Review of my 2018 Elantra

Messages
3,043
Location
The Northeast
I've had my Elantra Value Edition for about 6 months/3k miles now. I thought I'd share my impressions of the car thus far: EXTERIOR: Very handsome. The body has nice curves and fluid lines, and the panel gaps are tight. LED DRLs make the front end really pop. The 16 in graphite colored rims are attractive. At 5.3 in, there isn't much ground clearance. INTERIOR & SEATS: Quite comfortable. I'm 6'2 and still don't need to move the seat all the way back. The cushioning is a tad on the firm side (I've heard that seats in Korean-built Elantras are firmer than US-made ones for some reason). Ergonomics are good, especially with the telescoping steering wheel that you can set to your comfort. Rear legroom, though, could be better. The headroom is good. Interior fit and finish is good. I haven't noticed any rough edges or misaligned panels. There're some hard touch plastics but they look & feel fine. Front material quality carries over to the rear as well. The glovebox is roomy and damped; center console is medium sized. HVAC: Hot heat and cold A/C. I've been leaving the climate control @70 AUTO and the system cools down the car quickly. Three-setting heated seats work nicely as well. NVH: Surprisingly quiet on the road for an economy car. Wind noise on the highway is subdued. The sound deadening is good since I don't hear the engine when sitting at a light. The suspension reminds me of old double wishbone Hondas -- soft enough to take bumps with ease and firm enough to keep things planted on the highway and when cornering. My old '05 Elantra used to easily get thrown around by crosswinds but not this one. I'm not a fan of the cheapo Kumho tires, though. They make an annoying hum on certain road surfaces and sound hollow. I noticed the rear tires came with a lot of balancing weights from the factory. STEERING & BRAKES: Because of electric steering, the steering feel is very numb. It is very light at low speeds, making parking lot maneuvering easy. It is easy to spin the steering wheel all the way to lock, and when you do, there's an unnerving clunking noise. The SPORT mode tries to artificially firm things but it's still devoid of any real feel. The brakes are excellent. The pedal is nice and firm with little travel distance. I'm used to Hondas and their mushy feeling pedals. TECHNOLOGY: This is my first new car in five years, so I think I'm overexcited about the features in this car. I really like the BSM & RCTA w/arrows showing the direction of the object. The Smart Trunk is a neat feature when your hands are full with shopping bags. The infotainment system is awesome with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The touchscreen is quick to respond and display quality is crisp. I have the base sound system, which is just okay. Certain music sounds tinny, even after fiddling with the settings. The daytime resolution of the backup camera is fine but it's rather grainy at night (maybe there's pollen covering the lens?). Luckily, the car's small enough to not really have blind spots or visibility issues. This is my first car with push button start, and I'm loving it so far. POWERTRAIN: I primarily chose the Elantra over the competition because it's one of the last cars left with port fuel injection and a regular A/T. The 2.0L 147 HP engine is just adequate. When you mash on the gas, it sounds noisy and unrefined; definitely not as smooth as other 4-cyl cars I've driven over the years. These Atkinson cycle engines characteristically sound like a diesel when you pop the hood at idle. The 6-speed A/T overall is smooth, but sometimes gets confused when in slow city traffic. Fuel economy is wonderful. I've beaten the EPA highway estimate and crossed 40 MPG several times. LIGHTING: Nice blue lighting for interior knobs and buttons, with a cool white light for the instrument cluster. The front door handles light up when the proximity key is detected at night. The dome lights are bright, but murky yellow halogens (will upgrade to LEDs soon). The DRLs are bluish-white LEDs, while the headlights are 9005 halogen projectors. Output is just okay; I'm looking into LED upgrades ATM. I haven't used the H7 reflector high beams much. MAINTENANCE: The listed OCI is 1 yr/7500 miles. QS is the "recommended" oil because of their longtime relationship w/Hyundai. The book says 5w20 & 5w30 are acceptable. I will dump the FF soon and replace it with 5w30 in the hopes it'll maybe quiet down the clicking of the Atkinson cycle engine. To my knowledge, Hyundai doesn't use a special break in oil like Honda does. Drain plug and oil filter have cutouts and are easily accessible. I plan to use syn oil & OEM filters for the life of the car. I thought about running an extended drain filter like FU or M1, but there's so much hullabaloo about Hyundais rattling at startup with non-OEM filters that I don't want to risk it. The spec'd ATF is Hyundai SP-IV and is listed as a "lifetime fluid" LOL. I'm going to change that sucker @30k miles. Like most cars nowadays, there is no ATF dipstick. Coolant is LL and doesn't need to be touched for 10 yrs. Electric PS means no fluid for me to turkey baster out like my other cars. Air and cabin filters are easy to get to as well. Interestingly, Hyundai recommends using a fuel additive every year if you don't exclusively fill up with Top Tier gas. I'll toss a bottle of Techron in every year for good measure anyway. The spark plugs are good for 105k, and are easy to get to, along with the coils & PCV valve. The timing chain should be good for the life of the car. All-in-all, I am pleased with this little car. It offers a lot of bang for the buck and is a testament to how far Hyundai has come over the years. Thanks for reading. I hope this helps anybody in the market for an economy car smile
 
