2010 Hyundai Elantra Review
2010 Hyundai Elantra Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- High-class cabin for the price, smooth and secure ride, spacious interior with adult-friendly backseat, generous features list, low price, long warranty.
- A bit bland to drive, a few cheap interior bits, lackluster side-impact safety scores, engine gets noisy at higher rpm.
For 2010, the Hyundai Elantra adds a new, fuel-efficient Blue model along with improved fuel economy for all other models. A new grille and chrome trim spruce up the appearance, while iPod/USB connections are now standard down to the GLS trim.
Even though the 2010 Hyundai Elantra is often overshadowed by more firmly entrenched competitors, its affordable price and relative refinement make it an ideal small sedan. It's worthy of serious consideration.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2010 Hyundai Elantra Blue 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.03 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$126/mo for Elantra Blue
Avg. Compact Car
The 2010 Hyundai Elantra is one of those cars that will make you feel like you've found something special. It's like a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that doesn't look like much from the outside but serves up tantalizing meals on the inside. The unassuming Elantra aces just about every test that really matters for economy car buyers. For a price comparable to the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla, the Elantra delivers much more space and comfort for passengers. To further sweeten the deal, the Elantra also comes with a slightly lower price, respectable fuel economy, a capacious trunk and a generous warranty.
Hyundai hasn't tinkered much with the current-generation Elantra since it debuted back in 2007, but there are a few notable changes for 2010. This year's new entry-level Blue trim level provides enhanced fuel economy thanks to engine tweaks that include a "smart" alternator management system, lower-friction engine components, revised transmission gear ratios, engine calibration changes and a shift indicator for the manual transmission. The rest of the automatic-equipped Elantra line also receives these engine modifications to similarly raise fuel economy. The overall increase is modest -- just an extra mpg or two -- but it does help the Elantra stay competitive with other small sedans in terms of efficiency.
As with any car, there are some flaws, but the Elantra keeps these drawbacks to a minimum. Some interior materials are on the cheap side -- though this is hardly unusual in this price bracket -- and the vehicle's side-impact safety scores are disappointing. Another detriment is that the Elantra also doesn't inspire much in the way of excitement either through styling or driving dynamics. In exchange, though, you'll get an impressive amount of comfort and refinement normally found in much more expensive cars.
Overall, the Elantra remains one of our top choices in the compact sedan market even if it is often overshadowed by more prominent competition. We like it more than the current Corolla -- in fact, the Elantra does a better job of meeting the traditional Corolla strengths of refinement and comfort than the Toyota does. Only the more economical Honda Civic and the sportier Mazda 3 challenge the Hyundai for our top recommendation. In any case, the 2010 Hyundai Elantra delivers more than expected, just like your favorite hidden restaurant. The only question is whether you'll want to keep it a secret or not.
Performance & mpg
The 2010 Hyundai Elantra is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that sends 138 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. In California-emissions states, Elantras with automatic transmissions meet Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) standards, but output is reduced to 132 hp. The Blue model is offered only with a five-speed manual transmission, while GLS and SE models receive a four-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. In a previous test of a five-speed manual Elantra, we reached 60 mph from a standstill in a respectable 8.4 seconds.
The EPA estimates fuel economy for the Elantra Blue at 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 29 mpg in combined driving. The GLS and SE models attain nearly identical numbers at 26/34/29 mpg.
Every Elantra comes standard with antilock disc brakes, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Stability and traction control and brake assist are only available on the SE model.
In government crash testing, the 2010 Hyundai Elantra received five out of five stars for frontal protection and four stars for side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Elantra its top score of "Good" in its frontal-offset test but a second-worst score of "Marginal" in side impact testing. Rear-seat side protection was rated as "Good," though it was the "Poor" driver torso and "Average" pelvis and leg protection that brought down the overall score.
On the highway, the 2010 Hyundai Elantra treats occupants to a mostly quiet cabin. Wind and road noise are pleasantly abated, but the engine can be a bit noisy above 3,500 rpm. The Elantra does an admirable job of soaking up road imperfections while also maintaining its composure through tight turns with a decent amount of grip. But compared to cars like the Civic and Mazda 3, the Elantra comes off as rather spiritless.
Inside, the 2010 Hyundai Elantra exhibits the look and feel of a more expensive sedan. While there is a scattering of hard plastics and wobbly buttons, occupants are generally surrounded by well-textured panels that have been solidly assembled. Adding to the upscale ambience is a gracefully sculpted dash and cool blue lighting that we'd expect to find in more upscale brands like Acura.
Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the spacious cabin with plentiful headroom and legroom -- even for taller folk. Storage is also quite good, with numerous pockets and bins, while the trunk ably contains up to 14 cubic feet of cargo. Rear 60/40-split-folding seats allow for even more cargo if needed.
