2017 Hyundai Elantra- One Year/20,000 Mile Review

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Coming up in a week or so, we will have had this car for a year and we just topped 20,000 miles over the weekend. Here's some thoughts and impressions from 12 months and 20k miles of ownership. Car Details: 2017 Elantra SE- 2.0L (MPI) 6-speed auto, Phantom Black- Grey cloth interior, Popular and Tech Packages Options listed from the sticker: We purchased this car for just over $14,200 OTD after comparing the Elantra to the Corolla and Civic after our 2014 Mazda3 was totalled by a drunk driver. We ended up with the Hyundai because: 1) Similarly equipped, the Civic and the Corolla were multiple thousands of dollars more expensive 2) I liked the fact that it was MPI and not DI 3) I preferred the 6 speed over the CVT 4) Both me and my wife preferred the interior of the Elantra over the Civic and Corolla interiors. I've never owned a Hyundai and was a bit leery due to the brand's previous (and still lingering) spotty reputation when it comes to reliability and quality. After a year though, I cannot be more impressed with this car. Now, that doesn't mean everything is perfect, but this has been an awesome first impression for someone new to the brand. Here's some of my thoughts on the exterior, interior, technology and powertrain as well as some issues/irritations I have found with it. Exterior: I'll be perfectly honest, I would've never considered the Elantra before their updated styling as I couldn't stand the 2011-2016 styling. However, we really liked the updated exterior styling of the Elantra and I still feel like it is going to age very well. It's not as sporty looking as the Civic, but I feel like it has a sophisticated look to it which I like. The rims are a little small at 15" (or so I think), but I'm not sure that I would just up a rim size and risk the otherwise soft ride that the car has. We will see, however. I'm still debating it. grin Outside of that, there's not a whole lot to say about the exterior other than Hyundai nailed the redesign of the Elantra. Interior: This is where I've been most impressed. The cabin of the Elantra has a very simple and elegant design to it which I really like. That said, it's a Hyundai, so there's a plethora of plastic pieces that I obviously wish weren't plastic, but when you pay the price I did what more can you expect? As I have never owned a Hyundai before, and heard many stories of the interior falling apart due to poor quality, I was worried about the interior and the amount of plastic that could break over time. While it's only been a year, I am happy to report that nothing has broken or looks/feels any different from day one (knock on wood). The dual climate has been a godsend (my wife and I are polar opposites when it comes to comfortable temperatures) and the fact that we could get heated cloth seats was awesome as I've never been a huge fan of leather. There have been reports of creaking/rattling in the dashboard going over bumps, but I've yet to hear that and I've actually been very impressed with the lack of road noise inside the car. As some may remember, I sold Hondas while in college and that was the biggest complaint that I heard from customers who purchased a Civic (I somewhat disagree because I feel like the 2017 Civic was a HUGE improvement over he 2016 Civic). The seats are fairly comfortable, though the lack of lumbar support is disappointing (again- you get what you pay for). If I were to do it over again, the only thing I would change is pay a little more for power seats with lumbar support! The speakers leave something to be desired, but I've heard nothing but good things about the speakers in the Limited trim line. They're just fine for me as I really only listen to talk radio, but when I do turn on Pandora or whatever, you can definitely tell that the speaker system is a bit weak. As for room, I'm 6'4" 235lbs and I actually fit pretty well, as long as I'm in the front two seats! The back seat doesn't offer much headroom, but the front is great. Technology: This is the first car that I've had with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay and I'll never go back to a life without it. Holy [censored], I love Android Auto. Especially recently moving to DFW from a small town in Oklahoma, the navigation feature (through my phone) has been a lifesaver for me and my wife. I also like the fact that you can stream Pandora, podcasts, etc from you phone. This does come at a cost- it doesn't have a CD player. The backup camera is very clear and easy to see through and the blind spot monitoring has been a great feature. Now, the blind spot monitoring does have some issues that I've noticed. It sometimes gets confused and beeps at me when I turn on my turn signal with a car on the opposite side of the direction I'm trying to turn. It's not every time, but enough to be noticeable. If it was really that irritating, I could turn it off, but I live with it. The cross traffic detection (when in reverse) is pretty handy, but I can only think of a handful of times where it caught something before I was able to see them. That said, I still look over my shoulders so I would expect to see them first. Powertrain: The 2.0L engine is somewhat uninspiring, as it's pretty slow, but it sounds much more refined than most engines in Hyundai's past. It's very quiet and very efficient. I don't have exact numbers, but our MPG in city driving is usually around the mid 30s and it's not uncommon at all to achieve well over 40 MPG on the highway. The 6 speed does it's job and that's about all you can say about it. It shifts smooth, but I've noticed that it likes to stay in lower gears on inclines, which I feel is sometimes unnecessary. The Sport mode makes the car feel a lot quicker, but I doubt there's much difference at all in actual acceleration. It just stays at higher RPMS with it on. The ECO mode is, well, I can't really say anything about it. I can't tell any difference at all between ECO mode and Normal mode, and I've tried hard to find a difference. With that being said, I still drive it in ECO because I feel like I'm missing out on something if I don't. LOL The 6 speed is a proven transmission though and has a pretty solid track record when it comes to longevity and reliability. Some things that I wish I could change: 1) Lumbar support 2) Suspension- Wish they had independent suspension all around, but the back comes standard with a torsion beam rear suspension (Only the Sport has independent all around) 3) Headroom in the back 4) No jack points in the front or back?? (At least as far as I can tell) Makes doing ATF drain and fills pretty difficult without a lift since it has to be level. In fact, I'm still figuring out how to do it- let me know if you have any ideas! grin Otherwise, this has been a great car and at such a good price, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase this car again. Hyundai has made a lot of improvements over the years and it shows in the updated Elantra. However, I feel like the worries regarding the brand will continue for a while longer (as it should) after their issues with the 2.4L Gamma engine fiasco. All this said, we will see if it continues to hold up as well as it has so far going forward!
 
