2012 Hyundai Elantra Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- 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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Limited 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)
I've seen that some people have gotten lemons, but most buyers are satisfied. I drive over 90 miles a day very aggressively. Appreciate the gas mileage rebate, but the way I drive I wouldn't ever expect anything near 40 mpg.. The interior is noisy and lacks a cushion-like feel, but the sound system with nav. is great. At 70 thousand I needed new tires, wipers and brakes. I exceeded recommendations and had to buy rotors, but that was my fault. I change the oil about every 4500 miles because all my miles are on the highway. No mechanical issues that I can fairly complain about. Had the dealer replace the serpentine belt at 75 thousand just to be safe. Update- 96,000 miles. I did as recommended and allowed Hyundai dealer service dept. to change engine coolant and transmission fluid at 85,000 miles. Got slammed with a bill for 550 bucks! Feel like that was excessive. Still, no repairs have been required - not even a bad light bulb. Update- 104,000 miles. Had a taillight bulb burn out. Had brake pads checked for wear. I don't want to buy rotors again, like I did at 70,000 due to my neglect. Pads are still good. Had to get all the tire pressure sensors replaced - two recently. These are fifty bucks apiece plus labor. I don't appreciate having to spend so much for what I think is unnecessary technology. I can tell by looking if a tire is soft. I think this is a widespread inconvenience not unique to this make and model car. I will need new tires again, in the next 5 or 10 thousand miles. Update: 134,000 miles. Have had to replace battery, another brake rotor and all brake pads. One ignition coil pack. A bunch of light bulbs and long piece of brake line. The ice melt chemical the state puts on the roads in the winter rotted out the brake rotors and the brake line. I was able to replace most of these items myself, so the expense wasn't too bad. Still running great! Update: 144,000 plus a few more. Bought new tires right after last review. Having trouble connecting cell phone. My phone is getting old, so maybe a software update disabled my connection. Will check the web about this. No other difficulties at this time. Update: 151,000 miles - Phone connection works most of the time, now. Otherwise, car as a whole working great. Two oil changes performed since 144 thousand.
GLS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
I have had 5 Hyundai's in my family in the past 10 years. All experienced issues with rusting underside, and around all the brakes. The most recent 2012 Elantra went in with a value tap, and they replaced the engine. All the other models are known to have engine issues, but they were in denial on this model. They also pointed out the accelerated rust on the undercarriage. Speaking to other Hyundai/Kia owners, there is an obvious pattern where some cars had this rust issue, others did not. My local mechanic said the underside looked like a car that is frequently parked over the grass, but this car was always on pavement. There is something wrong with their undercoating or lack of in manufacturing. The dealer wanted to charge to fix it. When we got the car back, with the new engine....we immediately traded it in for another new car...not a Hyundai this time. Update 9/2017. Many of our friends with Hyundai's says dealerships trying to blame owners for the excessive rust issues on the undercarriage. Said its our fault when its likely lack of rustproofing or bad/cheap metal used in body. FYI: Car always parked on pavement. Also, everyone I know also had the engine replaced. They traded cars in for other brands.
Limited 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)
I hope a ton of people read Edmunds reviews and will not be lured in by Hynundais pleasing designs and high option content. I see there are others here that are dissapointed! I had TWO 2012 Elantras, the first one bought back due a intermitent "no start" problem that the dealership cound not fix. We had car #1 for about 3 months. Car #2 has suffered from several stall outs, this happens in the City, or on the Highway. My bluetooth has never worked right, cruise control worked when it wanted to, had a clunk in the front suspension from 8k miles, the engine developed a nasty ticking sound at idle, and of course the fuel mileage, I've seen best 28 mpg while drafting a semi in Montana. avg is 25
GLS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
Purchased the Hyundai Elantra GLS in 2014 with 80,000 miles. This is a commuter car no doubt about that, and will remain a commuter car. Driven highway miles 75% of the time. Vehicle was in excellent condition when purchased, needed rear right strut to be replaced. Goodyear Assurance tires are quality and low noise coupled with the Elantra. Consistently get 36+ MPG mixed driving without being on the throttle. Throttle response is lacking due to drive-by-wire rather than cable. Steering is tight and consistent, but no feedback and feels 'dead' at slow speeds. Comfort in front and back is good for shorter distances and road trips 2 hours or more. Steering wheel controls are set up nicely and ECU is good at predicting driving with Cruise Control on. Factory CD player/media player controls aren't the best in how they're set up, but is fixed by installing an aftermarket unit. Available kit on this model is good; safety all around, flawless A/C, 6 speaker sound system, and cruise. However, for a 2012 it would be nice for some minor additions of factory steering wheel controls/power and memory seats, foglights to top off exterior. Engine is noisy with lifter ticking, but common in the 1.8L Nu engine series. Possible to decrease lifter noise with revised lifters/more oil pressure? Transmission gearing is spot on for lower horsepower/torque power bands and excellent for 70 MPH interstate cruising. Shifting is chunky with the 6 speed, but direct. Shifter itself feels too light to navigate the gear box. Minimal maintenance has been required overall. Suspension is tight, however, the 2012 also suffers from the Salt Belt States front coil spring recall (which is still unavailable for the 2012 and 2013 models); both front coil springs have snapped within a month of each other slightly damaging sidewalls of tires. OEM coil springs are nonexistent through dealers in the US. Canada sourced coil springs may be available. Exterior styling is very nice and akin to Japanese cars (well done Hyundai exterior design team). Interior styling is nice as well and has a fluid-like look. Soft angles and a cockpit for front seats with plenty of room in the rear for adults. Interior's plastics do not feel chincy. Dash and center console are designed well, hiding clips to retain dash pieces rather than having screw holes everywhere giving the interior a one-piece design. Everything feels solid inside (revise the shifters to have more weight though!) Overall, the MD/UD 5th Generation Elantras are a welcome design change for the manufacturer. Quality has increased dramatically over all of the vehicles. Like many asian manufacturers though, road salt is nearly unheard of and needs to be addressed for safety before selling.