2013 Hyundai Elantra Review

Pros & Cons

  • 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.
List Price Range
$5,200 - $11,900

Used Elantra for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

Thanks to head-turning styling, a fuel-efficient engine, a long list of standard safety features and upscale options, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra stands as a top pick for a compact sedan.

Vehicle overview

The Hyundai Elantra is what we'd affectionately call a late bloomer. Models produced during the 1990s were pretty terrible and not suited for much more than late-night-show joke fodder. But Hyundai has been continually making improvements over the years, highlighted by a dramatic redesign two years ago. As such, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra now stands as one of the best choices for a compact car, eclipsing even more well-known choices from Honda and Toyota.

Distinctive styling is certainly one of the Elantra's main draws. Although obviously a subjective opinion, the Elantra's sleek bodywork helps it stand out in the popular small sedan segment. Under the Elantra's sheet metal is a 1.8-liter engine that provides respectable performance as well as frugal fuel economy.

Inside, the Elantra boasts a daring design theme and rich-looking materials. There's plenty of headroom for passengers, and although the Elantra's sleek style does cut into rear seat headroom a little, the trunk is one of the roomiest you'll find in this class. In typical Hyundai fashion, the Elantra is also equipped with plenty of standard features, plus some unexpected options including heated front and rear seats and keyless ignition/entry.

Just like the Elantra, however, the small-sedan segment is not what it once was. It's now brimming with excellent choices, such as the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, 2013 Ford Focus and 2013 Mazda 3. The Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla are also still worth a look. Comparison shopping is a must. But overall we think the 2013 Hyundai Elantra is a great choice in this group.

2013 Hyundai Elantra models

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra sedan is available in GLS and Limited trims.

The GLS comes with 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a trip computer and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Optional on the GLS (automatic transmission) is the Preferred package, which adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, upgraded interior trim, heated front seats, a sliding front center armrest, illuminated vanity mirrors, steering wheel audio controls and Bluetooth. An auto-dimming rearview mirror is a stand-alone option.

The Limited sedan adds all of the GLS Preferred equipment plus 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, leather upholstery, a power driver seat and heated front and rear seats. Pushing the Elantra Limited's luxury factor even higher is the available Technology package, which adds automatic headlamps, keyless ignition/entry, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded sound system, Bluetooth streaming audio and a touchscreen navigation system with voice activation, real-time traffic, weather and other information.

2013 Highlights

For 2013, the Hyundai Elantra sedan is pretty much unchanged, though Hyundai has introduced new Elantra coupe and hatchback body styles. They are reviewed separately.

Performance & mpg

Every 2013 Hyundai Elantra has front-wheel drive and comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. Vehicles sold in California-emissions states get a partial zero-emissions vehicle (PZEV) version of this engine, which lowers output to 145 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional except on the Limited sedan, which comes standard with the automatic.

In Edmunds performance testing with a non-PZEV engine, an Elantra Limited sedan went from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds -- slightly slower than average. EPA fuel economy estimates are the same for each transmission, with 29 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined. In our testing, however, we've noticed that the Elantra struggles to achieve its highway number in real-world driving.

Safety

The 2013 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. In Edmunds brake testing, an Elantra Limited took 125 feet to stop from 60 mph -- an average distance for the segment.

In government crash testing, the 2013 Elantra received a perfect five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for overall frontal impact protection and five stars for overall side impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Elantra earned a top score of "Good" for its performance in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Driving

While the 2013 Hyundai Elantra isn't quite as exciting to drive as it is to look at, it's certainly not dull. The 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 more expensive sedan it appears to be.

If you're looking for some driving fun in this class, know that the Elantra doesn't have the outright handling abilities of the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus and Mazda 3. Those cars simply feel a little more sophisticated. But in general, the Elantra's balance between ride and handling is one of the best in the segment.

Interior

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. With available high-end features like leather seating, heated front and rear seats, an excellent navigation system and a rearview camera, you can even equip an Elantra to luxury-car levels.

In general, the Elantra offers a lot more space than you'd expect from a compact car. 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 in the first row. The backseat is fine for kids and even most adults, though vertically gifted folks will find its abundant legroom and shortage of headroom a mixed blessing.

