Last post on Feb 19, 2012 at 11:53 AM
You are in the Hyundai Elantra
What is this discussion about?
Hyundai Elantra, Hatchback, Sedan
Apr 27, 2003 (7:11 pm)
Since I just came out of a big mistake, took a big loss, and went through the same thought process, maybe I can help your decision process.
Look at it this way: Can you see yourself being happy with the Elantra for more than 3 years assuming it remains problem free? Would settling for the Elantra and than running into a few problems make you hate the car and your decision or could you handle it?
My suggestion is buy what really gets your heart going and grabs your attention. Don't settle for something just because it is cheaper. I made that mistake 8 months ago. I bought an 03 Suzuki Aerio SX because I loved the performance potential of the engine, long list of standard features, roomy and comfortable interior, and the supposed "Japanese" build quality available for such an attractive price. It wasn't the sexiest looking car around and really didn't make me feel excited about it, but the price caught my eye. I really wanted the 03 Hyundai Tiburon GT but was afraid of the monthly payment because I had just started a new position and wasn't sure I would like it. So I settled for the Aerio for 5 grand less and thought I got a great value, until things took a turn for the worse and I ran into lots of little annoying things. I got so annoyed with the car I ended up trading the darn thing in on the car I originally wanted and lost a lot of money in the process. The Tiburon is straining my budget some, but for once, I'm finally happy with my car and feel it's worth every penny. Learn from my mistake and buy what your heart tells you as long as you think you can afford it.
Just a few personal opinions on the cars you mentioned:
The Volvo S40 is a nice car but not really any safer than the Civic or Impreza. The platform it is built on dates all the way back to 1996 and 00-01 models were very problematic. Volvo's quality isn't the greatest so your chances of running into problems is higher. But it sounds like you like this car more for some reason so it might need to stay higher on your "if" list.
The Mazda 6i is a great choice. It looks good and has good handling. Reliability should be good, but some Ford content might cause concern. But it sounds like you wouldn't be completely happy with it...
A used Jetta is not a good choice. I love VW but I must admit their quality has been lacking in recent years, especially in the Jetta. Your chances of out of warranty repairs is just at high as with your BMW so you don't really gain anything. Again, it sounds like you wouldn't be completely happy with this car and might regret it if it runs into the problems you are currently scared of.
The Elantra GT is a great value and a nice car. Quality and reliability appears to be good in this car. You seem like you would like the car. Just make sure you can see yourself happy with it for more than a few years.
The 05 Mustang seems to really have your attention. This might be the car you need to buy as it sounds like you would be extremely excited to own it. If you think you want this car without seeing the final production version, I would stick with the BMW until it comes out. If you take good care of the 318, the car should last long enough with minimal problems. I mean, it does only have 75k and BMW is capable of making cars that last longer than that. Just set a little money aside each month for possible car repairs and you will be fine.
Well, hopefully my comments help you out some. Good luck on your decision!!
Apr 27, 2003 (11:41 pm)
and keep it coming...
I keep trying to decide, and going back and forth. My BMW is fine, but has the potential to become expensive at any moment (age is a bigger factor than milage) and is at the peak moment to get the highest dollar for it, before its age over=rides the low mileage...so I keep thinking of letting go.
I would love to hold another couple of years, and might do it (1-series and Mustang both arriving in '05) but the thought of a new Elantra is appealing, price/features/etc.
Like I said, I drove an auto, and wasn't very happy with the performance of the engine or the auto...especially with the AC engaged, and this is AZ after all. Have read that the manual drives much better, but then I am back in a self-shifter...hence the fence sitting. A smoother auto would have had me in a GT months ago.
I do like the looks of the GT in hatch form, could be a very pleasant ownership experience...but I did want to invest in a 8-10 year car cycle with the next purchase, and I don't see myself happy with the GT for 8 years, given my car addictions...arghhhh...lol.
The light resale gives me some pause, but considering that resale is based on MSRP and not the real buyer price, I think Elantras actually do ok, if bought at discount.
I need to find a dealer with a 5-speed and just get it over with...drive it, buy it or move on.
Apr 28, 2003 (2:29 am)
Supposedly, from what I've heard, the Elantra's Beta engine is supposed to get variable valve timing next year, which shoudl give it a horsepower/torque jump. I think it was 143 hp 6000 RPM and 135 ft/lbs. torque 4500 RPM.
Dunno if I can post the link I found it at since, they have a message board too, but do a Yahoo search on "Elantra Variable Timing Korea" and it should come up. There's other revisions too.
Lesee, new front grille, aluminum dash trim, clear taillight lenses. I hate aluminum trim and clear tailight lenses, but I can always get a fake wood trim kit for the dash. DOn't know what to do about the tail light lenses though.
This is a good thing for me, since I can't afford my GT until next year anyway.
#3417 of 4930 harlequin1971
Apr 28, 2003 (6:46 am)
It's amazing how different the Elantra drives with a 5-spd. compared to the auto. I've driven both. My Mom's Elantra GL has the auto. and I really didn't like the sound/feel of the engine but loved everything else. My GT has the 5-spd. and I LOVE it! I don't mind shifting in heavy traffic and really transforms the character of the car. I rushed to get mine as I did not care for the styling updates for the '04 model that have been posted here. Aside from a really poor quality rear speaker and questionable quality black body trim outside, this car feels like it should be $20k!