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All 2017+ Elantra models supposedly get much better mileage than the EPA numbers suggest. It has something to do with Hyundai overrating the previous generation Elantra, getting in trouble with the EPA and now underrating the current generation in fear. I did test drive and start a thread on a 2018 Elantra Sport and was very impressed with the handling. That suspension was designed by a former BMW suspension engineer. Few new cars have a CD player anymore. I have never used the one in my GTI.
 

JustN89

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I haven't had any issues with the AC, though I forgot to mention how bad the tires are that come standard on the Elantra. They're not noisy, but they are pretty terrible in the rain.
 
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I had a 2017 Value Edition Elantra and my fiance still leases hers. I traded mine in after 6 months for a Sonata. The car was a nice car, but I absolutely couldn't stand the seats. I have a fractured vertebrae and disc that is ruined in my lumbar section and those seats just did not work for me. When I went to the dealership I told them I didn't care what they sold me but it better have good seats in it. They brought me a 2017 Sonata Limited and they were so much better. So, I left with it (6 months later I leased the ATS in my sig, she said she won't marry me if I buy another car before we get married! grin ) . My fiance has had hers since May 2016 and it's been solid. No problems at all. I change the oil every 6 months because she never hits the mileage and that's that. She's wanting a Kona when her lease is up in 2019.
 
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Originally Posted By: skyactiv
All 2017+ Elantra models supposedly get much better mileage than the EPA numbers suggest. It has something to do with Hyundai overrating the previous generation Elantra, getting in trouble with the EPA and now underrating the current generation in fear. I did test drive and start a thread on a 2018 Elantra Sport and was very impressed with the handling. That suspension was designed by a former BMW suspension engineer. Few new cars have a CD player anymore. I have never used the one in my GTI.
100% accurate on the MPG.
 
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Interesting. After one year I have half the mileage on my Elantra. It seems we both had a good experience, but my perceptions differ. First, how did you get $14,200 OTD. Mine was $15k for an SE with cruise? Other dealerhips wanted $700 more. You must have used every rebate available. My car came with the 15" Nexen NPriz AH8 tires. I have been impressed. Wearing well. Provide a soft ride allowing to keep at 40 psi. Good in rain. Not the best I have had, but pretty good. Mileage at times went over 50 mpg. But tend to get low 30's consistently with my mixed driving. Suspensions is fine for my needs. I like that when time comes will be less costly replace shocks compared to rear struts. Brakes are excellent, even though I have drum brakes in rear. Brakes are one of the strong points. Seats are nothing to write home about. Not good. Not bad. I had back issues that were corrected after getting the Elantra. I have read other people dislike the seats so much they wanted to get rid of the car right away. So, buyer beware. My last cars performance must of been so bad the NU 2.0 seems like a rocket ship to me. grin There is a big difference is Eco and Sport mode. I have 2 lanes of interstate to cross to go West during rush hour. My on ramp is an off ramp for traffic going North. Next lane is an exit. Sport mode keeps engine RPM's up so the usable power is more readily available. I feel confident I can out manoeuvre the drivers that change lanes going too fast and not using a turn signal. Eco is great for parking since steering is much easier. I do have concerns if long term it is better to use Normal or Sport mode since car gets into high gear so fast in Eco mode. I have a radio with CD player. Since I came from cassette era no CD's to play. To me stereo sounds fine and is easy to use. That goes for all of the controls. Nice knobs without a lot of clutter. You missed something. Super easy to change oil. They have cut outs to access filter and drain plug. I can do it with no jacking of car which is why I change my oil. Jack points are a pain. I did modify two floor jacks with a hockey puck thing to be able to rotate the tires. But getting under a jacked car is something I want to avoid (the reason I use the modified Houdini oil change manoeuvre).
 
