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Hyundai Elantra, Hatchback, Sedan
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#3112 of 3420 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [backy]
Feb 15, 2009 (4:51 pm)
If you go by Consumer Reports, you'll see something interesting. The overall score for the car as a used car doesn't go above average until year 2004. Then, the 2005 year actually goes down to average again (not good!), and picks up with 2006. Of course, 2006 forward is too short a track record for long term reliability to tell, so the real bottom line for Elantras is: buy 2004, avoid 2005, and hope for the best with 2006 and more recent.
Interestingly, it's pretty much the same story if you look at J.D. Powers long term reliability too:
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being best, the Elantra 2004 stands out as the best bet for Long Term Dependability not falling below 2.5 on any score, with most in the 3-3.5 range. That's better than any other year Elantra, and the individual scores otherwise are VASTLY better than the 2005, which really falls down totally, with most scores at 2! Wow, that's one year to avoid! Meanwhile J.D. Powers doesnt' score Long Term Dependability for 2005 or more recent because not enough time elapsed to make a judgment.
Bottom line: if you go by statistics, the Elantra to buy is 2004, with 2005 to avoid and more recent too recent to tell. Now, that's statistics FROM TWO DIFFERENT scoring agencies (CR and JD Powers) - not anecdotal stories from random people - and that means very, very reliable.
Of course, again, the individual car is the most important factor - I'm sure there are very happy Elantra 2000, or 2005 owners, and very unhappy 2004 owners, but the statistics tell you what you can expect by the numbers.
Cars get redesigned for big years (2001 and 2006 for the Elantra), but they also get tweaked a bit every year - mostly to improvement, sometimes not (2005 - boo!), but the stats is what counts - this is what large numbers of owners report.
Personally, I'd avoid the year 2000 for an Elantra.
#3113 of 3420 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [BambuListener]
Feb 15, 2009 (5:08 pm)
To me, that casts doubt on JD Power's long-term reliability scores, since the 2004 Elantra was the mid-gen refresh car, while the 2005 and 2006 were 100% carryover from 2004: same powertrains, same interior, same body, same everything. So they should have very similar scores to the 2004, and if anything the 2004 should be lower because it was the first year of the refresh, and is older.
As for CR's, all it takes is a fraction of a point either way to move a car from Above Average to Average, or vice-versa, so the variations between 2004-6 are explainable at least. To me, a car having an Average reliability score from CR is not a reason by itself to avoid it. If so, I suppose buyers would need to avoid buying new cars like the Camry and Altima, because CR says their predicted reliability is only Average. We are talking about very small differences in number of defects per car here.
#3114 of 3420 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [backy]
Feb 17, 2009 (7:49 pm)
Well, let's keep the big picture in mind. It doesn't matter *why* the stats for the 2005 went down. What matters is that they *did* go down. That's the only metric that matters, because that's what the bottom line describes: likelihood of failure. To say "well it's the exact same design therefore it can't have different stats in different years" is absurd. The facts are already there: the stats *are* different. As to why? Any million of explanations. You can have the exact same design but if your QC process is different (and worse) in 2005 vs 2004, you'll get worse outcome, period. In other words, design is not the *only* controlling factor. Or perhaps they changed suppliers for the (exact same) parts, and the new parts, while having the same design, don't have the same durability due to materials or process or QC or whatever, and you don't find that out until a year has passed and the parts fail. Etc., etc., etc. The *why* is upstream of the *what*. If you know the what, you can ask about the why, but that's a SECONDARY question. You may as well say: "well, the 2005 could not be worse than 2004 because those cars were prayed over". However, if the stats show that nonetheless the 2005 is worse, then you don't say "no they aren't" (since those are objective numbers), but you have to conclude that unfortunately, much as it pains you, you must admit that praying over the cars doesn't affect their quality. Tough. Same here: bottom line is that stats find 2005 worse than 2004 - so all that tells you is that apparently design is not the only controlling factor... which you can figure out with 10 seconds of thinking.
