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Hyundai Elantra, Sedan
#4073 of 5565 Elantra questions and comments
Mar 24, 2004 (2:17 pm)
Looks like it has gotten fairly slow around here lately. Nonetheless, there's a couple of questions about Elantras I'd like to pose. I helped steer my mother into buying a 2003 Elantra VE (4 dr sedan) last summer, and I hope I didn't make a mistake. Looking at the many comments here, it seems that most are pretty happy with theirs. Anyways:
1) The main dash vents always seem to let a certain amount of air through, even when the controls are set to feet only or defrost only, although not as much as when the controls are set for the 'face' vents. Annoying in the winter with the heat on. Is this normal for Elantras, or is this one not quite right? If it was my car I'd definitely complain, but without knowing otherwise, I might be forced to accept a "they all do that" for an answer.
2) Does this car need additional rubberized undercoating (or something similar)? It's already been through an Ontario winter, so it may be later than ideal to do it. How about other types of rust protection for the panels, you know, Krown, Rust-Stop, etc.
And a couple of comments:
This car's engine is noisy, or maybe it's the exhaust system (no, it doesn't have a hole in it). Of course, I find that with most cars with smallish engines and auto trannies - anytime you depress the accelerator very far, it shifts down rather than using the engine's torque. Definitely noisier than my '96 Sentra (5-sp).
These cars definitely dent easier than comparable models. My sentra is 7 years old and has 245,000 km on it, and it only has a few tiny dings. Seems like every late-model Elantra I see has significant dents in its bodywork. Hyundai really needs to step up and use a higher quality and/or thicker steel for their body panels. Also, the plastics the bumpers are made out of are quite soft and easily marred, along with the paint.
And finally, the factory radio/CD player has crappy FM reception. I may be spoiled by my Nissan, however, as I've found that Nissan's antennaes and factory (made by Clarion, I believe) radios have extremely good FM reception.
One more thing - why does the driver's side windshield wiper stop so far short of the edge of the windshield? Again, not a big deal, but annoying.
If I was looking for a replacement for my Sentra tomorrow, I'm not sure I'd consider an Elantra. The features/value is great, but I'm not convinced on the long-term durability and/or reliability. Hyundai's engine refinement and body durability still needs improvement.
ps, in 245,000 km, my Sentra's engine has eaten an alternator and needed the exhaust replaced from the header back, including the cat. That's it for powertrain related issues.
Mar 24, 2004 (4:08 pm)
Here's reliability: Elantra has shown above average reliability, Sentra has dropped to below average, according to latest Consumer Reports auto issue.
Mar 24, 2004 (4:09 pm)
To shut the vents off fully, use the "recirculate" button. If air still comes through then, that would be a defect IMO. I noticed the '04s have thumbwheel controls to shut off the center vents.
As for undercoating, I've driven my '01 through four Minnesota winters (lots of salt) and no signs of rust yet). Modern vehicles are treated for corrosion at the factory. Personally I don't see the need for undercoating, but some people swear by it.
Re noise, I owned a '97 Sentra before the Elantra and IMO the Elantra is quieter except under strong acceleration--then it does put out a lot of noise. We're talking 2.0L, 135 hp vs. 1.6L, 115 hp here. I don't use/need full throttle much, so it's not a biggie for me plus I think the sound is kind of sporty. I've noticed the automatics seem quieter than the sticks (which I have).
Re metal and bumpers, I don't have hardly any dings on my Elantra after 3-1/2 years, but I'm careful where I park it. I've noticed a general decline in panel thickness over the past few years. For example, when I drove an MPV recently I knew I could put a dent in the front fender with a push from one finger (I didn't do it of course, the dealer would not have been pleased). My five-year-old minivan has dings all over it, and I've already had it in the shop twice for ding removal. So I don't think it's just the Elantra. At least the bumpers are designed to hold up well to impacts; according to the IIHS bumper tests, Elantra is one of the best in its class there.
I haven't noticed bad FM reception, but I live in a large urban area so maybe it's just not an issue here.
Mar 24, 2004 (4:47 pm)
I guess it isn't so slow in here.
Don't think I'm crapping on this car that many of you are apparently quite satisfied with. I actually quite enjoy driving it, generally. It's smooth and quiet (except for when you step on it) and the interior is a pleasant place, much more so than my ol' Sentra. I went on the test drives with my mom when we were car shopping, and I agreed with her that it was the nicest (roomy feeling, too) of the cars we test drove, which included a new 1.8l Sentra, Corolla, Echo, Ion, Civic and another I can't remember. It drove better, had more features and was cheaper, too. Same reasons that lots of people have bought them.
When I say my Sentra is quieter, I should note that I don't spend a lot of time with the revs up very high. The one time I drove an auto '96 Sentra I was NOT impressed - it revved a lot and was noisy when it did. Like I say, it's the probably the same reason I generally don't like small engines with automatic trannies. I'd rather use more throttle than rev it out, if I don't have to.
Well, time will tell how the Elantra holds up. It won't be replaced anytime soon, it would cost too much in depreciation. We're generally satisfied with it so far - most of what I've mentioned has only bothered me, not my mom who usually drives it. I have also noticed what seems like a low pitched rattle/vibration that comes from the right front when that side hits the ubiquitous poholes that edge the city streets around here, but I'm not sure if it's anything or not, yet. The car's got a couple of years of full warranty left on it yet, so I trust any real problems that appear will be taken care of.
Mar 24, 2004 (6:38 pm)
Well, personal experience here (unfortunately) can attest that you can back into a mailbox on a 4"x4" post, snap it off clean and sail it into the street, and if the horizontal portion of the post assembly hadn't gone through the tail light there would have been no damage. Can't say the same for the mailbox and post, though...
#4078 of 5565 10-year warranty good for used cars?
Mar 25, 2004 (12:06 pm)
i just graduated from college and have just started a new job. i'm hoping my current 91 Grand Am will last for a few more months, but meanwhile, I'd like to find a good car. The Elantra seems good. If I buy a 2003, does that mean i'll still get a 9 year warranty. i just hoping some of you guys might know this. basically, i want to buy the best reliable and satisfying car for around $10K. any advice?
#4079 of 5565 Re 10-year warranty
Mar 25, 2004 (12:59 pm)
In a word, no. The 10-year powertrain warranty is good only for the original buyer and his/her immediate family members. You might be able to find a used Elantra with the Hyundai extended warranty, and in that case the bumper-to-bumper warranty would be extended to 10 years/100k miles. Expect to pay more for that.
Mar 25, 2004 (1:23 pm)
I thought that the 10 year warranty would be in force if you sold your Hyundai to a son etc. But when I phoned Hyundai custoner service they said no... it only works for the original buyer not immidiate family.
#4081 of 5565 inharmsway
Mar 25, 2004 (1:30 pm)
Hyundai has changed its warranty policy!! Ugh! From hyundaiusa.com:
"Coverage applies to Original Owner only effective 2004 Model Year. On 1999-2003 Model Years, coverage applies to Original Owner and immediate family members (i.e. wife, husband, daughter, son, stepdaughter, stepson)."
Mar 25, 2004 (2:06 pm)
The 10 year powertrain warranty is not transferable on a used (pre-2004) Hyundai -- however, the balance of the 5 year bumper to bumper is transferable -- so on a 1 year old Elantra with 12,000 miles, you should get 4 years (48,000 miles) of warranty...