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2005 Hyundai Elantra Information

2004-2006 Hyundai Elantra Information

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Hyundai's Elantra strikes a great balance between content and your monthly payment.

In this case, the two wholeheartedly agree as attested to by the fact that the Elantra - which neatly fits between the Accent and the Sonata in Hyundai's lineup - is the Korean company's best-selling car.

With loaded up four-door hatchback and sedan variations, including heavily equipped GT models, it's really no wonder.

All come with a 138-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder with variable valve timing mated to a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. Anti-lock brakes, traction control and a power-operated moonroof continue among the few optional extras.

For 2005, both the wagon and sedan are available in GLS and GT trim. The latter, at $14,850, is a relatively easy sell with its Euro-influenced suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, side-impact airbags, 15-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, six-speaker CD sound system, keyless entry, and, of course, the versatility afforded by a rear liftgate.

All Elantras come with air conditioning.

The Hyundai Elantra is handsome, comfortable, versatile, and fun to drive, comparable to competitors costing thousands more. With the 2005 addition of a five-door hatchback at the base trim level, Elantra now comes in twelve different permutations of body style, trim level, transmission, and emissions rating. The Elantra is one of the quickest cars in its class. It handles as well as many of its competitors and has a sporty feel. Elantra comes with a newly engineered 2.0-liter engine with variable-valve timing and is a leader in fuel economy. Elantra is rated 27/34 mpg City/Highway by the EPA when equipped with the manual transmission.

The four-door sedan is popular, while the five-door hatchback merges the practical advantages of a wagon with the sleek look of a sedan. Each body style is available in GLS and GT trim.

The Elantra's interior is nicely finished and more comfortable than many subcompacts, including the big name brands. Standard equipment surpasses that offered on cars costing thousands more, and includes side airbags, designed to provide torso protection in a side impact.

Hyundai's warranty is one of the best available. The basic warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles for the original owner, with free roadside assistance throughout. The engine and transmission are warranted for 10 years or 100,000 miles, and Hyundai protects Elantra from rust-through for five years or 100,000 miles.

Hyundai Elantra is offered in two body styles: four-door sedan, and five-door hatchback. Each comes in two trim levels, base-level GLS and sporty GT. All Elantra models share the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard. An automatic transmission is optional ($800). Safety features are anything but economy grade; two frontal airbags and front seat-mounted side-impact airbags come standard. Three-point seat belts are used for all five seating positions.

The GLS sedan ($13,299) comes well equipped with air conditioning, stereo cassette radio, power windows, mirrors and locks, center console with armrest, and keyless remote entry with alarm. The GLS five-door hatchback ($13,599) comes with a firmer, sport-tuned suspension and four-wheel disc brakes (to replace the disc/drum combination on the GLS sedan). A rear-window wiper-washer comes standard on hatchback models. Cruise control is optional ($195) on GLS models. Other GT features are available for the GLS in packages. For example, Group 4 ($1,140) adds ABS and traction control, cruise control, and an electronically tuned stereo/CD upgrade.

The GT ($14,849) is available in four-door and five-door body styles (same price). The GT adds leather seating, a leather-wrapped gearshift and steering wheel, a trip computer that projects range, cruise control, instrument lights that glow purple, front fog lamps, and alloy wheels with Michelin tires. The GT comes with a 200-watt Kenwood CD/MP3 player with six speakers and a removable faceplate, and remote control. Options for the GT models include the sunroof ($750) and sunroof plus ABS/traction control ($1,345).

Port-installed accessories include woodgrain trim ($225), mud guards ($60), a cargo net ($40) and a cargo tray for the hatchback ($70). The GLS four-door can be fitted with a rear spoiler ($395) and carpeted floor mats ($75), which come standard with the GT.

Hyundai Elantra features smooth and unembellished styling with aerodynamics that help boost fuel economy and reduce wind noise. Recent styling revisions refined its looks. From the front doors forward the sedan and hatchback are identical, featuring prominent twin trapezoid headlamps angled back in a black background. The headlamps were designed to cast a broad pattern of light, and they're complemented by a revised V-shaped grille with thick, horizontal bars. The grille is integrated with the bumper cover and does not lift with the hood. The front bumper has wider slats to improve airflow to the engine bay, and the foglamps are fitted more precisely.