As to CR - I don't know, not being privy to their numbers, if it's true that their stats are worthless due to statistical noise. I'd merely note, that I find that hard to believe - though not impossible - because these guys understand statistics, and would presumably account for elementary things like *margin of error*. I mean, a first year student of statistics gets that, so how can the CR folks miss that? Not likely. And what makes me even more suspicious, is that the findings dovetail with JD Powers. That's very, very telling. If two completely different surveys, using different methodology come to the same conclusions, odds are - they are measuring something real, and not statistical noise (which would be random).
Regardless, you can always ignore all the data in favor of... I don't know what... speculation? Gut feel? Anecdotes? Uncle Charlie's musings?
As politicians say: "whom are you gonna believe, me, or your lying eyes?" Personally, I stick by the stats, even if partisans or fans of whatever try to convince me to forego solid evidence right in front of your eyes. But that's just me. Your milage may vary
#3115 of 3420 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [BambuListener]
Feb 17, 2009 (10:04 pm)
It seems very odd that Hyundai would change its suppliers for the 2005 MY Elantra, then apparently change them again for the 2006 MY (the scores improved for 2006).
Stats are useful, but can be misleading. We know, for example, that CR's reliability categories are based on numerical data. They don't publish their cutoffs for each category, but there must be cutooffs. So let's say for example the upper-end cutoff for Average is 55 and the lower end cutoff for Above Average is 56. Suppose also the 2004 Elantra scored a 56 and the 2005 a 55, and the 2006 scored 56. Numerically and statistically a very small difference. But it appears to be a big difference due to the categorization.
Also, in the 2008 CR Auto Issue, the 2003-5 Elantras were rated Above Average in predicted reliability. The 2002 was rated Average. The 2006 and 2007 Elantras were rated Much Better than Average. A consistent pattern, with improvement over time, but inconsistent with the data you posted, which I assume is more recent.
#3116 of 3420 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [lhy]
Feb 18, 2009 (3:25 am)
Thanks everybody for your opinions about this car.
BambuListener: your advice about the car was pretty spot on. I took a test drive of the car and it seemed to have significant transmission problems. I took it on the highway and it wouldn't go above 40 mph! It seems that the transmission couldn't shift into high gear. Also, I noticed that the tranny fluid was somewhat brownish.
-So in general, do people find Consumer Reports and JD Power reviews among the most reliable compared to other car review sites?
-And what are people's opinions about the repair costs for Hyundais in general?
I have gotten a lot of conflicting information. Some of the reviews I read online have said that Hyundais are expensive to repair, while other people have stated they are relatively cheap.
#3117 of 3420 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [lhy]
Feb 18, 2009 (2:14 pm)
re: reliability of CR and JD Power vs "other car review sites" - what do you mean by that? It's apples and oranges. Not many sites do what JD Powers does - which is a focus on systematic tracking of quality and reliability - yes, CR does that, but not many more. In that sense there is not much competition to CR and JD Power (though there is some, with somewhat differing focus and emphasis) *in that respect*. "Other review sites" mostly do test drives and pretty superficial "reviews" of initial quality (rarely very systematic) - and JD Power doesn't do test drives in that sense at all - so there is no overlap between what JD Power does and "other car review sites"... it's apples and oranges. However, CR does do test drives for consumers - and in general has a much more rigorous and systematic testing compared to most "other sites". So in that sense, I think CR is far, far, far more reliable - not to mention freer of bias, since they do not depend on advertising from car manufacturers like so many "other sites". Does that address your question?
re: costs of repairs of Hyundai. This is a very hard question to answer. For routine fixing of things like breaks, hoses, alternators and what have you - I don't think it's very expensive, since for the most part it doesn't require specifically trained Hyundai mechanics (the way some foreign cars do, like Volvos, or say VW), and the parts are not exorbitantly priced (unlike, f.ex. VW parts). On the other hand, every car has its pecularities where fixing *certain* things DOES require specialized training or familiarity by mechanics. Hyundai being a relatively smaller presence in the market (compared to, say, Toyotas, Hondas, Nissan etc.), you may have a hard time locating a Hyundai mechanic. In fact that's kind of disaster: look over threads here and pleas from people in as huge a car market as Los Angeles, for recommendations for Hyundai mechanics - only to be met with silence or derision... in other words, FAIL. That leaves you with Huyndai dealerships - which at least in the Los Angeles area have a *terrible* reputation. So if you should need to fix a more Hyundai specific or complex issue, you are going to be in trouble. Not good. You simply don't have the options a Toyota or even Volvo owners have. There are many, many, many, independent (i.e. not stealership) shops for Volvo/Saab, VW etc. - but not really Hyundai (at least in Los Angeles, which is a HUUUUUGE car market).
