If it were me, I'd buy a used civic/corolla/sentra instead of an elantra or kia. Sentra's don't hold their value as much as civics and corollas, so that might be the best bet.
Hyundai's and Kia's depreciate so fast and are still not as refined in the engine/drivetrain arena. A lot of times I remember reading the specs and seeing how the Korean cars seemed to always get less MPG and horsepower than a smaller Japanese engine. That just seems like they haven't worked it out as many times as the other companies have.
This is all of course IMHO.
If looking new, plan on keeping it a long time because as said, re-sale sucks. You can pick up a year old Elantra for about $5,000 less than new.
I am very happy with mine, and went into it knowing I was keeping the car for many years. For $15k, I got a 4 speed automatic, A/C, power windows, locks, tilt, cruise, power moonroof, keyless entry/alarm, ABS/TCS, MP3 radio/CD, fog lights, 4 wheel disk brakes,leather seats, rear window/mirror defrost, 60k/5yr bumper to bumper and 100k/10 yr powertrain warranty with 5 yr unlimited mileage roadside assistance. It is available in a 4 door or a hatchback.
I get an average of 33mpg with mostly highway, some stop and go traffic. On the highway I can get 41 mpg @ 55mph. Worst I have had is almost all around town with A/C on @ 26mpg.
Hyundai is a growing company and is still working the bugs out, but take a look at the new Sonata, it is every bit as nice as an Accord but several thousand cheaper with more options on it, although it still needs to have time to prove itself, it is an all new car with very high marks.
Please don't buy it, not a bad car but not close to Corolla or Civic in terms of quality, engine is rough, also engine and electronic life low, lots of Indians here buy it thinking its upscale from Japanese cars, Indians somehow have Japophobia.The Accent sold here is a joke, max engine life of 80,000 miles, diesel even lower. They are nowhere as refined as Japanese cars even though they have gone up significantly in quality as compared to the past offerings from Korea.
I have no idea about India, but my Elantra has been to the dealer once for a problem (the CD player messed up, which is made by Kenwood) in 16 months (25,000 miles).
My sisters Honda Civic has been in 4 times in 2 yrs, had a new A/C installed, new tranny, and new wiper motor in less than 15,000 miles. My uncles Corolla got bought back for a lemon for tranny problems, he went with a used Lexus instead and has had no problems so far.
Engine is rough? In what way? Mine is just a quiet and smooth as any other car costing thousands more.
The diesel is not an option in the States so I have no idea on that.
My wife has 2003 Elantra, now has 40k, and it's been VERY dpendable. It's a great economy car, quick, comfortable, good MPG (we get about 38-40 mpg hwy)and has a lot of standard features. Don't listen to people who have no idea how far Hyundai has come, and just repeat the same names Toy/Honda/Nissan just out of habit.
If you do get an Elantra, get a GT; looks better, and has even more features like alloy wheels, leather, spoiler, fog lights and 4-wheel disc brakes. A friend of mine has a 2003, and he likes the car very much; has about the same mileage like ours, and he hasn't had a single issue with it yet.
We have had not a single problem with our car either; engine sounds fine on my wife's car, too. We personally know many people who had more trouble with Corollas and Civics ata lower mileage.
Also, read this topic:
My parents had never bought the same model car twice, yet we are on our third Elantra. Mileage for my mother in her GT automatic is 36 on I-35 in Austin Texas. Has everything but a CD player. They are still getting better. First one was a bit loud, we drove it for 100K miles and traded for the 2001 Elantra, brother totaled it, then we bought the 05 GT. If you don’t like how it handles, the Tiburon sway bar is an upgrade, other cars have bigger brakes that are direct swaps. I am going to be taking it over when I get back to the states as a DD if they still have. Highly recommend the vehicle as a commuter.
For those who spout off buy a ______, please tell us why you think that the Elantra you have previously owned or driven is not up to your liking.
I think you will find a lot of it’s not a ____, therefore it sucks. Only real problem I see, which is not a problem anymore, was the lack of ABS. The hatch models will have the GT suspension. Check out www.elantraxd.com and http://www.elantraclub.com/forum/index.php for some websites.
All that said, there are bugs being worked out. hearing good and bad on the auto trannies, and remember that alot of the fluids on the car are specific for Hyundai. The sticks, which I haven't heard anything bad about, use a special assembly that alot of modder say makes the clutch fell unattached to the car. There is a simple spring removal to make it feel better, and the tranny takes 75 90 fluid.
If I was buying a new car, it would be an Elantra GT 5 speed in Tidal Wave Blue, but that is just me.
Just go by CR reports and other scientific ratings and you will see Hyundai has come a long way, but still has a long way left to catch Toyota and Honda, its not because of nothing that people have Honda/Toyota/Nissan on mind and not Hyundai yet.
As for smoothness, don't' know how you drive but try revving a Hyundai gasser over 4000 RPM as compared to a Civic, VTEC or otherwise and you will see the difference, the manual tranny has a long way to go, looses sync if shifted hard, absolutely no comparison to either Honda or Toyota, actually even a VW Passat is a better buy as a driver's car even though its rated way lower than Elantra in the CR review.
