2006 Hyundai Elantra Review

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Pros & Cons

  • Long list of standard features, comfortable interior with lots of storage, generous warranty.
  • Engine lacks midrange pep, floaty highway ride with base suspension, hard to find equipped with ABS.
List Price Estimate
$1,150 - $2,201

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With its low price, roomy cabin and above-average materials, the 2006 Hyundai Elantra is still worth a try if you're looking for value in a small sedan or hatchback. Keep in mind, however, that newer competitors have moved ahead of it in performance and overall refinement.

Vehicle overview

The Hyundai Elantra has always been a winner in our opinion, especially after it got a complete overhaul in 2001, adding interior space and exterior size, along with a full load of standard equipment, without a substantial boost in the price. For those who still have their doubts, Hyundai continues to back the Elantra with an industry-leading 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.

To keep things interesting, Hyundai began selling a five-door hatchback version for the 2002 model year. Hatchbacks offer 28 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats in use and 37 cubes when they're folded. Cabin accommodations are simple yet comfortable, and all of the controls are easy to find and use. Further, the Hyundai Elantra caters to commuters, providing a smooth ride on the highway and no-fuss handling in the parking lot. Some buyers may find the base GLS too soft in the corners, but if that's the case, the more firmly tuned GT sedan and hatchback are available, though even the GT is a bit on the soft side as well.

The Elantra is not without faults; ABS is buried in expensive option packages, and the car's engine is not as strong or refined as the class leaders. Additionally, the cabin, though comfortable, is becoming rather dated. Adding insult to injury, the Spectra offers all the good things we like about the Elantra, along with more features, for a lower price. The 2006 Hyundai Elantra is not an undesirable car, it's just not the complete package it once was. Until the redesigned Elantra hits showrooms, we suggest you carefully consider the competition before you buy.

2006 Hyundai Elantra models

The Hyundai Elantra sedan is available in GLS, Limited and GT trim, while the five-door hatchback comes in either GLS or GT. Standard equipment on the GLS includes air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and locks; keyless entry; a center armrest with storage; and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat. In addition to that, the GLS hatchback includes a sport suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. The Limited adds wood grain trim, leather seating, chrome trim and foglights. GT models provide all of the above, plus alloy wheels, cruise control, an instrument panel with red/blue illumination and trip computer, a six-speaker CD audio system and a rear spoiler. Among the factory options are cruise control and a CD player on GLS models, and antilock brakes and a sunroof on all trims.

2006 Highlights

A Limited sedan with leather seats and wood grain accents has been added to the Elantra lineup.

Performance & mpg

Every Elantra comes with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine good for 138 horsepower (132 with SULEV emissions equipment). Drivers have their choice of either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. If you like shifting your own gears, the manual is definitely the way to go, as it makes it easy to keep the engine in its power band. Equipped with the automatic, the Hyundai Elantra delivers ample around-town power but can feel sluggish during highway passing maneuvers, as the transmission waits too long to downshift.

Safety

Side airbags for front occupants are standard on all Elantras, and antilock brakes are optional. In government crash testing, the Hyundai Elantra earned five stars out of five for driver protection in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger. In side-impact tests, the Elantra received five stars for front-occupant protection and four stars for rear-occupant protection. The IIHS gave it a "Good" rating for frontal-offset protection, but a "Poor" rating for side impacts.

Driving

The 2006 Hyundai Elantra excels at Point-A-to-B driving where a comfortable ride and light, easy handling are assets. In GT form, the suspension has slightly thicker stabilizer bars and firmer shock tuning, but the ride quality remains smooth and forgiving. There's plenty of body roll around corners with either setup, but the car behaves in such a predictable manner you're never caught off-guard.

Interior

Inside, the Elantra has a dated but simple layout. It's not exciting, but the switchgear is high in quality and all of the controls are right where you expect them to be. GT models have a more upscale flavor with leather wrappings on the seats, steering wheel and shift knob, as well as Volkswagen-inspired red-and-blue gauge illumination -- it's a nice idea, but it clashes with the green backlighting on the center stack. Hatchbacks offer 20 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats in use and 37 cubes when they're folded.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Hyundai Elantra.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2006 Elantra GLS still going strong at 214,576
binski72,01/29/2013
I bought this car new in june of 2006. The only thing I have done to this car is change the oil every 5,000 miles. I have gone through 3 sets of tires and front brakes 3 times. at 120,000 I did a complete tune up and had the trans and radiator flushed. This is my 4th elantra and they heve never let me down. Just make sure you do the basic maintaince and it will last a long time. I do drive 90% of the time on the highway. With the cruise controll set at 68mph I am still getting 32mpg on the highway. If i set it at 78mph it drops to 28mpg.
A Really Great Car
JULES KIRCHAIN,03/25/2016
GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
This car was purchased in California and driven to Florida, back to California and back to Florida. Absolutely no trouble. I recommend the Hyundai Elantra very highly. The front seats are not comfortable on long trips however around town they are adequate. This car gets great gas mileage. The only mechanical problem was the original catalytic converter failed at 60,000 miles but it was covered under warranty and was replaced. Oh, by the way, the 10 year 100,000 mile warranty is simply fantastic. I will never buy another car unless it has the 10/100000 warranty.
116,800 mi, 8 years--never let me down!
jasonhk,09/19/2014
I'm surprised at all the mixed reviews here. I live in PA and bought my Elantra new in '06. roughly 6 months are cold, some snowy. I do 50% highway, 50% city. I do all recommended maintenance and in almost 8 years, changed brake pads 2x, tires 3x, headlights 4x, radiator 1x (102kmi), and an 02 sensor. The car NEVER let me down and repairs have been minimal and reasonable. I'm considering getting a new Elantra due to greater safety specs, but I'm leaning towards just putting in another new timing belt at 120 and doing the service. I totally see myself getting over 200K. Those who report bad things probably beat the hell out of their car. Just take care of it!
Best car I have owned.
Karen,07/31/2015
Limited SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
It has been totally dependable. I have not put it through alot of miles so I can't testify for long term. My problem is getting in and out all the time.

Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
138 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
21 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
138 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
23 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
138 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
21 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
132 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2006 Hyundai Elantra features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    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
    Poor
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Hyundai Elantra

Used 2006 Hyundai Elantra Overview

The Used 2006 Hyundai Elantra is offered in the following submodels: Elantra Hatchback, Elantra Sedan. Available styles include GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GT 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GLS SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS SULEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GT 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Limited SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), and GT SULEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Hyundai Elantra?

Price comparisons for Used 2006 Hyundai Elantra trim styles:

  • The Used 2006 Hyundai Elantra Limited is priced between $3,998 and$3,998 with odometer readings between 147696 and147696 miles.

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Which used 2006 Hyundai Elantras are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Hyundai Elantra for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2006 Elantras listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,998 and mileage as low as 147696 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Hyundai Elantra.

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Find a used Hyundai Elantra for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $7,611.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Elantra for sale - 1 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $23,524.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 12 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $9,462.

Should I lease or buy a 2006 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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Check out Hyundai Elantra lease specials