2013 Hyundai Elantra
2013 Hyundai Elantra 1
2013 Hyundai Elantra 2
2013 Hyundai Elantra dashboard
2013 Hyundai Elantra front seat

2013 Hyundai Elantra Review


2013 Hyundai Elantra Quick Facts

MSRP: $15,345 - $20,595
Invoice: $14,918 - $19,727
MPG: 29 City / 40 Hwy
  • Outstanding fuel economy on all models
  • Good commuter car
  • Optional heated rear leather seats
  • Cheap interior materials

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra consists of Elantra Sedan, Elantra Coupe, and Elantra GT Hatchback.

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra ranks 2 out of 41 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on U.S. News analysis of 23 published reviews and test drives of the Hyundai Elantra, and U.S. News analysis of reliability and safety data.

The high praises the 2011 Hyundai Elantra received carry over into the 2012 model year. The automotive press still says the Elantra is an affordable small car with upscale amenities that will make others think you paid more for it than you actually did.

The press isn’t worried about whether or not the Elantra will lose its new-car sparkle now that the Ford Focus, Kia Forte and Chevrolet Cruze are in the mix. One reason the Elantra can hold its ground is because it has a stylish exterior that makes the Cruze and Forte look bland. In addition to stand-out exterior styling, the Elantra Limited offers heated leather seats in the rear row, a feature that isn’t available on most upscale sedans. Test drivers appreciated this option last year, and are still impressed with it this go-around.

Most members of the automotive press agree that the 2012 Hyundai Elantra outshines many of its competitors because it’s well-rounded. For example, the Elantra has high fuel economy ratings of 29/40 mpg city/highway, and unlike the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze, shoppers don’t need to upgrade to higher trims to get those figures. Inside, the Elantra offers enough cabin and trunk space to compete with some midsize sedans, a navigation system that’s fast and easy to use and more standard features than other affordable small cars like the 2012 Honda Civic. 

The Elantra is a good value, but no reviewers label the Elantra fun-to-drive like the Mazda3 or Honda Fit. But they do say the 2012 Hyundai Elantra makes a great daily driver. After looking at all these qualities, many members of the automotive press say the Elantra is one of the best affordable small cars on the market. Edmunds agrees, and says, "Thanks to head-turning styling, a fuel-efficient engine and a long list of standard safety features and upscale options, the 2012 Hyundai Elantra is a top pick for a small sedan."

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers compare the 2012 Hyundai Elantra to the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze and Kia Forte, all of which are very similar to the Elantra in terms of daily driving capabilities.

The Honda Civic was redesigned for the 2012 model year, but reviewers don’t endorse this model as much as they have in the past because it doesn’t push the envelope in any way. This consumer favorite doesn’t come standard with air conditioning or any kind of radio or CD player, but it does have Eco Assist, which helps you drive frugally. To get more features on the 2012 Civic, you have to upgrade to the nearly $18,000 LX trim, which adds a radio, CD player, USB audio interface, air conditioning, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls and auxiliary input jack.

The Kia Forte, however, challenges the Elantra in terms of standard interior features and price. The base sedan starts at about $15,000, compared to the Elantra’s nearly $16,500 base price, and has satellite radio, USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. It also has a powertrain warranty that lasts for 10 years or 100,000 miles that matches the Elantra’s. The Forte does have more standard features, which sets it apart, and its conservative styling will appeal to shoppers who dislike the Elantra’s modern design.

The Hyundai Elantra was completely redesigned for the 2011 model year, and little has changed for 2012. Hyundai improved horn sound, calibrated the steering, added fog lights to the GLS Preferred Package and is offering more color options and an optional roadside assistance kit. The most significant update is the addition of Hyundai’s Active Eco System that comes on all Elantra models with an automatic transmission. Hyundai says this system improves fuel economy by 7 percent, but that claim hasn’t been independently tested.

The 2012 Elantra is more expensive than the 2011 model, which starts at $14,945. The 2012 model starts at about $16,450 for the GLS trim with a manual transmission. Adding an automatic transmission increases the price by $1,000, and upgrading to the Limited trim, which adds leather seats and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, raises the price to $20,445.

If you want a hybrid-like fuel economy, but don’t want to fork over extra cash to get it, reviewers recommend the 2012 Hyundai Elantra, which gets 29/40 mpg city/highway. And according to Cars.com, the Elantra doesn’t drive like an appliance because “gas mileage doesn't come at the expense of drivability." »

Hyundai pairs great fuel economy with a stylish exterior that may blow attractive, but conventional-looking class favorites like the Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze out of the water. »

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra’s interior rivals the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Fiesta’s. Like these cars, the Elantra offers comfort, affordability and numerous tech features, but it also adds one head turner to the list: optional heated leather seats in the back row. "Overall materials quality isn't quite best-in-class (that award goes to the Ford Focus),” says Edmunds, “but the Elantra's cabin isn't bargain-basement either. The Elantra can also be loaded up with the sort of comfort and electronics features indicative of a luxury car." »

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick and receives good scores from the federal government.  »

The 2012 Hyundai Elantra reliability score shown is the Predicted Reliability rating provided by J.D. Power and Associates. Hyundai gives the 2012 Elantra one of the most comprehensive warranties in the class, which includes Trade-in Value Guarantee, a program that ensures owners receive the highest price for their trade-in. »

2013 Hyundai Elantra Road Test / Video Review

2013 Hyundai Elantra Video Review is around the corner!

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