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Originally Posted By: JustN89
I haven't had any issues with the AC, though I forgot to mention how bad the tires are that come standard on the Elantra. They're not noisy, but they are pretty terrible in the rain.
Nice review of your Elantra. Why not get another Mazda3 ? I'm looking at the Mazda3 hatchback sport model and out the door they are around $19,000 with the 2.0L engine.
 
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if i were in the market no CVT for sure, as i like manuals all day, + DI's extra mpg's money will need be saved for a valve cleaning in the future. i would not shun an engine with DI + port injection but for now there are few. i find the Hyundai cars to be quite nice + feel they have come a long way for the better since inception!!
 
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JustN89

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Regarding the seats: There was some talk (and pictures to prove it) that the seats in the Elantras manufactured in Korea were less comfortable/supportive than the seats manufactured in Alabama. I'm not sure if that's still the case, but there's pictures dated sometime late 2016/early 2017 showing the differences between the two seats and why the ones built in Alabama are more comfortable. On the performance: The 2.0L isn't super fast by any means, but it's not as bad as I made it sound. I meant more in comparison to the Civic (and the Mazda3 that the Elantra replaced). It's not a burner, but it's not a snail either.
 
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I just rented this exact car for 10 days on a trip in California, Oregon, and Washington. The car was fantastic! My wife actually wants to purchase one. We had a total trip average of 44.3 mpg over 2860 miles driven. I tested a tank in normal mode and eco mode. Eco mode averaged about 1mpg better. I never got less than 39mpg even on California 1 or through the mountains in sport mode. I enjoyed the sport mode and the manual shift mode. I used it quite often. Its a great little car IMO. The 2.0L feels more peppy than its 147hp suggests. Its a very eager little mill especially in Sport Mode. My only complaint would be that it seems to be slightly uneasy through corners when pushed at all. In its defense it is a $15k car.
 
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One feature I love is folding seats. At work I transport people. At home landscape, haul, etc. In the last month hauled 75 bags of mulch with back seats down.
 
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We are still pleased with our '13 model. My son has a '17 2.0 mpfi. I don't know what is different, but his gets much better mileage than ours. Our 1.8 is enough hp for an economy commuter. But it gets about 37-38 hwy. My son's gets 40.
 

pbm

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I'm a pretty good bargainer but getting a $21K vehicle for $14K would be pretty hard to do.....Can you tell me how to do it?....I'd pick up a Ioniq Hybrid if I could get it for 33% off sticker price....
 
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Originally Posted By: pbm
I'm a pretty good bargainer but getting a $21K vehicle for $14K would be pretty hard to do.....Can you tell me how to do it?....I'd pick up a Ioniq Hybrid if I could get it for 33% off sticker price....
I paid around 14,700 for my son's elantra new. You have to be willing to walk. It does help to surf their internet specials and walk in saying i want that, if you don't dick around, i'll sign right now for this price. After they agree, you reject any and all add-ons like carpet and seat treatment, floor mats, ext warranties ( its warrantied to 100k drivetrain anyway).
 

JustN89

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Originally Posted By: AZjeff
So the #1 reason you bought was price? You feel all 3 cars compared are equal but the Elantra is cheaper.
Those weren't necessarily in order, I was just listing them off. The price was hard to beat, but it was a culmination of everything- the price, MPI engine, non-CVT, etc.
 

JustN89

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Originally Posted By: pbm
I'm a pretty good bargainer but getting a $21K vehicle for $14K would be pretty hard to do.....Can you tell me how to do it?....I'd pick up a Ioniq Hybrid if I could get it for 33% off sticker price....
It was listed online at the dealership at $15,499 but there were a couple of flaws with it that helped drive down the price. First, it had two small dents (likely from hail) on the roof. Second, it had just shy of 200 miles on it as they drove it up from another dealership (still had the old dealership's stickers on it). Third, it didn't have the wheel locks or cargo net which I'm guessing the previous dealership took off. They wanted to add those onto the car again, but I declined seeing as I was able to pick up wheel locks for around $35 bucks and I don't know if I'll ever use a cargo net. It also helped that I had previously worked at the sister dealership (the group that owns the Hyundai dealership owned the Honda dealership that I worked at), so I flat refused to pay their doc fee as I know what and how that money is used. Ultimately, I told them what I was willing to pay and they let me walk. I had an event at the University that I attended so I went there. By the time it was over, I had a voicemail saying that they would take the deal if I came in and signed the paperwork that day.
 
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