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Used 2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS Sedan Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS Sedan.

5 star(40%)
4 star(10%)
3 star(30%)
2 star(10%)
1 star(10%)
3.6 out of 5 stars
10 reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.75 out of 5 stars
My Experience with 2011 Elantra GLS Manual
GLS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
After about a month of on-line research, I test drove the 2011 Elantra GLS, Fiesta, Civic, and Kia Forte. All were fine cars, but in terms of value and the entire package, I was left wondering why anyone would buy a Civic. I now have purchased and driven the Elantra for over 5000 miles. It handles well, have not noticed the road noise some folks mention, and my gas mileage has exceeded … expectations (I do a great deal of highway travel, and average between 43 and 46 MPG). The interior feels about the same size as my old BMW 325I.
3.38 out of 5 stars
Don't Buy!!! Spun Rod Bearing after 6000 miles !!!
GLS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
I wish i could write a good review, and would have if i hadn't been stranded on the highway yesterday. Engine started rattling violently out of nowhere and lost all power. I was almost rear ended trying to get to the shoulder. Dealer diagnosed a spun rod bearing !!! They offered to replace the short block but not the entire engine. I don't feel safe driving this vehicle any longer ... i … guess i'm selling it at a loss. I'll go back to my beaters that have never left me stranded! (the car was never abused and i never went above 4k rpm). I guess some things are too good to be true.
3 out of 5 stars
Buyer beware..suspension death trap
GLS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
This model through 2013 have a dangerous side to it. the handling over small imperfection in the road and road being wet make handling this vehicle extremely dangerous for any novice driver. Those of us who have driven for a good period of time will realize fairly quickly this is an issue. the rear end will kick to either side at speeds as low as 30 mph over any road imperfection outside … of smooth roads. When the roads become wet it becomes a death machine so bad that you would think you lost a tire ( I actually got out of the vehicle to inspect the tires several times when I first encountered this). Be very aware of this when purchasing these vehicles. Otherwise outside of a small metal loss of steering control death cage it is a perfectly fine vehicle.
3 out of 5 stars
Very disappointed!!!
Linda S.,03/12/2016
GLS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
In Feb. 2011 I bought my brand new Elantra. Had to have a dealer call me when one came in as they were selling like hot cakes and none of the dealers had one to even look at in San Diego. It was exciting to see such a beautifully designed car inside and out that would get 29/40 mpg. WOW! This would be only the 2nd "new" car I've purchased and felt the mpg would make up a lot of the … difference in the new car price. The car got 24 mpg! How disappointing. Took it to every Hyundai dealer in San Diego and no one could or would help me and gave me the run around telling me "the car needed a break in period that would finish about 7,500 miles. I called what I thought was the Hyundai Corp. and after two years realized I was calling a third party that is hired by Auto Manufacturers to take complaints, etc. Finally, I told them that I'd heard them say "I'm sorry" for the last time and would contact an attorney. Contacted a Lemon Law attorney and they couldn't help me as it wasn't an issue with a failing part on the car. To appease many disgruntled and lied to Elantra owners, Hyundai issued many gas cards that equaled a few cents per mile reimbursement for inflating the mpg the car would get. So, I had to go to the dealer, wait in the service dept. line to have someone check my milage, fill out a claim form and wait for the reimbursement card to arrive. Then, when I needed the card refilled had to go to the dealer again and have money added to the card. And very little money I might add. I liked everthing about my purchase except the mpg THAT WAS INFLATED BY 9 mpg and VERY POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! I sold the car with 17,000 miles. It was covered under the warranty to replace the driver headlight where the plastic was peeling eling off. Don't think I'll ever buy another Korean car. It was a stressful, bad experience.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS Sedan

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding fuel economy on all models
  • lots of features for the money
  • comfortable and well-built cabin
  • large trunk
  • long warranty coverage
  • distinctive styling.
  • Limited rear headroom
  • not as sporty as some rivals.

Full Edmunds Review: 2011 Hyundai Elantra Sedan

What’s new

The 2011 Hyundai Elantra has been fully redesigned, with an attractive design, new features, an efficient 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and new six-speed transmissions.

Edmunds says

With head-turning new styling, a fuel-efficient new engine and a long list of standard safety features and upscale options, the 2011 Hyundai Elantra is ready to give any compact sedan on the road a run for its money.

Vehicle overview

What do the life stories of Cinderella and the Hyundai Elantra have in common? More than you might think. You see, for years few people gave either of them a second thought as they toiled away in shadows, just waiting for their chance to shine.