So bottom line, it depends on the kind of problem you have - if you have a simple problem that can be addressed by a generic car mechanic, it should be pretty cheap, considering the parts are not too expensive. But if you have a more complex Hyundai specific problem, you may be out of luck due to very, very, very miserable situation as far as the number of trained *Hyundai* mechanics... and off to a dealer you go - where you WILL be ripped off (at least in LA). So I think that accounts for why you get both opinions ("cheap" and "expensive") when it comes to cost of fixing. Again, that's speaking about used cars not under warranty.
#3118 of 3420 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [BambuListener]
Feb 18, 2009 (4:14 pm)
What is a "Hyundai specific problem"?
Three years ago my wife had a run-in with a curb during a blizzard; the curb won. Somehow the car was still drivable even though one front alloy wheel was shredded, but it didn't steer right. Took it to the Hyundai dealer, since I knew I needed a new wheel. They could replace the wheel, but they said the car needed an alignment and some front-end work--which they couldn't do! So I took it to a local tire store to get four new tires (which cost less than 2 new OEM tires), and they referred me to a nearby repair shop that focuses on import cars--all import cars. They had no problem fixing the Elantra. I have a feeling (which I hope I never have to confirm) that they could do anything else needed on that car, even replacing a transmission or engine. I will probably check with them when it's time for the Elantra's 60k service, which is the most complex and costly servicing due to timing belt replacement etc.--see what they will charge vs. the dealer. I use the dealer for warranty work and oil changes, since they give me free oil changes, and to buy parts like light bulbs.
#3119 of 3420 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [backy]
Feb 18, 2009 (5:46 pm)
"What is a Hyundai specific problem?"
Gee, I don't know - I guess there's no reason then to have shops and mechanics who are dedicated to just Volvo/Saab or VW or whatever brand, huh? Wonder why they exist then Seriously though, that's silly. Every car brand has its pecularities, and a mechanic who is not specifically versed in that range of issues is not a good choice to have experiment on your vehicle. For standard stuff, yeah, but not once you hit the pecularity. For example, you have a 2002 Mazda RX 7 with a twin-rotor Wankel rotary engine. If you want to fix brakes on it - fine, go to any mechanic. But if you need work on the engine, you better go to a mechanic who has experience with Wankel engines or get ready for an epic FAIL. And so for every brand - there's a reason why for complex issues specific to a given brand you go to mechanics who have training and experience with that specific brand... for generic issues, generic mechanics are fine.
And getting back to the earlier issue of models 2004 vs 2005 etc. Yes, indeed, it happens pretty much 100% of the time that the manufacturer changes *some* suppliers from year to year even on exactly the same model (if for no other reason than that some suppliers may go out of business etc, etc. etc.). Only very small specialty brands (like f.ex. Ferrari) may pretty much recreate exactly the same cars from one year to the next. For large scale brands, that is almost NEVER the case. Not to mention that even staying with the same supplier doesn't guarantee the exact same result, since the supplier in turn may change processes the effect of which don't turn up until they're put into play for several months. There are always variations year to year whether in materials, suppliers, quality control or a million other issues. Same design - different manufacture variables from year to year (often on economic grounds), which can give you a different result on long term reliability stats. Elementary reality of manufacturing complex products I bet you don't have much experience with large scale manufacturing
#3120 of 3420 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [BambuListener]
Feb 18, 2009 (8:21 pm)
An Elantra isn't an RX-7, doesn't have a Wankel engine or warp drive with dilithium crystals, and is a pretty basic car. And there's detailed shop manuals for it, that any good mechanic should be able to follow. Because it has the usual OBD, the mechanic would need access to the diagnostic computer for some repairs, but that is very common nowadays.
