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2016 Hyundai Elantra Review

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra ranks in the middle of the compact car class. While it has decent handling and plenty of seating and cargo space, its weak base engine and below-average safety score hold it back in the segment.

Pros & Cons

  • Fuel-efficient base engine
  • Spacious cabin
  • Firm ride over bumpy roads
  • Below-average safety score for class
  • Weak base engine




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 6.1
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Hyundai Elantra Overview

Is the 2016 Hyundai Elantra a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra is a fine used compact car, but it doesn't really stand out in a crowded and competitive class. It offers a roomy cabin with cozy seats, and hatchback models have impressive cargo space. That said, there are better alternatives in this class, like the 2016 Honda Civic and Kia Soul, which offer higher-quality interiors, more advanced safety features, and smoother rides.

Why You Can Trust Us

To help you decide if the Hyundai Elantra is the right car for you, we've gathered and analyzed 67 professional reviews. We've also included information about the Elantra's fuel economy, safety, reliability, and much more to give you an idea of its strengths and weaknesses.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To keep our reviews free from outside influence, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party manages the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Hyundai Elantra?

The average list price of a 2016 Elantra in the more than 1,700 listings on our site is $12,500. Prices range from $9,900 to $15,500. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Hyundai Elantra Cost to Own?

Over five years, you can expect to spend around $21,400 on fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2016 Elantra. That works out to around $4,300 per year. Rivals like the Honda Civic, Kia Soul, and Mazda3 all have lower costs than the Elantra.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Elantra?

The Elantra was redesigned for the 2017 model year, so the 2018 Elantra is quite a bit different from the 2016 model. There are significantly more features in the new model (including many advanced safety features) than you'll find in any 2016 Elantra. With a base price that's more than $4,000 higher than the average price of a 2016 model, you'll have to decide if the added features and a new car warranty are worth the extra money.

Read about the new Hyundai Elantra »

For just a bit more than the average cost of a 2016 Elantra, you could buy the high-ranking 2018 Kia Rio. The Rio is a subcompact car so it has less room than the Elantra, but it comes standard with most of the same features as the 2016 Elantra. However, the base Rio does not come with power windows or cruise control, so opting for those will up your cost. Also, if you need an automatic transmission, you'll have to add another thousand dollars to the purchase price.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Hyundai Elantra?

The 2016 Elantra has a reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power. While that's average for the compact car class, it's a bit above average for the auto industry as a whole.

Read more about Elantra reliability »

2016 Hyundai Elantra Recalls

At the time of writing, there are no outstanding recalls on the 2016 Elantra.

See more information on Hyundai Elantra safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Hyundai Elantra Is Best?

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra marks the last year of a generation that debuted with the 2011 model year. (Hyundai fully redesigned the Elantra for 2017.) The Elantra was refreshed for the 2014 model year, with new styling, some feature changes, and a newly available 2.0-liter engine. There are few differences between the 2014, 2015, and 2016 models, and they have similar scores. The 2013 model, which was before the refresh, has a lower overall score in our ratings, so your best bet is to stick with 2014 and newer models.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Elantra »

Which Used Hyundai Elantra Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Elantra comes in five trims: SE, Value Edition, Limited, Sport, and GT hatchback. The Elantra SE has cloth upholstery, remote keyless entry, and satellite radio. The Popular Equipment package adds a 4.3-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth. The Elantra Value Edition has all these features, plus heated front seats and proximity keyless entry. The Elantra Sport adds a more powerful engine and a sport-tuned suspension. The Elantra Limited lacks this punchier engine, but it adds leather upholstery and heated rear seats. Both Sport and Limited trims equipped with the Tech and Ultimate packages come with a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, and Blue Link telematics.

The Elantra GT hatchback shares many of its standard features with the SE sedan, plus heated front seats and Bluetooth. The optional Style package adds a sport suspension, proximity keyless entry, and Blue Link. The Tech package adds navigation, a 7-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, ventilated front seats, and leather upholstery.

See 2016 Hyundai Elantra trims and specs »

What Does Hyundai's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Hyundai offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Certified pre-owned Hyundai vehicles receive the balance of the original new-car 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, as well as the remainder of the five-year/60,000-mile comprehensive warranty. Hyundai CPO vehicles must pass a 173-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing, roadside assistance, and rental car reimbursement may be available, so read Hyundai’s warranty page carefully.

Hyundai has one of the best CPO programs among affordable car manufacturers, according to our analysis. Only Kia, Buick, Mitsubishi, and Smart have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Elantra?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 Hyundai Elantra sedan a Good rating – the highest possible – for roof strength, seat safety, side impact safety, and moderate overlap front crash safety. It earned an Acceptable rating (the second best) in small overlap front crash safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Elantra sedan and GT hatchback a perfect five-star rating in overall and side impact safety, as well as four stars in front and rollover crash testing.

