2007 Hyundai Elantra Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Smooth and secure ride, responsive handling, attractive cabin design, adult-friendly backseat, tight construction, all major safety features standard, low price, long warranty.
- Engine is noisy at mid-to-high rpm, a few low-grade interior plastics.
A roomy and well-built economy car with surprisingly sharp reflexes, the redesigned 2007 Hyundai Elantra is a must-drive if you're shopping for a small sedan this year.
Most people know Hyundai builds inexpensive cars backed by long warranties, but the 2001-'06 Hyundai Elantra also put the brand on largely equal footing with the mainstream import brands in the economy car segment. Apart from a few odd styling details, it was a likable, well-built budget compact with a smooth ride, decent handling dynamics and a roomy interior. When it was time for a redesign, Hyundai sought to retain its price advantage while freshening up the Elantra's somewhat stodgy image. As a result, the all-new 2007 Hyundai Elantra sedan comes to market with crisp styling and surprisingly tight handling. In addition, it's roomier and more fuel-efficient than before and comes with all of the features most buyers are looking for, including ABS, side airbags and an MP3 player jack.
Although the redesigned Hyundai Elantra still shares its drivetrain components and some interior bits with the Kia Spectra, it rides on an all-new platform. Thanks to a 1.5-inch-longer wheelbase, a 2-inch wider track and a 2-inch height increase, the 2007 Elantra sedan has a significantly larger interior volume than before and now meets the midsize car size classification (although it still looks and drives like a compact car). It leads the class in front legroom and ranks near the top for all other interior measurements.
The Elantra's backseat is particularly impressive, as its high-mounted bench and generous foot room make it an easy fit for adults. Despite its growth spurt, the '07 Elantra actually weighs less than before and thus still feels adequately powered, even though it continues to use last year's 138-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine. With a manual transmission, Hyundai's economy car feels downright sprightly. Even more impressive is its smooth, stable demeanor at high speeds, an attribute that makes it feel like a more upscale car than before. Further aiding this impression is the Elantra's attractively styled interior and blue nighttime illumination. Closer examination reveals a few more low-grade plastics than we'd like, but everything is put together with care.
Overall, the 2007 Hyundai Elantra sedan offers a highly competitive package that shouldn't be overlooked, even by compact-car buyers with greater spending power. Still, if you're shopping in this segment, you should also look at the Honda Civic, which offers higher-quality interior furnishings, a smoother engine and higher fuel economy ratings. Another to consider is the Mazda 3, which delivers a much sportier driving experience and a higher level of overall refinement. For most economy car buyers, though, the well-rounded Hyundai Elantra should be a good match. As in the past, its reasonable price tag and long warranty certainly won't hurt.
2007 Hyundai Elantra models
A compact economy sedan, the 2007 Hyundai Elantra comes in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels. Aimed at dealer advertising fodder, the base GLS is sparsely equipped: It wears 15-inch steel wheels and has power windows, mirrors and locks, but offers neither air-conditioning nor a stereo as standard, which must be added via a preferred equipment package. In contrast, the midrange Elantra SE is nicely equipped, as it includes 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack, a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel (with audio controls), and cruise control. Later in the model year, SEs will also have satellite radio as standard. Step up to the Elantra Limited and you'll get leather upholstery and heated front seats. A sunroof is a package option on all Elantras. On the SE, it's bundled with heated seats, while on the Limited, it must be purchased in conjunction with an upgraded 220-watt audio system with an MP3-compatible in-dash CD changer.
Performance & mpg
Standard on all Elantra sedans is a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine capable of 138 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. All trim levels can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission that routes power to the front wheels. Note that automatic-equipped Elantras sold in California and the Northeastern states carry SULEV/PZEV certification and are rated for just 132 hp. Fuel economy ratings are 28 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, regardless of transmission choice.
Every '07 Elantra comes with antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and anti-whiplash front head restraints.
Thanks to a modest weight loss in the redesign, the Elantra is fairly quick out of the gates, especially when equipped with a manual gearbox. Clutch modulation is a little tricky on these cars, but we've timed a manual-shift SE model at 8.4 seconds for the 0-60-mph run. The only major knock against the 2.0-liter engine is its noisy, somewhat coarse demeanor above 3,500 rpm. Ride quality is excellent, and the '07 Elantra has a smooth yet stable feel at high speeds that previous models lacked. Wind and road noise are minimal. Although its personality isn't overtly sporting, the new Elantra is a highly capable handler, should you choose to explore the limits. Body roll is moderate, but the Elantra holds tight through the turns, offering plenty of grip. Steering response and feedback are impressive as well, especially considering that Hyundai's economy car now uses electric power assist.