Last edited:
Messages
13,088
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Thanks for the write up/review; this is what I am looking for. I think that I have narrowed down the next vehicle to the Elantra for my daughter. Just not sure if the trimline will be the SEL or VE as she could care less about the Sun Roof & Push Button Start w/Smart Trunk. However with the VE, the Heated Seats & Auto Dimming Mirror are compelling. I also like the fact that the base engine(2.0L-147 hp/132 lb.ft.tq.) which has enough power, is available without a TURBO, Direct Injection or Start/Stop and can be had with a regular 6 speed automatic tranny. All together, this pushes the fuel economy toward 40 mpg.
 
Messages
13,088
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Originally Posted By: Char Baby
I also like the fact that the base engine(2.0L-147 hp/132 lb.ft.tq.) which has enough power, is available without a TURBO, Direct Injection or Start/Stop and can be had with a regular 6 speed automatic tranny. All together, this pushes the fuel economy toward 40 mpg.
In addition, I also like the fact that the Elantra has 4 wheel disk brakes('cept the base model) a manual parking brake handle. They just work!
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,336
Location
Charlotte, NC
On my '13 Elantra, I ended up swapping out the rear shocks and going with KYB Gas-A-Just. Was a night and day difference in ride quality. I am hoping that they have since resolved the issue with the factory shocks that led myself and many others to have to make the upgrade.
 
Messages
7,425
Location
The Midwest
Good looking good in that shade of red. I test drove the Sport model earlier this year. Only the Sport model has an independent rear suspension. It is a very good one designed by a former BMW M engineer. It handled very good and didn't have a harsh ride.
 
