2016 Hyundai Elantra Review

Pros & Cons

  • Generous features for the money
  • large trunk has plenty of room for your stuff
  • cabin is quiet on the highway
  • long warranty coverage.
  • Limited headroom for taller adults
  • mediocre acceleration with the 1.8-liter engine
  • somewhat stiff ride quality.
List Price Range
$7,476 - $13,599

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Just because you're buying a compact sedan doesn't mean it has to be boring. The 2016 Hyundai Elantra is one of the most stylish small sedans on the market, and we like how its generous feature content gives it a strong value proposition. Find out more about the Elantra and what makes it appealing.

Vehicle overview

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra still looks fresh compared to other small sedans, and that's quite an achievement for the segment's elder statesman. But the fact remains that the current-generation Elantra debuted way back in 2011, and it exceeds all other major players for length of tenure. A savvy consumer might wonder whether the Elantra can continue to compete against its relatively youthful rivals or whether this head-turning Hyundai is finally past its sell-by date.

Judged purely on its value proposition, the Elantra has hardly aged a day. Hyundai always seems to throw in more features than you'd expect, and that trend continues for 2016 with the attractively priced Value Edition. Stuffed with desirable add-ons like alloy wheels, a sunroof and keyless entry and ignition, this new trim level may make you question the point of the pricier Limited and Sport. But those trims come with even more accoutrements should you want them, and the Limited and Sport are priced lower than the premium versions of many competitors.

If you're looking for signs of age, then, you won't find them on the equipment list. That means you'll have to get to know this Hyundai a little better. Driven back to back against its rivals, the Elantra impresses with its quiet cabin, but its suspension struggles to absorb major impacts so it doesn't ride as smoothly as some other small sedans. The popular 1.8-liter engine, meanwhile, can struggle a bit when climbing hills or dealing with a full roster of passengers. Opting for the Sport with its stronger 2.0-liter engine could be wise, but you'll lose some fuel efficiency in the process.

Those may seem like minor quibbles, but if you sample the Mazda 3, for example, you're bound to notice its relatively zesty performance and refined ride, with no fuel economy compromise. Same goes for the Ford Focus, although, like the Hyundai, it's getting on in years. You've also got the affordable Kia Forte and the well-rounded Honda Civic to consider, while the Volkswagen Jetta offers diesel engine frugality in a slightly larger package. But the 2016 Hyundai Elantra can still hold its head high in this distinguished company, and that says a lot about its fundamental goodness.

2016 Hyundai Elantra models

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra sedan comes in four trim levels: SE, Value Edition, Limited and Sport.

Standard SE features include 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, intermittent wipers, air-conditioning, cruise control, a trip computer, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB port.

A Popular Equipment package is optional on SE, though only if you spring for the automatic transmission. It adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, heated mirrors, a driver blind-spot mirror, extendable sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a sliding center armrest, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice controls, a 4.3-inch touchscreen display and a rearview camera.

The Value Edition starts with all of those items and adds a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

The Limited loses the sunroof, but it adds 17-inch wheels, projector headlights with LED accents, LED taillights, adjustable steering effort, a six-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seats and Blue Link telematics.

Optional on Limited is the Ultimate package, which adds the sunroof back and throws in a 7-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system and an upgraded audio system.

Finally, the Sport does without leather upholstery, automatic climate control, heated rear seats and Blue Link but otherwise includes most of the Limited's standard equipment, substituting black exterior accents, a sport-tuned suspension and steering system and a more powerful engine (with an available manual transmission).

The Sport's optional Tech package (automatic transmission required) is similar to the Limited's Ultimate package, also adding Blue Link.

2016 Highlights

The 2016 Elantra adds a well-equipped Value Edition trim level, with the base SE losing a bit of standard and optional content in the deal. In other news, the Limited trim gains standard keyless entry and ignition and automatic climate control, while the Sport sacrifices its standard leather seats.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra SE, Value Edition and Limited are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 145 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the SE, while a six-speed automatic is optional there and standard on the Value Edition and Limited. During Edmunds testing, an Elantra Value Edition sauntered to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds, which is notably slower than average for the segment.

The EPA pegs fuel economy at 31 mpg combined (27 city/37 highway) for the manual-equipped SE and an identical 31 mpg combined for the automatic-equipped Limited. The other trims return 32 mpg combined (28/38) with the automatic transmission. These are solid numbers, though some rivals offer special, fuel-economy-themed models that are even more frugal.

As for the Elantra Sport, it boasts a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that's good for 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque. The manual transmission is standard and the automatic is optional. At our test track, an Elantra Sport with the automatic zipped to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which puts it on the quicker side of the compact sedan spectrum.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the Sport stand at 28 mpg combined (24 city/34 highway) with the manual and a similar 28 mpg combined (24 city/35 highway) with the automatic.

Safety

Standard safety features for all 2016 Hyundai Elantra sedans include antilock disc brakes, hill-start assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is optional on the SE and standard on the other trims.

The Blue Link emergency telematics system (standard on Limited, optional on Sport) provides services such as remote access via smartphone app, emergency assistance, theft recovery and geo-fencing (allowing parents to set limits for teenage drivers).

In Edmunds brake testing, a Hyundai Elantra Value Edition sedan came to a stop from 60 mph in 117 feet, which is a strong showing for a sedan in this class. Similarly, an Elantra Sport stopped in an admirable 118 feet.

In government crash testing, the Elantra sedan received the top five-star rating overall, with four stars for total frontal crash protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Elantra earned a second-best "Acceptable" rating in the small-overlap frontal-offset crash test, but it garnered the top "Good" rating in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests. Its seat and head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Driving

The Elantra's standard 1.8-liter engine provides adequate performance in most situations, but it's definitely one of the weaker options in this class, and it also suffers from abrupt accelerator response. If you do find it lacking, the Sport trim level's larger 2.0-liter engine will likely be a worthwhile upgrade despite the fuel economy penalty. Either way, the automatic transmission is usually a smooth operator, but it can occasionally vacillate between gears. These shortcomings are partly why an Elantra Limited earned an Edmunds "B" rating overall.

The Elantra's interior remains reasonably quiet at freeway speeds, which is a welcome luxury in this segment. Driven around turns, the Elantra feels stable and secure, though it's not particularly engaging, even with the Sport trim's firmer suspension. Our biggest gripe here regards the car's harsh ride quality over bigger bumps and potholes, making it feel unrefined compared with several key rivals.

Interior

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra's adventurous exterior design spills over to the cabin, where swooping lines and contours give the dashboard an avant-garde appearance. Most of the important controls are nonetheless easy to reach and figure out, while build quality seems generally solid. You'll find some hard plastic elements here and there, but they're convincingly grained to look more special than they feel. The available 7-inch touchscreen is quite user-friendly thanks to large virtual buttons and an intuitive menu layout.

