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$6,227 - $8,226
$15,345 - $20,595

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of available features when it was new
  • Great fuel economy
  • Composed ride
  • Large trunk
  • Limited back-seat headroom
  • Confusing touch-screen audio display




Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.5
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Hyundai Elantra Overview

Test drivers said the 2012 Hyundai Elantra’s standard four-cylinder engine offers adequate power on city streets and on the highway. The standard six-speed manual is easy to shift and the available six-speed automatic shifts smoothly, they reported. With either transmission, the 2012 Elantra gets an EPA-estimated 28/38 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class. Reviewers praised the Elantra’s sharp steering, strong brakes and comfortable ride, but said that its handling falls short of the handling of more athletic rivals like the 2012 Mazda3 and Ford Focus.

Reviewers praised the cabin’s sleek design and chic-looking materials, saying the 2012 Hyundai Elantra’s interior feels upscale. Auto writers agreed that the Elantra’s seats are spacious up front and there’s plenty of legroom in the back. They wrote that available features like heated rear seats are a rarity in this class, but a few critics complained that rear headroom is lacking. With 14.8 cubic feet of space, the Elantra sedan has one of the largest trunks in the class. The 2012 Elantra comes standard with power windows and door locks, keyless entry, a USB port, an auxiliary input and a six-speaker CD audio system with satellite radio. Available features include air conditioning, Bluetooth, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, leather seats, heated front and rear seats, a touch-screen navigation system, a telescopic steering wheel, push-button start, a rearview camera and a premium audio system. Test drivers said that the climate controls are easy to use, but several found that the available touch-screen audio system can be confusing to operate in models that don’t have navigation.

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Ford Focus gets similar gas mileage as the Elantra and test drivers said it has nimble handling and a smooth ride. The Focus is available as a sedan or a hatchback, and reviewers praised its attractive, high-quality interior.

Reviewers loved the power provided by the 2012 Volkswagen Golf’s base engine, and said that the turbodiesel Golf TDI is peppy off the line and a lot of fun to drive. They were also impressed with the Golf’s cabin, saying it is one of the nicest in the class. 

Compare the Elantra, Focus and Golf »


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