1999 Hyundai Elantra Review
Pros & Cons
- Hyundais are more reliable than you think. Tight, well built, and surprisingly zippy, the Elantra is a compact worth considering. Seat upholstery has also been updated.
- With the enhanced vehicle comes an enhanced price.
Edmunds' Expert Review
In an effort to mold its image into that of a serious, first-rate automobile manufacturer, Hyundai has recently added standard equipment and enhanced the performance of several of its cars. The improved Accent and all-new Sonata are proving that this South Korean automaker has finally learned how to build a good car. This year's Elantra provides even more proof, and the company offers an industry-leading warranty program to back it up.
Called the Hyundai Advantage, the new buyer assurance program is a great incentive to buy a Hyundai over one of the many other compact choices on the market. With the purchase of any Hyundai vehicle, consumers will receive an awesome 10-year / 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. If the car is sold within those first 10 years, the new owner will still be entitled to a 5-year / 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Also part of the program is 5-year / 100,000-mile corrosion coverage and a limited bumper-to-bumper warranty for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Additionally, the program offers free 24-hour roadside assistance for five years, which includes towing and lockout service.
Potential Elantra buyers can choose sedans or wagons in Base or GLS trim levels. New under the hood of the Elantra is the 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter DOHC engine that powers the Tiburon and replaces the Elantra's previous 130-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine. Riding on a four-wheel independent suspension, the Elantra features smooth, stable handling. A speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering system communicates improved road feel to the driver.
Designers fiddled around with the Elantra's exterior this year, restyling the front end with a bold new grille, sleek hood lines and a larger air intake opening. New headlights feature a multi-focus reflector system and the Elantra gets revised turn signal lamps. The rear gets reengineered taillights and a restyled optional spoiler, while the car's midsection adds waistline molding and new five-spoke alloy wheels.
Inside the Elantra, consumers will find a new dashboard layout, rotary-type climate controls and a steering wheel that uses a low-weight magnesium core for greater strength and durability. To enhance ride comfort, front seat backs have been slightly widened. 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. Extensive use of sound deadening materials helps quiet this compact car.
The five-speed sedan includes air conditioning, five-mph bumpers, rear window defroster, dual remote control mirrors, rear seat heating ducts, intermittent windshield wipers, remote fuel and trunk releases, cassette stereo, tilt steering column and speed-sensitive steering. Option packages can add automatic transmissions, power door locks, power outside mirrors, six-way adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 split folding rear seat, power windows, rear spoilers and antilock brakes.
The Hyundai Elantra is spunky, fun-to-drive and reliable, and has a buyer's program to prove it. If you're in the market for a compact sedan or wagon, Hyundai's Elantra is a serious contender.