Messages
1,742
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: mclasser
INTERIOR & SEATS: Quite comfortable. I'm 6'2 and still don't need to move the seat all the way back. POWERTRAIN: I primarily chose the Elantra over the competition because it's one of the last cars left with port fuel injection and a regular A/T. The 2.0L 147 HP engine is just adequate. When you mash on the gas, it sounds noisy and unrefined; definitely not as smooth as other 4-cyl cars I've driven over the years. These Atkinson cycle engines characteristically sound like a diesel when you pop the hood at idle. The 6-speed A/T overall is smooth, but sometimes gets confused when in slow city traffic. Fuel economy is wonderful. I've beaten the EPA highway estimate and crossed 40 MPG several times. MAINTENANCE: The listed OCI is 1 yr/7500 miles. QS is the "recommended" oil because of their longtime relationship w/Hyundai. The book says 5w20 & 5w30 are acceptable. I will dump the FF soon and replace it with 5w30 in the hopes it'll maybe quiet down the clicking of the Atkinson cycle engine. To my knowledge, Hyundai doesn't use a special break in oil like Honda does. Drain plug and oil filter have cutouts and are easily accessible. I plan to use syn oil & OEM filters for the life of the car. I thought about running an extended drain filter like FU or M1, but there's so much hullabaloo about Hyundais rattling at startup with non-OEM filters that I don't want to risk it. The spec'd ATF is Hyundai SP-IV and is listed as a "lifetime fluid" LOL. I'm going to change that sucker @30k miles. Like most cars nowadays, there is no ATF dipstick. Coolant is LL and doesn't need to be touched for 10 yrs. Electric PS means no fluid for me to turkey baster out like my other cars. Air and cabin filters are easy to get to as well. Interestingly, Hyundai recommends using a fuel additive every year if you don't exclusively fill up with Top Tier gas. I'll toss a bottle of Techron in every year for good measure anyway. The spark plugs are good for 105k, and are easy to get to, along with the coils & PCV valve. The timing chain should be good for the life of the car.
Great review and welcome to the Hyundai family. I am 6'3" and Hyundai does make these "tall driver friendly". I am also a big fan of the "firm" seat. I find these more comfortable for long trips, etc, especially with my SI injury. As for the MPFI, I can't blame you for that choice but Hyundai does have the GDI engine down. You can go with either option without issue. However, that Techron/Top-Tier fuel requirement is mostly for the GDI engines. I guess they only want to print one "instruction" in the manual so cover their bases but it is less important for the MPFI engines. Hyundai "in house" oil filters are surprisingly good (and manufactured by Mahle). After a OCI, they remain looking near new (dirty but straight pleates, etc). You can easily find them for less than $10ea looking around. Personally, since it is a 4.3l capacity engine, they are actually really good with 7.5K intervals on conventional oil. Syn is better, sure but this is an easy-on-the-oil engine. Your choice. I would not do extended intervals why under warranty. Hyundai will wiggle through ANY warranty work without proper intervals and maintenance. Biggest complaint against the company in my book but they do have a better than average warranty and a lot of questionable owners. I helped a Sonata owner out at work and when I had to put 3.5 quarts of "top-off" oil in their car at 22K miles, I asked them when was the last time they changed the oil. Their response.. "You have to change the oil? But they have the 100K warranty, I am good until 100K right?". Then I introduced them to their owners manual.
 
Messages
2,817
Location
St. Louis
Nice review. Regarding engine noise I am not hearing it unless it is very cold. Open the hood yes you hear some noise. In drivers seat at idle I need to look at Tach at times to make sure it is on. I tend to accelerate slowly so maybe that is the difference. Re: Filters, I did just installed a Fram Ultra XG9688 and Chevron Supreme 10w-30. Very quiet. Motorking put all my concerns to rest in a response to a pm. I had concerns about using Fram Ultra. His reply:
Quote:
Our filters exceed all hyundai specifications.
Highway mileage is as good 5w-20 or 5w-30. Interstate and country roads 140 miles trip was 46.5 miles on readout. My best on same trip was 47 mpg with Valvoline Premium Conventional 5w-20, but was less than the Chevron Supreme on the way home. Unlike you I have no bells or whistles (which I prefer). Very happy. Would buy again.
 
Messages
291
Location
Southeastern, PA
The Hyundai recommended oil change interval for "regular" use is every 7,500 miles. The recommended interval for "severe" use is every 3,750 miles. Hyundai's definition of "severe" is more in line with most people's regular driving habits. Hyundai is very particular with their warranty. Generally, they will cover issues under warranty if the vehicle has an impeccable service history done by dealers. However, their willingness to cover issues under warranty gets notoriously dodgy when routine maintenance is not done by Hyundai dealers. Many owners have had to fight to get repairs under warranty despite having receipts for non-dealer installed oil and filters, etc. Magnuson Moss is not necessarily in Hyundai's immediate vocabulary. Also make sure you read the warranty closely. There are several components covered for only 1yr/12K miles, some for 3yr/36K miles, and others 5yr/60K miles. The 10yr/100K powertrain warranty also covers select components. "America's Best Warranty" has a lot of fine print.
 