2010 Hyundai Elantra models
The 2010 Hyundai Elantra is a small sedan available in Blue, GLS and SE trim levels. The base Blue model is a bit of a stripper and only includes 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a tilt-only steering wheel. An optional Comfort package adds air-conditioning, cruise control and a CD/MP3 player with a USB/auxiliary audio jack. The GLS model includes all the Blue's standard and optional features plus foglights. The SE model tops off the features list with 16-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a telescoping steering column and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. A power sunroof is optional on both GLS and SE trim levels, but heated front seats are only offered on SE models.
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Bought new and still own
2010 Hyundai Elantra SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
Car has 120,000 miles on it and did change transmission fluid and other items that were listed in manual to do. Car is running great still and looks great, yet it spends 9 months in Florida where there is no salt. Park it under carport and the paint has remained true to color since I purchased it. Gun metal I think was the color listed. Will probably still have it for years to … come. On third set of tires and just general maintenance has been done on it. Timing belt was done at 93,000 and struts were replaced already. Brakes done once already..... will be re doing front ones this year. Well worth price paid for car. Still run it 1500 miles back and forth to Florida to NY~
4.38 out of 5 stars
2010 Elantra GLS PZEV - 11,000 Miles
2010 Hyundai Elantra GLS PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
First I would like to address two issues mentioned in other reviews. Those with "bouncy" suspension seem to have the SE models. I haven't had those problems with the GLS. Also it was said that there is a delay in acceleration. That is true, but that is due to the ECO mode. There is a slight delay when accelerating from below (aprox) 3,000rpm to above 3,000. It has something to do with … keeping your driving at low, gas conserving RPMs. Disable ECO mode (by hitting TRIP till you see ECO ON, then holding TRIP until off) and you will have much smoother acceleration.
5 out of 5 stars
It gave its all - final update
2010 Hyundai Elantra Blue 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
Dec.2021 In Oct 2021, I stopped at a light. I was rear-ended and found myself in the middle of a four car pile up. Crunched front and rear. Age and miles made repair not practical. I walked away unhurt. Hit by an uninsured motorist. I lost a few thousand on the Elantra. The greatest loss was being forced into a car purchase in the worst market of my lifetime. I bought another Elantra … from Carmax. It's ok but I really miss that simple, basic, bullet proof, manual Elantra Blue. Best car (reliability) I've ever owned. Never had a failure of any kind in 145,000 mikes. _____________________________________________________ Best car I've ever owned. At 144,000, nothing has ever broken or failed me. Had I known the reliability on my first post, I'd have given five stars. 75% of the reviews are four or five stars and I guess that supports my experience. 25% of owners have has problems. I'm just guessing but I bet it is related to buying new, driving like an adult, and maintaining the car properly. Keeping fluids changed may be the key with this car. Just guessing but I suspect that the problem cars were abused by previous owners. All I know certain is that mine has been flawless. If prices for cars stay high and shortages remain, I'll change the timing belt again and drive it to 200,000. Bought a leftover 2010 in Jan 2011 for $12,200, $13,200 otd. Have the conv. package and love the xm radio. Now have 57k and the car has been near flawless. Had a minor brake light switch recall although the switch had not failed. Averaging 30.9 mpg annually. Keeping records for taxes. Better mpg on hwy/trips. I change oil every 5k and keep on trucking. Still have original brake pads. Facing some big bills at 60 k: timing belt, trans fluid, probably brakes, too. Could go $1,200. However, with my new Michelins, I could go another 60k. 7/8/2016 96k and still near flawless performance. Timing belt most expensive service. Time for first brake pads at 96k. Must be some kind of record. I feel like I'm driving for free. 1/8/2018 114,345 miles. I'd like a new car but it's hard to trade such a reliable, low-maintenance, and economical car. It has been a great car. I attribute my pleasant experience to it's basic design and manual transmission. Still very pleased. I expect to drive it another year, maybe two. 1/9/2019 125,876 miles Just a solid, reliable car. Still running fine. No plans to trade. The monetary value is so low for a high miles 5 speed that I'll just keep it as long as it runs well. Garage kept so paint and interior look good. Best value in a car I've ever had. 1/9/2020 136,000 miles I'm semi retired now and driving fewer miles. No doubt, it's the most reliable car I've ever owned. Still no failures of any kind. Just fluid changes and driving like the old guy I am. No plans to trade.
3.38 out of 5 stars
Not bad, not great
2010 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
The interior is very roomy yet it is very plain and some of it appears bare bones. The car has been reliable but the engine has seemed to run rough since day 1. When I asked the dealer about it I was told it was normal for the new cars to not idle smoothly. (It still makes no sense to me but it is what it is) The car is very fuel efficient but definitely could have had more bells and … whistles for the price.
2010 Elantra Highlights
|Combined MPG||29 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$126/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||5 years / 60,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- 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
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested