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Hyundai Elantra, Sedan
#5393 of 5565 Five-year report: 2004 GT
Mar 29, 2009 (3:14 pm)
Tomorrow will be the fifth anniversary of ownership for my Rally Red 2004 Elantra GT 5-door, so I thought I'd say goodbye to the bumper-to-bumper warranty with an ownership summary at just over 42k miles:
* Great driver's seat, firm but still comfortable even for all-day trips. The dual-knob height adjuster (no longer available on the Elantra) and lumbar adjustment help there, along with a well-placed dead pedal. The steering column doesn't telescope, but with all the seat adjustments I never missed that feature.
* Versatile: 60/40 rear seat folds flat when needed (by flipping the rear seat cushion forward), so it can carry lots of gear and still hold 3-4 people.
* Reliable: No major problems over its first five years. Biggest problem is the P.O.S. Kenwood audio system, which was unique to the 2004 GT (thank goodness!). The CD player stopped working over a year ago. AM reception was never great, but seems to have gotten worse with time. And the myriad of tiny buttons is a nightmare. Fortunately it's a standard size, so I'll pop in an aftermarket unit with an aux input one of these days. (No big rush--my 17-year-old son drives it now and he needs to keep his attention on his driving.) The only parts I needed to replace outside of normal maintenance were two headlamp bulbs (warranty), struts for hatch (started slowing down so I just got them replaced before the warranty ran out), rear brake pads at 40k, latch for driver's sun visor (DW broke it, covered by warranty), clip for cargo cover (DW broke it, covered by warranty), retaining clip for driver's floor mat (broken by car wash attendant, covered by warranty), rear turn signal lamp (about $2), rear license plate lamp (about $2), and a front side marker lamp (about $2). There was also some damage from a run-in my DW had with a curb in a blizzard 3 years ago (curb won), but that wasn't the fault of the car. Did result in new tires, which have 24k on them now and still good tread.
* Good looking: I still like the looks of the GT hatch. There aren't many fastback-style 5-doors any more. It has the versatility of a wagon but doesn't look like a wagon (something my 17-year-old son appreciates). The red paint has held up pretty well, and is still lustrous, although there are faint surface scratches and a few small door dings. Some of the alloy wheels have some nicks also.
* Ride & drive: It's no sports sedan but for an econobox, I think it has a nice blend of ride and handling (sport-tuned suspension and steering). It's pretty quiet cruising on the highway, nimble around town. Except for an occasional squeak from somewhere in the dash in very cold weather, still no rattles or squeaks. The ride isn't as smooth as on the GLS, but not punishing.
* Kenwood head unit (see above). While it has good sound through the six speakers, it hasn't held up well and the controls are an ergonomic mess.
* Steering wheel would be more comfortable if it were a little thicker. The leather cover has held up well though, and feels good.
* Leather interior: It's held up remarkably well, with only one small scuff on the outer bolster on the driver's side. (I think the car's use as an auto show car for Chicago, Minneapolis etc. in early 2004 didn't help there, as several thousand people probably climbed in and out of the driver's seat.) Otherwise it looks new. But I was never a fan of leather (hot in summer, cold in winter) and had I known Hyundai was coming out with a GLS hatch for 2005 with a sport cloth interior, I might have waited for it. Plus there's no seat heaters.
I haven't tracked fuel economy over its lifetime, but I do keep track of it at fill-ups and through the trip computer. I average mid-20s in town and mid-30s on the highway consistently, with peaks just over 40 mpg under ideal conditions (4AT). But I drive conservatively. I notice my son got closer to 20 mpg on short-trip, in-town driving this winter (his first with a license). At 70 mph on long trips the best I've gotten is 34-35 mpg. So it's not as stingy with gas as some small cars, but it almost always beats its adjusted EPA ratings (21/29). Its sweet spot is around 55 mph, where it will do upper-30s mpg easily.
Maintenance costs have been very low, because I've never had to pay for an oil change (long story) and I get free tire rotations/balances from the tire shop. The 30k service was the only major maintenance expense, plus of course the rear brake pad replacement a month ago.
So overall it's been a positive ownership experience, and I'm glad I bought the GT instead of costlier options I was looking at five years ago, e.g. Matrix, Mazda6i hatch, and Malibu Maxx. Another positive is that I've suffered little in depreciation over the past five years. According to Edmunds.com, the car could fetch nearly $7000 in a private-party sale (KBB has it at nearly $8000). Using the lower figure, that's a bit more than $100 a month in depreciation over five years.
Plus I still have 58k miles and five years of powertrain warranty left--enough to get my son almost all the way through college.
#5394 of 5565 Re: 2006 With TCS & Sunroof - buying price [backy]
Mar 31, 2009 (12:22 pm)
Took delivery yesterday morning, I'm satisfied but more importantly my dw is! I did check with Hyundai CS and I do have the remainder of the 5/60 including the powertrane since we're not the original owner. I was specific that per carfax it probably was in a rental fleet for the first 18k miles, then a private owner and was told that the warranty as above pass to me - so just shy of 2 yrs or 33640 miles. This is good.
And according to the VIN, it has ABS subsequently found the unit under the hood, in addition to the TCS which are nice safety features since my 20 yr. old daughter will be getting it. Brand new Uniroyals and a full year on the inspection. Such a deal
Apr 11, 2009 (3:17 pm)
Howdy folks! I haven't been on this discussion for a while, so I thought I would check in. I am still the happy owner of a 2001 Elantra GLS 5-speed.
I've noticed a couple of people talking about the wheel shimmy issue, which I have had a various times and various degrees over seven and a half years. I do remember that one person tried everything to eliminate the shimmy and had to resort to new rotors, as a mechanic at some point overtorqued the lug nuts and warped one or both rotors.
We are at more than 95K miles, and the most recent repair was covered mostly under warranty, which included a catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, and a portion of the exhaust, all triggered by a simple "check engine" light for an O2 sensor. The service tech seriously angered me by authorizing spark plugs and wires and insisting that I had authorized those items, so I will not revisit that dealer again. By the time I arrived home, however, I decided not to push the issue further to the top because the car was running SO perfectly, truly like new.
A concern at this point is finding a part number and then ordering a replacement for the slim black trim piece separating the rear door roll-down window from the non-moving piece of glass, as it is very rusted on the driver's side, and starting to rust on the passenger side. Has anyone been able to locate this piece or a separate part number on any parts site?
Cooper tires have been fine after one year. Digital clock refuses to come back to life, even when tapped firmly. Wipers were slowing down quite a bit in the winter. These three items and the trim piece issue are the only concerns I have right now. I love this car, and cannot wait for car-waxing weather!
#5396 of 5565 Re: Been a while [jimbeaumi]
Apr 11, 2009 (4:46 pm)
I know I had that trim piece replaced on the driver's side under warranty (the bumper-to-bumper warranty) on my '01 GLS years ago; had the same problem with it. The dealership had to order the part. They should be able to do the same for you, if you want to replace it yourself.
Re the plugs and wires... had they been replaced before? If not, then it probably wasn't a bad idea to replace them now. Of course, the service tech should have waited for your approval to do it!
My sister still has my 2001 GLS and tells me it's holding up great, just passed 60k a little while ago (she doesn't drive much). Needs a little body and paint work due to a side-swipe from my son a few years ago that I touched up, but it was not a "pro" job at all (although I did use made-to-order paint).
#5397 of 5565 Re: Been a while [backy]
Apr 12, 2009 (12:11 pm)
Thanks, and I ought to order that part very, very soon. From a different dealership, of course.
Yes, the plugs and wires had been done, which is why I was ticked off about it. The service writer's attitude was just the icing on the rotting cake, which is a shame because he replaced a very pleasant writer who was let go. Dumb decision.
It's a good thing I am not yet ready to take on a car payment, because as before, I want an Elantra SE, an Elantra Touring, and a Sonata GLS, AND I want to see this car hit the 200K mark. At this point, the decision's been made for me.
Apr 12, 2009 (10:48 pm)
I got an 02 Elantra 2.0, and my friend got me a 4 1/2" motech muffler. I went to the shop they put it on and when I drove out I noticed a great deal of lag. I was wondering if that was because theres not enough back pressure and the mufflers to big. if I had a turbo it would be a different story but all I got is a stock engine.
any suggestions on if I should get a smaller one? Also what size are stock mufflers on lantras?
#5399 of 5565 steering wandering problem
Apr 16, 2009 (6:36 pm)
I have a 2001 elantra. Lately when I accelerate, the car pulls left. Once I ease off the gas, the car wanders to the right. It's significant enough that in cruise control, it's almost impossible to maintain a straight line as the engine engages and eases off. I expect some pull when the front wheels accelerate but this is excessive. Any ideas on possible cause?
#5400 of 5565 Re: steering wandering problem [perenet]
Apr 16, 2009 (8:31 pm)
Front end alignment, or a bad front tire. Either one will cause the problem you describe. Quick test would be to swap the tires front to back and see if the problem changes. You didn't mention the mileage on the car, but if it is above 60K it would be worth checking the steering and suspension components for wear.
#5401 of 5565 2001 Elantra- Alarm goes off
Apr 17, 2009 (4:38 am)
I have 2001 Elantra. Lately alarm goes off on ot's own. Is there any way can I dis alarm it.
#5402 of 5565 Re: 2001 Elantra- Alarm goes off [omthk]
Apr 17, 2009 (8:05 pm)
i'm not sure but if you take out the alarm fuse it might stop, not sure though.or just take it in the dealer and they'll reconfigure your system