Inside, the 2007 Hyundai Elantra has a more cohesive and upscale look than any previous model. Ergonomics are excellent, and everything lights up in the same shade of blue at night, including the MP3 player jack and the window buttons on all four doors. Not only will occupants be able to find what they need, day or night; they'll be quite comfortable in the process, as the Elantra offers abundant head-, shoulder-, hip- and legroom in both the front and rear. Storage spaces are numerous as well, and the trunk offers a generous 14-cubic-foot capacity. Our only complaint in the cabin involves the easily scratched, low-buck plastic used on parts of the dash. Build quality is tight inside and out.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
More About This Model
We have a bulletin about the 2007 Hyundai Elantra: It's not all about the warranty anymore.
Sure, it's hard to complain about Hyundai's 100,000-mile warranty, but the all-new 2007 Hyundai Elantra is so good, it can stand on its own merits. This all-new redesign of Hyundai's compact sedan is more spacious, better built, more fuel-efficient and even more responsive to drive.
Yes, the 100,000-mile warranty adds a dimension to the 2007 Hyundai Elantra that other small sedans don't have, but you'll care more about this front-wheel-drive Hyundai's practical, enthusiastic personality on the road than the paperwork in the glovebox.
Would you believe it's midsize?
Thanks to its comprehensive makeover, the 2007 Hyundai Elantra sedan's overall interior volume has ballooned to 112.1 cubic feet, which makes it one of the most spacious small sedans on the market. Compared to the previous platform, the new Elantra's wheelbase has been stretched 1.5 inches, while its body is 2 inches wider and 2.2 inches taller.
Although the new Nissan Sentra is larger on the outside, the Elantra has more interior volume than the Sentra, and the Hyundai's front-seat legroom is more generous than anything in its class. This all-new Elantra has also been engineered to a high standard. Its chassis is 49-percent more rigid than before (9-percent stiffer than even that of the Toyota Corolla), and this translates to a quieter ride and better handling.
Just as important, the new Elantra reflects Hyundai's continuing emphasis on a long list of safety features as standard equipment. This includes disc brakes on all four wheels and antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, not to mention front seatbelt pre-tensioners, front airbags, front-seat side airbags and curtain-type head protection airbags for front- and rear-seat passengers.
Choose your trim level
The Elantra's model lineup is slightly different this year. The $13,995 GLS makes up the vast majority of the model mix, but a few key features like air-conditioning and an audio system are optional in order to create an artificially low price.
A $16,295 SE model includes all the interior niceties you expect, including air-conditioning, a six-speaker 172-watt audio system with a six-disc CD changer and an input jack for an MP3 player (plus standard XM satellite-ready radio), a full complement of power accessories, and even cruise control.
At the top of the line, there's the $17,295 Limited model with leather upholstery and heated seats. We tested an Elantra SE, and its $16,380 sticker price included floor mats as an $85 option.
Diet for a speedy small sedan
Hyundai's aging 2.0-liter DOHC inline-4 engine with its heavy iron block is under the hood, but the Korean engineers have coaxed some pretty strong performance out of it, as it makes 138 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 136 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. Engine response low in the rpm range is particularly good thanks to variable valve timing, and we got a chirp out of the SE's model's standard 205/55HR16 Kumho tires.
The Elantra isn't exactly meant to be a performance sedan, though, as the clutch take-up for the five-speed manual transmission is numb at best and grabs as it engages — not the kind of behavior you want in commute-hour traffic. And as smooth and enthusiastic as the engine might be at civilized speeds, the power delivery gets noisy above 3,500 rpm. If you restrain yourself at highway speed, the Elantra is actually fractionally quieter than a Honda Civic.
So it's noisy, but the Elantra's engine also delivers impressive acceleration. During our testing, the Elantra reached 60 mph in just 8.4 seconds, and it went through the quarter-mile in 16.4 seconds at 83 mph. These are numbers that put the Hyundai right in the middle of a pack that includes the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra.
When you look at fuel economy, the Hyundai Elantra is even more impressive. The Korean engineers tinkered with lots of details, including engine friction, transmission efficiency and tire rolling resistance, and all these little things added up to some big numbers. When equipped with the four-speed automatic transmission, the Elantra's fuel economy has improved no less than 4 mpg, to 28 mpg city/36 mpg highway. An Elantra with a manual transmission also improves to 28 mpg city/36 mpg highway.
We tested the 2007 Hyundai Elantra's fuel economy on a 170-mile loop, holding our top speed to 70 mph and generally driving as if Mom were riding shotgun. We were rewarded with an average of 34.5 mpg — better than any tank recorded during our '01 Elantra long-term test. For the complete 675 miles of testing, our Elantra SE with its five-speed manual transmission returned 26.7 mpg. In this class, only the Honda Civic (30 mpg city/38 mpg highway) and Toyota Corolla (32 mpg city/41 mpg highway) have significantly higher EPA mileage ratings.
One of the Elantra's high-tech features that improve fuel economy is the incorporation of electronic power-assist steering, which adds 0.7 mpg to its mileage rating. Sometimes electronic-assist produces steering efforts that seem to vary unexpectedly, but the Elantra SE's electronic steering always felt right to us.
The Hyundai Elantra really surprised us on the back roads of the Santa Monica Mountains. The suspension delivers lots of comfort with plenty of wheel travel, yet the cornering limits are surprisingly high. The gas-charged suspension dampers help control body motions, and there's not too much roll in the corners. The Elantra SE's wide 205/55HR16 tires help the car track through the corners.
As a measure of its handling precision and cornering grip, the 2007 Hyundai Elantra averaged 65.3 mph through our slalom test. In this class of small sedans, only the Mazda 3's rating of 69 mph is faster. On the skid pad, the Elantra achieved 0.80g, on par with an '06 Civic EX equipped with the same tires.
As we mentioned, four-wheel disc brakes and ABS are standard, although the benefits lie in fade resistance and emergency maneuvering rather than sheer stopping power. In any case, our test vehicle stopped from 60 mph in 128 feet, a fraction shorter than the Honda's 130 feet but not quite to the standard set by the Mazda 3's 118 feet.
Furnished to a high standard
In keeping with its more sophisticated road manners, the 2007 Hyundai Elantra has a cabin with a surprising combination of good design and good materials. A soft shade of blue light now illuminates all the gauges at night, just like a Volkswagen.
Part of the secret of the Elantra's new spaciousness is a wider and taller body, yet the driving position doesn't feel unnaturally tall. Not that it really matters, as a tilt-telescoping steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver seat ensure that almost anyone can get comfortable behind the wheel. The field of view is expansive, which makes you feel safe and at ease in traffic. We liked the seats during our long drives, although the anti-whiplash head restraints for the seats aren't ponytail-friendly.
The Elantra's reconfigured interior also offers a surprisingly spacious rear seat, as the bench is high enough to let you find a comfortable position for your legs.
Lay down your warranty
Hyundai hasn't got the image Honda has in the U.S., but once you take a test-drive, you'll realize that the Korean company is trying hard to deliver the same spirit of practicality and fun that you find in every Honda Civic.
This is also the kind of car that makes a strong case with those who have sharp pencils in hand and are figuring the dollars and cents of a car purchase. Consider that the '07 Elantra SE is:
- $580 cheaper than a comparably equipped Civic LX ($16,960)
- $645 cheaper than a comparably equipped Sentra S ($17,025)
- $790 cheaper than a comparably equipped Mazda 3 i Touring ($17,170)
- $1,635 cheaper than a comparably equipped Corolla S ($18,015)
Great. Now we're patting Hyundai again on the back for its affordable pricing. Really, it's not the warranty, it's not the price — it's the car.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
How does it sound: Considering the Elantra SE's $16,295 base price, the standard 172-watt audio system sounds fair overall. There's not much bass, but the six speakers fill the cabin nicely. Separation is lacking, but the strong highs add a bit of clarity to what would otherwise be a very muddy-sounding system.
How does it work: The Elantra's base audio system is so simple that it couldn't be anything but easy to use. The glowing blue display is easy to read and it's relatively large for such an inexpensive car. Buttons are well placed for the most part and the labels are easy to read. Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls are standard on the SE and Limited, and they are large enough to be useful.
Special features: An auxiliary jack for connecting handheld MP3 players is standard for the Elantra SE and Limited. An upgraded 220-watt system with six-disc CD changer is available as an option, but only on the high-line Limited model. XM radio will be available later in the 2007 model year and even the SE's standard radio will come pre-wired for that extra-cost option.
Conclusion: With six speakers and the option of XM Satellite Radio, the Elantra's stereo is just about where it should be in terms of performance and features considering its sub-$20,000 price. — Brian Moody
Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton says:
I thought it'd be easy to recommend the Hyundai Elantra simply based on the content offered at its $16K as-tested price. I was a little surprised to learn there are 20 sedans from which to choose if you follow this Edmunds.com link to Sedans: Under $15K, including this 2007 Hyundai Elantra.
So which one is best in this obviously competitive segment? Across the board, the majority of base prices appear to be in the range of $13K-$15K, so there must be another factor. Fuel economy would seem another good way to sort out the winners from the losers, but my unscientific survey shows that 28 mpg city/36 mpg highway EPA ratings are common. Choose on appearance? That's up to you.
If it were up to me to pick an economy car, I'd choose one that doesn't feel like a stripped-down penalty box, and I'd make sure it drives with at least a modicum of enthusiasm. The Elantra fits this description very well.
I was immediately impressed with the quality of the Elantra's design, interior materials and features. From behind the wheel, it feels and looks like a more expensive car. When I tested the Elantra at the track, its ability to grip the pavement and inspire confidence in the driver made it a real standout in its class. I suspect there are people out there like me who'd prefer a sportier economy car like this over a slow, uninspiring, barely adequate one.
Content Editor Warren Clarke says:
The Elantra offers a bargain-basement price tag with remarkably few compromises. I was impressed with the look of its sheet metal. High beltlines are all the rage, so this design cue gives this Hyundai a very contemporary feel.
Given this car's price range, there's bound to be lots of plastic in the interior, but it's nicely textured, and there's a faux metal panel on the center console that pleases the eye. The plastic used for the cabin's door handles is designed to resemble brushed metal, and it blends nicely with the rest of the door to help give the Elantra's interior a reasonably upscale feel. The seat fabric is acceptable, but the dated-looking print is perhaps the cabin's most noticeable misstep.
Most impressive of all is the Elantra's 2.0-liter engine. The Elantra proved itself eager and capable both on the freeway and on surface streets. It was fun to drive, which is quite a feat for a car in this price bracket.
"So I just bought the Elantra, pretty much the first one in the area which is pretty sweet. I have only driven it for about 150 miles, but all the first impressions are great! Interior with all the blue lighting is awesome. Standard features are great, too (with preferred package on GLS model)! It drives very smooth, very smooth. It's easy to be going faster than you think you are. 70 on the highway with low noise¿ Favorite features: Gas mileage is lookin' good, interior space, style, comfort, enjoyable ride. Suggested improvements: Automatic isn't extremely peppy, but gets the job done, paint job looks like it could have used another coat before the clear-coat." — Mcnack7, October 22, 2006
"On Oct 10th, my fiancé and I were in a car accident that totaled our 2004 Hyundai Elantra¿ After looking at many different cars and dealerships, we ended up going back to the guys who sold us the '04 and buying an '07. My first impression of the '07 was how well it handled. I'm able to turn corners sharper than before and my acceleration is amazing compared to anything else I've driven. The trunk space is amazing (though you wouldn't think so from the outside!) The small details are great — a purse/trash holder in front is neat!" — Kirsten, October 19, 2006
Edited by Erin Riches
Used 2007 Hyundai Elantra Overview
The Used 2007 Hyundai Elantra is offered in the following submodels: Elantra Sedan. Available styles include GLS 4dr Sedan w/XM Option (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS 4dr Sedan w/XM Option (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GLS SULEV 4dr Sedan w/XM Option (2.0L 4cyl 4A), SE 4dr Sedan w/XM (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Limited 4dr Sedan w/XM (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Limited 4dr Sedan w/XM (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SE 4dr Sedan w/XM (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Limited SULEV 4dr Sedan w/XM (2.0L 4cyl 4A), SE SULEV 4dr Sedan w/XM (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Limited SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and SE SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A). Pre-owned Hyundai Elantra models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 138 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2007 Hyundai Elantra comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual. The Used 2007 Hyundai Elantra comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.
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Should I lease or buy a 2007 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.