For the fully redesigned 2011 Hyundai Elantra sedan, that moment is now. Like Cinderella ditching her rags, the Elantra sheds the frumpy exterior that frequently relegated an otherwise very likable car to afterthought status for many car shoppers. Its classy new styling may not be a sparkly blue dress on a statuesque blonde, but it's definitely sure to turn a few heads.

Pleasingly, this all-new Elantra is more than just a pretty face. Beneath that dolled-up exterior, the new Elantra sports a new 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. Unlike the Chevrolet Cruze Eco or Volkswagen Jetta TDI that require you to pay extra for their special high fuel economy, this new powertrain helps every single Elantra return impressive EPA estimates of 40 mpg on the highway.

While this all-new Elantra still competes in the compact category, the size of its passenger cabin (like those of several of its competitors) has grown to the point that the EPA now considers it a midsize car in terms of interior volume. The EPA says nothing of its rear seat headroom, though, which is a bit cramped compared to those competitors. On the upside, the interior can also be loaded up with high-end features that aren't even offered on some legitimate midsize cars, let alone compact ones: keyless ignition/entry, a rearview camera and heated rear seats.

Of course, this new 2011 Hyundai Elantra arrives at the Royal Ball only to find the dance floor crowded with attractive rivals. Compact sedan shoppers will certainly want to add the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, 2011 Mazda 3 and the completely redesigned 2011 Ford Focus and 2011 Honda Civic to their consideration lists. But overall we think that the new Elantra's combination of distinctive styling, fuel efficiency, a high-quality interior and an affordable price tag may very well help it become the belle of the ball.

2011 Hyundai Elantra models

The 2011 Hyundai Elantra is a compact sedan that's offered in two trim levels. The GLS base model comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, keyless entry, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, trip computer, full power accessories, a tilt-only steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Options for the GLS include the Popular Equipment package that adds 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control and a telescoping steering wheel. The Preferred Equipment package includes 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, illuminated vanity mirrors and sun visor extensions, a sliding armrest on the center console and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

Spring for the top-of-the-line Limited model and you'll get the above equipment as standard plus 17-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, a sunroof, leather upholstery, and heated front and rear seats. An available Navigation package (called the Premium package for the Limited) for both trim levels adds automatic headlights, keyless ignition/entry (Limited only), a navigation system, a rearview camera, real-time traffic and weather updates and a premium 360-watt audio system.

Performance & mpg

Powering the 2011 Hyundai Elantra is an all-new 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder that's rated at 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. Vehicles sold in California and the other states that follow the same emissions laws get a PZEV (partial zero-emissions vehicle) version of this engine, which lowers output to 145 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque. GLS models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, with a six-speed automatic being available as an option. The Limited has the auto as standard.

In Edmunds performance testing with a non-California Limited model, the Elantra went from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds -- a slightly slower than average time. No matter which engine/transmission combo you choose, you'll end up with impressive fuel economy. EPA estimates are 29 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined.


The 2011 Hyundai Elantra's list of standard safety features includes traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, active front head restraints, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags that cover both rows. In Edmunds brake testing, an Elantra Limited needed 125 feet to stop from 60 mph -- a good distance for the segment.


While the 2011 Hyundai Elantra isn't quite as exciting to drive as it is to look at, it's certainly no pumpkin. The new 1.8-liter engine has plenty of pep for daily driving, and the six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and willingly downshifts. The cabin is a relatively quiet place, with little wind noise to speak of, though there is enough road and engine noise to remind you that the Elantra is still a compact economy car rather than the high-dollar sedan it appears to be.

Compared to last year's car, this new Elantra is more fun to drive. It doesn't have the outright handling abilities of the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus and Mazda 3, but in general, its balance between ride and handling is one of the best in the segment.


The Elantra's interior features a curved center stack and stylized climate controls that provide a bit of extra flair while still being easy to use. The design is attractive and the materials, while not quite best-in-class, at least have a rich look to them. Despite the deep cowl, the interior feels breezy and spacious -- headroom up front is plentiful for 6-footers and the steering wheel is a bit smaller in diameter than usual, which enhances the sense of space up front. The backseat is fine for kids and even most adults, though vertically gifted princes will find its abundant legroom and shortage of headroom a mixed blessing.

The Elantra features a large trunk with 14.8 cubic feet of cargo room, a generous number for this segment. Its 60/40 split pass-through is also quite large.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2011 Hyundai Elantra in Virginia is:

not available