Hyundai says it added the sedan in response to customer requests, but we prefer the more daring styling and increased carrying capacity of the hatchback. With its big hatch opening and split folding rear seat, the five-door is remarkably versatile for a car its size.

The five-door hatchback is distinct from the sedan starting at the rear-door B-pillar and moving rearward. The hatchback boasts a more expansive glass area, and its roof trails back into the rear hatch, fastback style, rather than dropping suddenly toward the trunk. The hatch ends with a small, body-colored spoiler lip above the taillights. The only unfortunate aspect of the rear styling is in the taillights, broken abruptly by the edges of the hatch lid, the lights look as if they've got duct tape over the middle. On the functional side, the taillights on all Elantras are sized for visibility, and the opening for the key is on the right (curb) side of the lid.

The Elantra stretches 102.7 inches in wheelbase, providing good leg room inside in both the front and back seats of both body styles. Headroom is also good both front and rear. Just as significantly, the engine is mounted with hydraulic attachments in a new front subframe, greatly reducing the amount of drivetrain vibration that reaches the cabin.

Often, inexpensive cars try to make up for their economy ambience with strange or garish interior design. In contrast, the Hyundai Elantra interior is subdued, clean and efficient. Our test car was finished in dark gray and basic black, and we found it quite appealing. There's very little hard plastic in the Elantra, and the soft stuff has a richer feel than we've been conditioned to expect in cars of this ilk. Even the center armrest is padded and covered with cloth or leather; most cars in this class have a hard plastic center armrest. The front seats are terrific, offering precise adjustments. They are large and neither too soft nor too hard, providing adequate support without inflicting pain. The driver's seat adjusts for height both front and rear and both front seats have adjustable lumbar support. The front shoulder belts are height adjustable, a feature shorter people will appreciate.

The rear seats in the Elantra sedans are roomier and more comfortable than those in the Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, and Ford Focus sedans. Hyundai provides a combination lap/shoulder belt in the center position, whereas the class standard remains a lap belt only. With less than five feet of rear hip room, outboard rear passengers will be happier if the center spot is empty, but that's true in all compacts.

The gauge binnacle and control panel sweep in front of the driver and down toward the center console. The speedometer and tach have separate faces. The purplish backlighting in the GT makes them quite legible at night or in full mid-afternoon sunshine, but they're a bit further apart than we'd like.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning are adjusted with rotary controls, which are easier to use than the sliding type. The dials are set below the stereo, which is good because the stereo tends to be accessed more often. The dash vents feature separate controls.

Switches for the headlights, wipers, and cruise control are mounted on stalks, within easy reach. Remote releases for the trunk/hatch and fuel-door are standard. The window, side mirror and central locking controls are located in the driver's door panel. The hazard-light switch is located square in the center of dash, where it's easy to find. The overhead floodlamp is just above the windshield to the center of the car, providing good light distribution. A second power point is provided below the lighter. And a small, slide-out felt-lined storage bin is located below the driver's side vent.

The only gripe involves the stereo. The slick Kenwood system in our test car sounded fine, but the buttons on the faceplate are tiny. Moreover, we found the flashing, multi-color graphics annoying when driving at night.

We think the five-door hatchback is the most desirable body style. With the rear seat in place, the hatchback provides 26.6 cubic feet of cargo volume, more than double the space in the sedan's trunk (12.9 cubic feet). Fold the seat down, and the five-door offers a class-topping 37 cubic feet of stowage. It's remarkable what you can squeeze into the Elantra hatchback's cargo bay. We fit a dozen 10-foot pieces of wood molding and a couple of two-by-fours entirely inside the car, with the hatch closed. Then we did it again with plywood sheets cut to 40x70 inches, including the remnants. With the hatch tied partway open, the possibilities include full sheets of plywood or a 27-inch TV in its carton. That's impossible in a sedan. The security system allows the trunk or hatch to be unlocked with the key without disarming the alarm.