Messages
2,817
Location
St. Louis
ryster, there is a lot of truth in what you say from what I have read. In my humble opinion the Elantra is a very nice car. I would buy again despite the warranty horror stories. I do believe things are changing as some of the past policies are coming to light like warranty denial if you did not use OEM parts. Hyundai is being reminded to comply Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Owners are fighting back with lawsuits.
 
Messages
1,742
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: ryster
The Hyundai recommended oil change interval for "regular" use is every 7,500 miles. The recommended interval for "severe" use is every 3,750 miles. Hyundai's definition of "severe" is more in line with most people's regular driving habits. Hyundai is very particular with their warranty. Generally, they will cover issues under warranty if the vehicle has an impeccable service history done by dealers. However, their willingness to cover issues under warranty gets notoriously dodgy when routine maintenance is not done by Hyundai dealers. Many owners have had to fight to get repairs under warranty despite having receipts for non-dealer installed oil and filters, etc. Magnuson Moss is not necessarily in Hyundai's immediate vocabulary. Also make sure you read the warranty closely. There are several components covered for only 1yr/12K miles, some for 3yr/36K miles, and others 5yr/60K miles. The 10yr/100K powertrain warranty also covers select components. "America's Best Warranty" has a lot of fine print.
I think their "severe" is quite accurate. How is this "normal" driving habits?: from myHyundai : Driving conditions are considered severe: • For repeated short distances. • In dusty or sandy areas, in areas where salt or other corrosive materials are used. • On rough or muddy roads. • In mountainous areas. • For extended periods of idling or low speed operation. • For prolonged periods in cold or extremely humid climates. • More than 50% of driving in heavy city traffic in temperatures above 90°F. • If using brakes extensively. Any time a manufacturer starts going over 3-years, expect the fine print to become "finer". There is a lot of 1-year items across manufactures... not just Hyundai as most wearing items (brakes, bulbs, trim, wipers, mechanical 'adjustments' etc) are not included in any bumper-to-bumper warranties anyhow. I have a Subaru and a Hyundai. These are two "opposite" spectrum manufactures as Subaru tends to be more lenient... but not with the fine print. The Subaru is CPO with a 7-year Subaru warranty extension so it is very similar to the Hyundai when you get into the weeds. Now the dealerships might be a bit different "culturally" too that might cause some of the warranty fighting. Still, it is not that big of a gulf between them. Here is the other side: customer base. I have no doubt that Hyundai/Kia get some odd-warranty business just because of their ads. Some folks think that warranty means no maintenance. I had someone here at work go 22K miles without an oil change in the Sonata. I put 3.5 quarts into that poor car and the owner thought that if something went wrong, Hyundai would cover it. It was a tough sit-down explaining that they just basically detonated their engine and voided their warranty. I expect that a lot of Hyundai's customer base subscribes to the "differed maintenance" theory so no wonder they push back. That the person with the 20K+ OCI will definitely be screaming about warranty claims when their engine explodes. Now, I have experienced the same horror stores with Ford/GM/Chrysler via my fleet. How about waiting 3 weeks for a warranty claim with Ford (TPMS issue) only to wait a week and then them not want to cover it. I also had the same experience with throttle issues, BMC, and other things. Having a vehicle out-of-service for a month was a bigger issue. The best thing to do with Hyundai is the record, record, record and use spec-ed parts. When in doubt, sometimes that is using a Hyundai Oil filter, etc (as quick lubes do dumb things). I report all my OC and items to their service reporting tool and I use mostly Amazon (for easy record keeping) for most of my items.
 
Last edited:
Messages
219
Location
Ohiuh
Great review. I have a Sport model and this is my first Hyundai. The brakes are nothing short of spectacular coming from a a Honda/Acura driver for years. I like the Hankook Ventus tires as well and provide a good combination of grip, and ride/handling balance. The turbo power and DCT pair nicely to make for a fun commute.
 
Last edited:
Top