All 2016 Elantra trims are available with a rearview camera. Beyond that, the Elantra offers no advanced safety features.

See Elantra safety scores »

2016 Hyundai Elantra Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Hyundai Elantra or 2016 Honda Civic?

The 2016 Honda Civic isn’t just a better car than the Elantra; we named it the 2016 Best Compact Car for the Money. The Civic offers a roomier cabin than the Elantra with nicer materials, smoother ride quality, exceptional fuel economy (up to 31/42 mpg city/highway), and advanced safety features like forward collision warning with brake assist. The Elantra does offer two benefits, though: With all seats folded, the Elantra hatchback can fit a bit more cargo than the Civic hatchback, and used Elantras are often thousands of dollars less than comparable Civics.

Which Is Better: 2016 Hyundai Elantra or 2016 Toyota Corolla?

The Elantra is a slightly better car than the 2016 Toyota Corolla, but both fall short of leaders in the compact car segment. The Corolla offers a modern, crisp interior with exceptionally spacious rear seats. It also offers great fuel economy (up to 30/40 mpg city/highway) and a soft ride, even over bumpy pavement. Although the Elantra's base engine is weak, it has peppier available powertrains and nimbler handling than the Corolla. Neither car is available with advanced safety features, like blind spot monitoring. The Elantra's hatchback variant, called the GT, offers a level of practicality you can't get in the sedan-only Corolla. For a hatchback based on the Corolla, check out the Scion iM.

Which Is Better: 2016 Hyundai Elantra or 2016 Hyundai Accent?

The 2016 Hyundai Accent is a subcompact car, though it pleases in many of the ways that the compact Elantra does. Both cars offer comparable seating space and fuel economy. The Elantra feels significantly more upscale inside, as it’s available with a touch screen and navigation – two features the Accent lacks. That said, used Accent models are often much more affordable. If you’re looking for simple and economical transportation, the Accent is worth a look.

Compare the Elantra, Civic, and Corolla »

2016 Elantra Performance

How Does the 2016 Hyundai Elantra Drive?

The Elantra has sure-footed handling and feels rather athletic, but its suspension doesn’t smooth out large bumps very well. The base Elantra comes standard with a 145-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and front-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic is available. The engine feels short on power when passing other cars and climbing hills. The Elantra Sport sedan and GT hatchback models solve this with a 2.0-liter engine that generates 173 horsepower. It provides zippier acceleration and more passing power.

Does the 2016 Hyundai Elantra Get Good Gas Mileage?

Fuel economy for the 2016 Elantra ranges from a low of 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with the Elantra GT trim to a high of 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway with the base engine and automatic transmission.

Read more about Elantra performance »

2016 Elantra Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Elantra Seat?

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra seats five and has a quiet, airy cabin. The front seats are plush and nicely contoured, providing good support over long drives. The rear seats can fit two adults in reasonable comfort, though tall passengers may find headroom lacking. Cloth upholstery is standard; leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Hyundai Elantra?

The Elantra includes two full sets of LATCH connectors on the rear outboard seats. There's an additional upper tether on the middle rear seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Elantra's LATCH system a Marginal rating – the second-worst score – for ease of use.

2016 Hyundai Elantra Features

The Hyundai Elantra features a neatly arranged dashboard with practical placement of its core buttons and controls. Most dash materials have a quality look and feel, though some plastics are rather hard and cheap feeling. All models come standard with keyless entry, satellite radio, a CD player, and a USB port. Available features include a 4.3- or 7-inch touch screen, navigation, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system. Blue Link allows owners to remotely start or lock/unlock their vehicles, set speed and driving distance limits for teen drivers, and call for help in an emergency. Both touch screens are easy to use, thanks to simple menus and large on-screen buttons.

See 2016 Hyundai Elantra specs »

Read more about Elantra interior »

2016 Hyundai Elantra Dimensions

Hyundai Elantra Cargo Space

All Elantra sedans feature a sizable 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space. The Elantra GT hatchback offers 23 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to a large 51 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

2016 Elantra Length and Weight

The Elantra sedan is just under 15 feet long; the GT hatchback is around 14 feet long. The sedan with the manual transmission and base engine weighs in at 2,773 pounds, while a hatchback with the larger engine and automatic transmission weighs 2,904 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Hyundai Elantra Built?

Hyundai assembled the Elantra at its Montgomery, Alabama, manufacturing plant.


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