The Hyundai Elantra is among the quickest cars in its class. Elantra boasts 138 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. That's more than enough power to hustle through traffic, pass with confidence or zip through mountain passes. With the manual transmission, the Elantra accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in the mid 8-second range, which is quick for the class and more than adequate for most traffic conditions. This engine meets the government's ultra-low emissions (ULEV) standards. Elantra's continuously variable valve timing allows more complete combustion of nitrous oxide in the exhaust. Models sold in California, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine are tuned to meet super ultra-low emissions (SULEV) standards; the SULEV engine produces slightly less power: 132 horsepower and 133 pound-feet of torque.

Either way, you need to rev the engine to wring the most power from it, making a manual transmission the best choice for the Elantra. There just isn't gobs of power at lower engine speeds. Most of the acceleration-producing power is at higher revs, coming in around 4400 rpm and carrying through to the 6400-rpm redline. That means you'll need to work the transmission, shifting to get the most from the power plant. Enthusiast drivers enjoy that. But if you're used to an engine with more low-end torque, and you don't let the Elantra wind out, you might wonder where the goods are. And when you find them, you might be disconcerted by the ruckus of a hard-working four-cylinder howling near 6000 rpm. These power characteristics are better suited to a manual transmission than an automatic. Also, the Elantra drivetrain isn't as smooth as that of some of the other cars in this class.

Nor is it a leader in fuel economy. Elantra nets an EPA-estimated 27/34 mpg City/Highway with the five-speed manual, 24/32 mpg with the automatic. Its relatively heavy weight means other cars in the class deliver better fuel economy.

In addition to its acceleration performance, Elantra makes up for these deficiencies with its balance of ride and handling. Indeed, the Elantra GT offers levels of handling associated with a good European sedan, with speed-sensitive power steering and a sophisticated multi-link rear suspension. The steering requires only a light touch during parking maneuvers or in tight quarters, yet it firms up at travel speeds and gives the driver a good idea of how well the front tires are gripping. The rear suspension keeps the tires firmly on the pavement, even on bumpy roads, to keep the rear of the car from bouncing around. This all adds up to maneuverability in traffic, secure, reasonably precise handling on curving two-lane highways and a ride that is neither floppy nor buckboard stiff. Only on freeways with a rapid succession of excessively uneven expansion joints does the Elantra tend to get bouncy. The weakest link in the handling package on the GT is its hard, wear-resistant all-season tires. A set of speed-rated performance tires would further improve handling though at the expense of faster tire wear.

The Elantra hatchback does not suffer from the flexing and rattling that is the bane of some five-doors. It's decently screwed together and satisfactorily solid.

Four-wheel disc brakes, vented in front do a great job of slowing Elantra GT and GLS five-door models. Indeed, they can stop more quickly than the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, according to published reports. We recommend the available anti-lock brakes, which come bundled with traction control. ABS allows the driver to maintain steering control in an emergency braking situation, while traction control enhances stability when accelerating.

The Hyundai Elantra is more enjoyable to drive than many of the name-brand cars in its class and there's little about it that feels cheap. In the workaday grind the Elantra is better than acceptable. It's good, and it can run with comparably equipped competitors in nearly every respect except the size of the monthly payments. There, it comes out ahead. Hyundai has made big gains in reliability and build quality, and any concerns in that regard are eased by a comprehensive warranty and roadside assistance plan. Elantra is the bargain of the class.