I understand the elementary reality of manufacturing complex products. But you don't know for a fact which if any key components--the ones that affect reliability--were changed on the Elantra from 2004-5 and 2005-6, do you?
Anyway, if you look closely at the JD Power reliability scores that you posted the link to earlier, you will see how suspect they are. For example, notice that the Mechanical ratings, the ones that directly relate to reliability, are very close between 2004 and 2005. In fact, there is only one difference: 2004 has 4.0 on interior, and 2005 has 4.5. That difference could easily be explained by the problematic audio system used in the 2004 Elantra GT, and only in that year. That issue is reflected in CR's ratings also. But then notice the "Design" scores. The design of the 2004 and 2005 Elantra was the same. But the JD Power scores are different, on Interior design (and therefore overall as well). How can that be, when the design was the same for both model years? Then look at the Overall Performance and Design ratings. They are markedly different between 2004 and 2005, in all categories: Performance, Comfort, Features and Instrument Panel, and Style. We're not talking about component quality here, but performance, design, and style. And the 2004 and 2005 model years were the SAME in those regards. Same powertrains, same interiors, same exteriors. Yet the 2004 scored much higher there than the 2005. How can that be, if these ratings are objective? Well, it's because they aren't objective. In fact, the major difference in the JD Power IQS scores between the 2004 and 2005 Elantra are due to subjective measures, not on reliability considerations. Notice also how the design-related scores shot up for 2006--but it was the same car design as for 2005! And the subjective measures like performance and style changed for 2006 too. That's not surprising, since they are subjective.
Finally, keep in mind that the JD Power ratings for 2004-6 that you posted the link to are for initial quality, not long-term quality. That is, for the first 90 days of ownership. The only model from 2004-6 old enough to have JD Power Long-Term Reliability scores is the 2004.
Feb 19, 2009 (2:06 pm)
Of course an Elantra is not an RX-7 - that's what an analogy is. Analogy doesn't mean "identical". By definition. What the analogy does do however, is points out that every car brand has something specific and unique to it. No need to resort to dilithium crystals or kryptonium. Works for other cars, doesn't it? Otherwise it wouldn't be a different brand, if everything was identical. Pretty logical, no? And there are manuals for RX-7 as well. Or for any car. That still doesn't remove the need for mechanics trained in that particular brand. Because, odd as it may seem, manuals are not enough. Weird, huh?
As to whether I know "for a fact" which if any key components were changed on the Elantra - of course I don't. However, neither do you - see how that works? Only here's the difference: the burden of proof is on you, not me. The reason is because *you* made a claim that 2004 and 2005 being the same design, must mean that JD Power stats are invalid. I merely reported the stats. You made a claim. I pointed out that the fact of the same design in 2004 and 2005 does NOT by that fact alone guarantee that the reliability would be identical, and I cited some examples of how that is possible (different suppliers, different QC practices etc.). I pointed out ways of how your argument doesn't hold water. But that does not alter the fact, that it is YOU who has to show how the same design MUST result in the same stats. I showed how that's not necessarily right - gaping holes in your argument. Stats are there from JD Powers. You have to show why they are wrong - and the argument you made ("same design") doesn't hold water. The burden of proof is on you. Until then, the stats stand presumed valid, absent proof to the contrary.
I am not an expert in Elantras. Maybe there were tiny differences between the interior design of the 2004 and 2005 which affected "comfort" etc. For example, the 2000 has massive power window problems, which would not be externally visible, and a change would fix it - also not visible. So it might look like the same design but there may be tiny changes which impact operation, even if not visually.
But even if there weren't, even if they were identical, there's still the stats from CR regarding problem areas (and indeed in my previous posts I pointed out that JD Powers hasn't yet done a long term reliability for 2005 and up). They are all mechanical, and all devastating for 2005 compared to 2004. The burden of proof of why they are wrong - CR with their teams of experienced testers vs "backy". The burden of proof is on "backy". I like and trust "backy", but I trust CR more, absent direct proof to the contrary. That's the rational attitude, no? Otherwise we're at the mercy of anyone's anecdote. That's the whole point of the existence of testing from independent consumer organizations like CR. No?