On the whole, the Elantra's interior is spacious, but taller drivers may have difficulty getting the seat as low as they'd like. As such, headroom up front can feel limited for those over 6 feet tall. The backseat is roomy and great for kids, though again, a lack of headroom might be an issue for taller adults. The Elantra sedan has a large 14.8-cubic-foot trunk, which is more capacity than most rivals, and the liftover height is low.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Hyundai Elantra.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Good buy for the money!
Jake Tayler,10/13/2015
SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)
This is my first brand new car to purchase. I may be a little biased due to the fact this was the first car that I looked at, first dealership that I went to, and I ended up buying the car. I have put 1600 miles on the car so far in the month I have owned it ( I know, my girlfriend loves it and always wants to drive it). The car has been great so far, it feels nice on the road, when i get on the highway going at a fast speed the tires grab the road very well when sliding, if i hit a bump i never feel like my tires aren't in contact with the road, I know this has to do with the traction control the car has. Once you get on the road or highway the drive is nice, its a little noisy but nothing you can't get used to, the stock radio/cd/xmsiruis rado is delightful. I got the base model SE which my only upgrades are rubber mats (highly recommend) and the auto-dimming mirror/compass. You can hear road noise but it's not overwhelming, I don't expect silence when I drive anyways, its really not safe when driving long distances and with this car you will get amazing gas mileage doing that. I have been getting around 38 MPG although I drive a lot of highway, once you put on the Active ECO you can get higher, my highest yet is 40 MPG. My only gripe with the model I got is there isn't automatic headlights and I would have liked the window lock button to light up the same way that the other window buttons on the driver side light up. The car drives great though even with a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine, the transmission shifts very smooth and I never have a problem merging with traffic or accelerating to make a lane change. The body of the car is very sexy. I chose the black version and with tinted windows its a very good looking car. If you are looking for a reliable car with a 100,000 mile power train warranty and a 60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty that will definitely last the length of your car loan, this is a great choice.
Good car overall, but beware of a few weaknesses
Jason,08/08/2016
SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)
The car is roomy and looks good in and out. Acceleration, braking and handling are also good for a car in this class. However, I feel that a few weaknesses must be pointed out: (1) Very poor design of the air vents in the dashboard. At the highest position, the air blows right on the driver's wrists on both sides. If you try to hold the wheel differently, it will be in your face and shoulders. Lower directions are about as inconvenient and also reduce the air flow. (2) Poor engine braking when descending steep slopes. I drove this car up Mount Washington (average slope 12%) without any problems but on descent the first gear (selected manually) could not hold it. Even on the less steep portions of the road, in a few seconds it was approaching the red line. I had to brake a lot and wait for the brakes to cool off a couple of times. There is no excuse for this. Every other car I had the chance to observe was doing better. A few years ago I drove a 2006 Corolla (also automatic) into a canyon in Colorado (average slope 16%) and the first gear held beautifully at no more than 15 mph. (3) So-so rear visibility. (4) No spare wheel.
Best Looking Mid-Size Sedan - The Fluidic Design
Ruben Saldana,06/10/2016
SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)
I believed this was the last batch of 2016 inventory of the fluidic design Elantra, before they introduced the 2017 new look. For me I still preferred the fluidic design because it can easily be identified as originally Hyundai design. Like it has it's own trademark which really became famous in the auto industry, where other car manufacturer tried to copy but nothing came close to it. Aside from it's looks of course, is the performance which is highly rated as well, plus the comfort and safety of the car. On top of that with Hyundai 10 year power train warranty, where else can you go wrong in choosing this car. It's really an excellent investment.
Sparkly Red, Sunroof, and Attitude!
Julia Stapp,08/20/2015
Value Edition 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)
This is a great vehicle with features I only dreamed of having. I have under 2,000 miles on my car so far and am averaging 34 MPG in a mix of town and freeway driving, mostly in town. Plenty of pep, very comfortable, and great styling. I love the comprehensive warranty...a special blessing for a single senior woman. The trunk is gigantic. Highly recommended. August 2016: I have now had the car fourteen months and love it more than ever. Absolutely no problems whatsoever. It went through a lot of snow like a champion last winter. August 2017: I like the vehicle but would hesitate before buying another vehicle that is keyless. December 2019. Traded it in,

Features & Specs

MPG
28 city / 38 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
145 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
24 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
173 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
24 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
166 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
27 city / 37 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
145 hp @ 6500 rpm
See all Used 2016 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%

More about the 2016 Hyundai Elantra

Used 2016 Hyundai Elantra Overview

The Used 2016 Hyundai Elantra is offered in the following submodels: Elantra Sedan. Available styles include SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Sport PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A), Limited PZEV 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A), Value Edition 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), and SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Hyundai Elantra?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Hyundai Elantra trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Hyundai Elantra SE is priced between $7,476 and$13,595 with odometer readings between 9261 and97240 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition is priced between $9,424 and$13,599 with odometer readings between 41297 and91126 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Hyundai Elantra Limited is priced between $7,995 and$12,900 with odometer readings between 23302 and101324 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Hyundai Elantra Limited PZEV is priced between $9,494 and$12,994 with odometer readings between 44076 and83623 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Hyundai Elantra Sport is priced between $11,953 and$11,953 with odometer readings between 34317 and34317 miles.

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Which used 2016 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) 2016 Hyundai Elantra for sale near. There are currently 50 used and CPO 2016 Elantras listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,476 and mileage as low as 9261 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 2016 Hyundai Elantra.

Can't find a used 2016 Hyundai Elantras you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Elantra for sale - 4 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $22,843.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 10 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $8,579.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Elantra for sale - 9 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $11,824.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 5 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $22,910.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 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.

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