I think to be fair, Hyundai should be given the same time which was given to Toy/Hon/Nissan, etc., and THEN be compared! They've been around much longer, and more time means more established, and more chances to work out bugs, and refine things. It's not fair to compare a "new" brand with brands that've been there much longer...even then, I think Hyundai is VERY close to these brands, and in some areas, probably better even.
Had two Hyundai's, YEARS ago. GREAT cars, 1 was an '85 Hyundai 5-door hatch back, the other, an '87 3-door hatch back, both stick shifts.
These little cars cruised - fully loaded, up the I-70 corridor easily at 4k rpm's. The '85 had well over 100k miles when it was totaled by a Public Service truck. The '87 had 210k miles when we thought to trade it in for a newer, "better" car.
Only thing that ever cost $$$ was the '87 developed a fuel leak from the carboratur, dumping gas straight into the engine - thank golly that it refused to start,
Only reason I don't have another Hyundai sitting in my driveway is we've just not had any use for one; but time will come, I'm sure.
Course, those old '80's Hyundai's came out when people REALLY had towards them. Engines were nothing related to what they have now, I'm sure, but they more then paid for themselves.
Wanted to add that I've recently heard nothing but horrible reviews on Honda's transmissions - even here on this site, people talk about their tranny's going at less then 60k miles; or having to change their tranny fluid with every oil change.
That's just ridiculous, I'm sorry - for what they cost!
Corolla?? Yeah, a lady I work with has a 2003; it's been to the shop more times in 50k miles then my DD Isuzu truck has in 147k miles.
Your choice, but Honda USE to be one of my "if I ever get another car" dream, I always wanted the Honda 4-door Accord. Not anymore.
I maintain a 2002 Elantra for my mother-in-law and I am quite impressed with the car. She also owned a previous generation Elantra and the difference between the two cars is night/day.
I do agree with previous posts that state the engine is a bit rough. This isn't a silky smooth in-line six engine but it does precisely what it was designed to do. It provides reliable transportation at a very affordable cost.
Problems I've seen with the car are very small and all of them were non-mechanical. For example, the B-pillar has a semi-gloss black tape on it instead of being painted. The tape got torn in one area and now looks bad. The trunk lid is flimsy but it's still much better than the trunk lid on a Ford Focus. The suspension is very stiff and lacks responsiveness. Keep in mind that you're not buying a über sophisticated German touring sedan.. you're buying a nicely equipped economy car.
I would have absolutely no problems buying a newer generation Hyundai or Kia. Better yet, buy one that is a year or two old. The only problem is that most people in this marketing arena aren't known for meticulous maintenance so you might have to look a bit harder to find a well maintained example.
Very good point FowVay, these cars are bought by people with not alot of money. Therefore, they are cared for by people with not alot of money.
Also, if you are looking to buy a used one, make sure it has had all it's recalls. I highly recommend checking for a stumble(doesn't pull as hard) in the 3800-4000 rpm area. It's a TSB that will be corrected, but it will let you know if the car has been in for warranty work.
a guy I work with has a 01Elantra that he never changed the timing belt on and at 100,600some miles on it the belt broke along with bending valves and NO warrenty being it had just run out at 100thou. Oh it was still under 5 years old so he did still have "road side and towing" warrenty so they did tow it to the dealer(stealer) for FREE so they could fix it $$1000.00+++. Don't know what their belt replacement interval is but after hearing his story I'd be doing it when they said too. What really blows me away is that this car was driven mainly freeway runs to and from work-74miles each way everyday.
gudmund, I can't say I'm sorry for the guy you work with. Most cars state to get the timing belt replaced before 100k miles. I know my Honda Civic does.
If he got it all fixed for aroung $1000, he should consider himself lucky.
I normally, when in the market for a car, buy Honda (Accord usually). After I dumped our P O S KIA Sedona, my wife was a little more interested in getting back in to a car (better fuel economy). We were about to buy a new Accord when we noticed our neighbor bought a new 2005 Malibu Maxx. We really liked the look of it. We test drove it and it handled much better than the Honda. I checked it's JD Power mechanical quality rating (I don't put much faith in CR their findings seem to capricious to me) against the Accord and Camry and it scored higher. I then checked the comparison of owner questionnaires on these cars and the Malibu also scored very high in comparison. We finally chose the Malibu Maxx over the Accord (I feel just as good a car for a much better price) and we are very happy with it. O ya it also gets better gas mileage than the Camry or the Accord! At least go test drive one.
I don't think Hyundais are bad cars. But I just would not buy one. Resale value and availability of aftermarket parts are some of my reasons.You can't beat the new powertrain warranty for 2006 its up to 10 years 200,000 miles.
Shaman, my experience was with my GF's 2000 elantra. Nice looking car, but the engine was buzzy and MPG 26-29 with mostly highway driving. Auto tranny went out just before 60k, so luckily it was still under warranty.
From reading reports on 2003+ elantra's, it seems like they're finally getting it right. The GT hatchbacks do have a nice euro-wagon look to them, also.