Apr 28, 2003 (11:54 am)
I don't mind shifting gears...in fact, I like it, most of the time.
But my experience tells me a few things, mostly that I am not a great self-shifter...as I have replaced a clutch within 60k miles of every manual I have owned. (VW Rabbit, Saab 900, BMW 318)
I also have some issues with my legs getting stiff from the clutchwork in stop and go traffic.
About 6 years ago, I bought a Honda Civic with the CVT transmission. And while not perfect (laggy pickup from standstill, shuddered into "drive" when cold) it was very smooth when driving, and I got very used to never feeling that lurch of gears changing that is common place in every normal auto, and more so in a manual.
When I left the Civic behind, I bought the BMW. Very smooth, for a 5-speed, but nothing like the simplisitic driving style of the Honda. For the first two months or so, it was a pleasant change. Then I found myself in heavier traffic and winter set in. Oi Vey, I found myself missing the simple gas and go approach of the Civic. I still liked my BMW, but the driving became more of a chore. I still feel like, in heavy traffic, that a 5-speed is fun to drive for about the first 10-15 minutes, and a pain after that.
It works that I rarely have more than a 15 minutes commute these days, but things change, so I had decided to go back to an auto and leave the "driving" to the computer.
That is one of the things that made the Volvo S40 an intriging choice. From my test drives, that auto is very good, smooth transitions, adaptive feel that gets better as you learn the car.
I have driven my roomie's V6 Sonata with the auto, and unless you go the auto-manual route, that auto is clunky and jerky. It feels very lagged to driver input, where the S40 felt almost intuitive and anticipatory in its shifts and gear selections. Lexus IS300 is a similar experience, so I have heard.
Most autos in the market are poor trade-offs. The Elantra is certainly not a great auto...and I would have been suprised if it was, given my experience with the Sonata. I think low power engines should just go with a CVT trannie and call it good. A good CVT will hold your engine at max power under heavy acceleration, and max economy when you are cruising.
I say too much...
Some cars just force the choice on you. If I buy an Elantra, I don't see myself not getting the 5-speed. The 6i auto was plenty smooth. The Volvo S40 is smooth. The VW is decent (better than the rubbery manual). The Subaru would be a 5-spd, as would a Mustang.
Apr 28, 2003 (11:25 pm)
something u said a few post back make me wonder . you said something about a car being an investment . if u buy cars that way u will be a poor man lol .i would never think of an everyday car as an investment .if you do you are gonna loose money almost everytime . i don't wanna turn this into a resale bs trip so lets leave it at that . but you need to decide what YOU want . all those cars are very nice , even the vw but i would never get one used , but if you don't like it you will take a bath selling it in 2 years nomatter what you get . so drive them all a couple times . even if you can rent each for a week . the money spent to rent will be good money spent . i own a elantra gt 5speed and haven't had second thoughts on the car yet .it has been a great car and the few small things that have gone wrong we taken car of by dealer on oil changes .bang for the buck you can't go wrong in my mind . stop and go can be ugly but if you learn how to drive it and "creep" you can keep it in 2nd for a long time . its all about how you drive in stop and go trafic . but good luck on what you get just make sure it is what YOU want .
#3420 of 4930 harlequin and tune-up
Apr 29, 2003 (7:11 pm)
My job has been in Taiwan and my car back in the US--but the countdown has begun. The GT has sat outside, driven only a couple times a month, since July! Any suggestions on what to do, if anything, beyond changing the oil once I get home?
As to Harlequin's dilemma, I have to say I went from a Saab non-turbo to the GT and am very happy with the 5 speed's performance and GT's utility in general. And if you're hard on clutches, you have the 10yr/100k warranty with Hyundai. The other cars are nice but if money is tight, you'll still enjoy the GT. I know it's hard to settle down for the long-term (I'm that way with bicycles) but my advice is that the GT should keep you satisfied for a while and be very economical. By the time you get it paid off, which will be 18+ months faster than the Mazda, it can be a fine family car (am guessing you're single) should that enter the picture, a fine commuter car, grocery-getter, and just a reliable 2nd car--then you can get that WRX, or S2000, or Mustang, practicality be damned!
Apr 29, 2003 (10:32 pm)
that is one of my favorite exercises...buy the GT, pay it off, then buy something totally impractical...
Thanks all for the thoughtful inputs.
Apr 30, 2003 (5:50 am)
Wow, harlequin1971, you do go through some clutches. Mine usually last until at least 120,000 miles. My trick is that everytime I am stopped (e.g., traffic light), I take my foot off the clutch and wait. When the light turns green, I engage the clutch and drive on.
I have heard from a couple of mechanics that the longer you keep the clutch engaged, the quicker it wears. I don't know if it's true, but it seems to have worked for me and my 5-speeds.
Just a suggestion.
#3423 of 4930 Black Plastic Engine Cover
Apr 30, 2003 (5:53 am)
I don't know if this has been discussed here yet, but does anyone know why Hyundai put that black plastic cover over the engine? To me it only seems to serve a cosmetic purpose, to cover engine parts, wires, etc.
It seems like this would make the engine run a bit hotter, so I have removed mine and have it stored in my garage just in case.
Anyone know anything about this engine cover's purpose?