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


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Hyundai Elantra.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Me & My Elantra
Daniel J. Andrews,07/14/2015
Limited 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)
Since my last review, I have put considerable mileage on the car, including about 3,500 miles on two road trips during the month of June again exceeding 40 MPG on the highway for the most part. But for routine maintenance, this automobile has exceeded all expectations so far as reliability & performance is concerned, although I will likely "trade up" to a new Elantra before the end of the year. Hyundai continues to improve its entire lineup year after year. And its customers are the beneficiaries of those improvements Am most pleased.
Ideal Commuter Car for the Larger Guy
lleopold,05/21/2012
I bought mine two weeks ago after conducting extensive research on commuter vehicles to relinquish my diesel pickup to pure recreational status (I tow a trailer). I commute 74 miles per day to and from work and had been using my wife's Mazda 6 for a number of months. I'm a larger (250 lbs, 5'11") guy so I have a hard time getting into compact cars, so I really didn't enjoy commuting using my wife's car. I found that I could easily get into and out of this car! The form and fit were perfect for the commute and I believe this car would also be great for long-distance travel and bluetooth connection is perfect when I'm on conference calls. I'm seeing 36 mpg average and it's increasing.
Sleek All Around
kmbrlysue,08/09/2012
I purchased the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Limited the end of May (owned 2.5 mos) & have 4000 miles on it. 30 city/38-43 hwy. So far, the only concerns I have are the paint quality and road noise. Hyundai offers a package for a coat of protectant for the paint & windows for almost $3000 more, which may have been nice to have purchased. My car has already had 3 dings from parked cars & it has chipped the paint. Concerning the road noise: it is smooth until hitting rough road or block chunks on the interstate. Another noise is on the roof when it rains. Sounds like water hitting tin. The sunroof cover helps w/noise.
Great Car for Daughter College Bound
Cory,01/20/2016
Limited 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)
Get a 4 door. I bought a 2 door for my daughter because I thought it was "cool", found out 4 door better, even for her, dealer let me switch to a comparable 4 door. I have bought cars from this Used Car Dealer, now my friend, since 1989. He finds the cleanest, low mileage cars around. This 2013 Elantra had 9,500 miles when I bought 4 months ago. Now, under 11,000 miles. It has leather, seat warmers, blue tooth for phone, sunroof, great back seat leg room and huge trunk for my daughter's guitar, amp and equipment. I paid $13,800 for the car. Do not tell on me, but while test driving it on the Interstate, I punched it and the car went quickly to 120 miles per hour. It sips gas. I usually do not get extended warranties, but for a few bucks, I got a 100,000 mile, cover everything warranty and my daughter has to make one phone call if anything goes wrong. This should last her through college and beyond. I am very pleased. By the way, it has a snappy design that is an eye catcher. This is a great car. Now after almost a year later, still very happy with the car. No issues whatsoever. I drove it while my own "Real Man Tahoe" was in the shop, on a short 130 mile trip. It is a pleasure on the Interstate. Stable, feels safe and plenty of punch to pass in a hurry. At one point, I had 3 others in the car and there was plenty of back room leg room. The tire air pressure is a little sensitive and will come on if you are only 2 psi above or below the recommended amount. I actually like that vs. checking tire pressure often. I have never checked the mileage myself, but I know I drove 130 miles on less than $12!

Features & Specs

MPG
28 city / 38 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
148 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
28 city / 38 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
148 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
28 city / 38 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
148 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
28 city / 38 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
145 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat4 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 Hyundai Elantra

Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra Overview

The Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra is offered in the following submodels: Elantra Sedan. Available styles include GLS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A), GLS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M), Limited PZEV 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A), and GLS PZEV 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra GLS is priced between $5,600 and$10,998 with odometer readings between 28274 and209063 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra GLS PZEV is priced between $5,200 and$10,998 with odometer readings between 32040 and153018 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra Limited is priced between $8,900 and$11,900 with odometer readings between 51068 and102153 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra Limited PZEV is priced between $7,944 and$9,995 with odometer readings between 36068 and95669 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2013 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) 2013 Hyundai Elantra for sale near. There are currently 49 used and CPO 2013 Elantras listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,200 and mileage as low as 28274 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 2013 Hyundai Elantra.

Can't find a used 2013 Hyundai Elantras you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Elantra for sale - 8 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $11,349.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 9 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $20,076.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Elantra for sale - 8 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $21,527.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 7 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $22,033.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 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.

Check out Hyundai lease specials
Check out Hyundai Elantra lease specials