Already a winner in our opinion, the amazingly competent Elantra got a complete overhaul in 2001, adding interior space and exterior size, along with a full load of standard equipment, without a substantial boost in the price. The refined Elantra competes head to head with the best in the compact sedan class, beating everyone on price if not overall quality. For those who still have their doubts, Hyundai continues to back the Elantra with an industry-leading 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. To keep things interesting, Hyundai began selling a five-door hatchback version for the 2002 model year. Hatchbacks offer 28 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats in use and 37 cubes when they're folded. Although the Elantra is not without a few faults (ABS is buried in expensive option packages, and the car's frontal offset crash test performance was troubling), we think you'll find it to be quite a likable car on an everyday basis. Cabin accommodations are simple yet comfortable, and all of the controls are easy to find and use. Further, the Elantra caters to commuters, providing a smooth ride on the highway and no-fuss handling in the parking lot. Some buyers may find the base GLS sedan too soft in the corners, but if that's the case, the more firmly tuned GT sedan and hatchback are available. If you're shopping for a capable, affordable economy car, a stop at a Hyundai dealership would definitely be wor th the time spent.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options:
The Elantra sedan and five-door hatchback are available in GLS or GT trim. Standard equipment on the GLS is generous by economy car standards and includes side airbags; air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and locks; remote keyless entry; a center armrest with storage; and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat. The GLS hatchback also includes a sport suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. In addition to the above items, GT models provide four-wheel disc brakes, alloy wheels, leather seats, cruise control, foglights, an instrument panel with unique illumination and trip computer, a European front grille, a six-speaker CD audio system and a rear spoiler (different designs for the sedan and hatchback). Among the factory options are cruise control and a CD player on GLS models, and antilock brakes and a sunroof on all trims.

Powertrains and Performance:
The Elantra is one of the more powerful economy cars on the market. Its 2.0-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine is fitted with continuously variable valve timing and is available in ULEV and SULEV versions to meet varying emission standards. ULEV Elantras are rated at 138 horsepower; for SULEV versions, the rating drops slightly, to 132. Regardless of which version you end up with, this Hyundai has ample zip for its price tag with good power off the line and reasonable passing power. Drivers have their choice of either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.

Side airbags (for front occupants) are standard on all Elantras, and antilock brakes are optional. In government crash testing, the Elantra earned five stars out of five for protection of the driver and four stars for the front passenger in the frontal impact category. In side-impact tests, the Elantra received five stars for protection of the front occupants and four stars for rear-occupant protection. In 40-mph frontal offset crash testing by the IIHS, it earned a "Poor" rating (the lowest possible).

Interior Design and Special Features:
Inside, every Elantra has a simple layout -- though not exciting, the switchgear is high in quality and all of the controls are right where you expect them to be. GT models have a more upscale flavor with leather wrappings on the seats, steering wheel and shift knob, as well as purple nighttime illumination for the gauges. Hatchbacks offer 28 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats in use and 37 cubes when they're folded.

Driving Impressions:
The Elantra excels at Point-A-to-B driving where a comfortable ride and light, easy handling are assets. In GT form, the suspension has slightly thicker front and rear stabilizer bars and firmer shocks and springs, giving the Elantra a somewhat tauter feel on curvy roads; the trade-off is that a bit more harshness invades the cabin when the car hits a bump.



In this era of high-priced subcompact cars, it's nice to find one that isn't too expensive, yet offers almost everything you could want in solid transportation. I have to confess that I didn't think the Hyundai Elantra would be one of those cars. But after a week behind the wheel I became an avid supporter.

Elantra isn't going to knock you out with its styling. Here is a car that looks like a car. There are no fancy aerodynamic additions to a basic three-box design. Oh sure, there's a smooth transition from the roofline to the trunk, but this is a bread-and-butter basic sedan design. Our tester had an optional rear spoiler ($395) that wasn't really necessary. Mud guards ($60) completed the option package.

Under the hood is the peanut butter and jelly to go with the bread and butter. There's a standard 2.0-liter double overhead cam inline four that delivers 138 horsepower. Hooked to a 4-speed automatic transmission and driving the front wheels, this is a package that will probably be the big seller.

We found that the engine/transmission combination performed well on long trips and on local winding roads. There was some transmission lag when you tried to go from 30-50 mph or even 50-70 mph, but a person who owns an Elantra or is a constant driver could easily learn to adapt to this slight problem. The transmission shifted smoothly enough in normal day-to-day driving and was never a danger on Interstates.

My only problem with the transmission was that it was too easy to shift through "D" and into "3" as you're initially taking off. You don't notice this immediately until you realize ten miles down the road that the engine seems to be working harder than it should. I felt there should be a stronger detent between "D" and "3."

Economy is listed at 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. We drove the Elantra on a couple of long Interstate trips and averaged 27.8 mpg for our entire test. This, I thought, was phenomenal. So many so-called economy cars fail to deliver. The Elantra did. It also offered a smooth ride and is a great turnpike cruiser.

