can't remember anything else), and the usual things: 1 timing belt, 2 batteries, 1 tune up stuff, oil, 2 sets of tires, brakes, bulbs, etc.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 27 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
130 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
130 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1998 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
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger1 / 5
  • 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 1998 Hyundai Elantra
Used 1998 Hyundai Elantra Wagon Overview

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Find a used Hyundai Elantra for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $9,310.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 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