Well, it's now 5 years of ownership on this car. I've driven it just north of 76k miles in those 5 years, roughly 16,000 miles/year. I feel like I know this car pretty well, and as they're plentiful in the used car market, I thought I'd update this and add my thoughts of the good and the bad on the AD Elantra. I had thought about creating a new thread, but I liked the idea of keeping it contained in one- kinda tracking the history of my thoughts on this car. Not that my thoughts are all that valuable. I don't know if editing the title is possible to update the years and mileage. Maybe @wwillson knows?
I'll separate the good and the bad, but just wanted to add that this car has been our primary vehicle for 5 years. We've driven it west to Yellowstone and all the way down to Florida. Through the Rockies and everywhere in between. It's never left us stranded, and been as comfortable as a compact sedan (see: econobox) can possibly be. I'm 6'4" and 225 pounds, and have driven in it for 20+ hours straight (a hellacious trip from West Yellowstone to OKC in one go). I've never gotten so much as a check engine light on this thing *knock on wood*.
There's a lot of good to this car. A lot of it I already covered in the original post. The powertrain has been flawless, and was a big reason why I went with this car. The 6 speed auto (an in-house design for Hyun/Kia) shifts perfectly, the engine gets great gas mileage, and it's all fairly easy to service. Oil changes are gravy, especially with the fomoto drain valve installed. The trans is a sealed unit, and not the easiest to service, but it's not obnoxious either. I've either serviced it or had it serviced twice so far, once with OEM Hyundai SPIV-M fluid, and once with Amsoil. It will get Amsoil going forward.
Interior wise, it's held up really well. Electronics work well, the heated cloth seats are awesome, and the dual climate control is a lifesaver. There've been complaints about the A/C not being super cold, or the heater not getting very warm. I've had none of those issues. I've measured 43*F out of the vents on "Lo" and 104*F on "Hi". I'm not really sure how/where that compares to other cars, but I've got no complaints and I've lived in places that get pretty low temps in the winter and pretty high temps in the summer. The dashboard material has held up well over the years. It's spent most of its life parked in the sun and there's no fading anywhere. That said, I've always treated it with UV protectant, so that's probably played a role. The Apple CarPlay/Android Auto has been awesome. It is kind of funny to me that this car came with it, but my family member's 2017 Lexus ES350 didn't.
Reliability has been great. Really not much to add here, as everything I've had to do the car has been preventative. It's still fairly young at 76k miles, but it's met every expectation. My original brake pads are down to 3mm, so changing them out is in my near future. Getting 76k miles off of them is not too shabby, though. Admittedly, there's obviously a lot of highway driving, but there's been plenty of city driving as well.
I'm going to be pretty picky here, because truth be told, there's not much bad about the car. The dealerships are a different story, though. I hate Hyundai dealerships with a passion that burns deep.
- The car, expectedly, came with really cheap tires. Crappy things that I couldn't get off fast enough. I know I mentioned this earlier in this thread, but I bring it up again because I see that a lot of the Elantras on the used market (some with similar mileage to mine now) still have the OEM tires on them. If you want to buy an Elantra and it still has the OEM tires on it, no matter the mileage, budget to replace them ASAP.
- The "soft touch" covering on the door panel is peeling. I don't have pictures, but this is a common problem with these cars. Mine's not bad (yet), but I've seen some that get really bad. Most people get it fixed and the places that fix it sand it down and paint it. It looks great, but I've read that it feels "off", which makes sense. I haven't worried about fixing it yet.
- The engine sounds unrefined. On top of that, it's underpowered. Traveling up and down hills on the highway (a common occurrence around these parts) will require the transmission to shift up and down constantly trying to hold 75 mph. It's tolerable, but annoying.
- The headlights are not great. I'm needing to replace them. To do that, if you're unable to turn the housing (like I am), you need to remove the housing. To remove the housing, you need to pull out the front bumper. Ridiculously annoying.
- I've had three door lock actuators break. Very annoying, because it turns your 4 door Elantra into a 3 Door Elantra/Veloster hybrid. This is a SUPER common problem though, and Hyundai extended the warranty on them to 10 years, unlimited mileage. All 3 times the locks have been replaced under the warranty, without issue from the dealer (an uncommon occurrence).
- The OEM battery.. leaves a lot to be desired. It made it 3 years. I replaced it with an Optima Yellow Top and it's been solid ever since.
- There are two types of OEM ignition coils. One type was faulty and led to a TSB, which updated the coil. My car had the pre-update coils, so I changed them out at about 60k miles. An unexpected expense, but it was really easy to get done.
- EDIT: I remembered another "bad" to list. The headlight housing is starting to mess up. It's almost like it's delaminating or something in places. It's not awful, and it's not leaking, so I'll leave it for the time being. That said, it's on my radar of things to replace in the future.
All in all, it really has been a good car. There's been a lot of maintenance done to it, and maybe that's contributed to its performance thus far, but it's been very solid. Are there a lot of flaws to it? Absolutely. The paint is on the cheaper end, the interior materials are cheaper, it lacks a bit of refinement. That said, I didn't pay for all of those things. What I paid for was economical, reliable transportation and I got that in spades. I also think that exterior and interior wise, it looks as good or better than most of what you can find in that class of car. Overall, I'd buy it over again in a heartbeat. View attachment 100875 View attachment 100876 View attachment 100877 View attachment 100881
Bonus under valve cover pics through the borescope (sorry it's not great quality):
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Great review and beautiful Elantra. The dealership we've frequented over the last 12 years was sold and the new "culture" leaves a lot to be desired.