The cloth-faced front seats offered good comfort, while there was adequate rear seat legroom, even with the front seats pushed back.

The Elantra also had a few oddities that made it annoying. For one, there are remote trunk and fuel cap releases inside the car. But you can't open the trunk from the outside without a key, since the key fob doesn't have a remote trunk release feature. That key fob also had "unlock" on top rather than "lock." Most manufacturers do it the other way around.

On our long trips we had to make do with a basic audio system that included an AM/FM/cassette system with no CD player. It offered good sound, though, and we were able to live with the "sacrifice."

The trunk is listed at 12 cubic feet, but the rear seats fold to increase carrying capacity. We stacked a pair of golf bags in the trunk. There's also good storage in the center arm rest, and there are cubby holes in the doors. There's also a nice cubby between the audio and HVAC controls. It's great for a cell phone. There's also a tray in front of the shifter that could hold a phone. The Elantra had two 12-volt outlets.

I liked the instrument panel; solid white-on-black dials.

The underhood area was clean and everything was out in the open. A brace held the hood up rather than a gas strut, but that was a minor inconvenience.

So often I get to drive compact cars that are too compact and are less than ideal economically. Prices are also increasing in the compact field as quickly as they are rising in all other segments. The Elantra is a light shining in the wilderness. It's exactly what it claims to be, nothing more. At $14,604, it has a price that is hard to beat, too.



Vehicle Overview Hyundai's most popular model slots between the subcompact Accent and the midsize Sonata in size and price. Revisions to the sheet metal and interior marked the 2004 models. A new instrument cluster was installed, and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder gained continuously variable valve timing.

Sedans are available in GLS and GT trim levels. Five-door hatchbacks formerly came only in GT form, but a new GLS hatchback for 2005 features a sport suspension and all-disc brakes.

The GT models get a tauter suspension with higher-rate springs, gas-filled shock absorbers and larger-diameter stabilizer bars. All-disc brakes, fog lamps and 15-inch alloy wheels are installed.

Exterior Strong character lines highlight the Elantra, which features styling that's more chiseled and European than previous models. The Elantra rides a 102.7-inch wheelbase, measures 178 inches long overall, stands 56.1 inches tall and stretches nearly 68 inches wide. GT models have a body-colored rear lip spoiler. A moonroof is optional.

Interior Each Elantra seats up to five occupants. A three-place 60/40-split folding rear seat expands the sedan's trunk space, which totals 13 cubic feet. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, a cassette player, a tilt steering column, a rear defogger, and power windows, locks and mirrors. Remote keyless entry includes an alarm.

A unique instrument panel in GT models holds purple-lit VDO gauges. The GT features leather seating surfaces, cruise control and a six-speaker CD audio system.

Under the Hood A 2.0-liter four-cylinder powers the Elantra lineup. In states with Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle requirements, the engine develops 132 horsepower, but it's rated at 138 hp in other areas. A five-speed-manual gearbox is standard, and a four-speed-automatic transmission is optional.

Safety Seat-mounted side-impact airbags are standard, and antilock brakes are optional.

Driving Impressions Even though the Elantra isn't overly enticing at first, it tends to grow on an open-minded driver and turns into an appealing little automobile. Performance with the manual transmission is surprisingly frisky, and the Elantra accelerates with spirit. Well matched to the engine, the gearbox and clutch permit gentle engagement for easy takeoffs. But putting it into Reverse can be a chore at times.

Except for a slight growl during acceleration, the Elantra is quiet on the road. The Elantra whips through corners with ease; some body lean is evident, but not enough to be troubling. Because its suspension copes adeptly with rough spots, the Elantra's ride is pleasantly smooth for a small car.

Attractive seats are firmly cushioned and offer very good back support. Backseat legroom is amazing, and even the center rear position isn't too bad.

Handling is a bit tauter on the fun-to-drive GT, and ride comfort suffers only modestly. The GT's gauges are large, but their distinctive purple hue isn't the easiest to read at night.



For a great deal on a new or used 2006 Hyundai Elantra go to Gary Rome Hyundai.

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