The Worst Hyundai Elantra Years to Avoid Vs Best Best Car With Good Reliability Scores!

Patrick Oziegbe
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Since its inception, the Hyundai Elantra compact car, has continue to deliver top quality beauty, fuel efficiency, exterior style, and affordability.

Buying the latest 2023 model is almost a sure investment which comes with even better intelligent innovations inside and out, however getting a used Hyundai Elantra is different kettle of fish!

First, you must learn which year model to avoid totally and used best years for Hyundai Elantra car models to skim for a gold based on most reliable and performance.

Secondly, this article contain every expert information to help you make informed decision to discover dependable, less problematic used H Elantra models and get the best value for your money.

The Worst Hyundai Elantra Years to Avoid

Hyundai Elantra Years to Avoid
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Look below to discover the list of model years reported to have several reliability issues and exact problems ascribed to each:

  • 2009 Hyundai Elantra: The 2009 model suffered from engine problems, causing poor performance and potentially leading to expensive repairs. We advise against purchasing this year.
  • 2010 Hyundai Elantra: Issues have been reported with this model’s braking system and suspension, affecting the overall safety and comfort of the vehicle.
  • 2012 Hyundai Elantra: The 2012 model experienced electrical problems, resulting in engine-related concerns that could lead to costly repairs.
  • 2013 Hyundai Elantra: The 2013 Hyundai Elantra is known for engine failure and electrical glitches, making it a year to avoid.
  • 2017 Hyundai Elantra: This model has presented issues with peeling paint, stuck doors, poor lighting, and persistent engine knock. Due to these concerns, it’s advisable to steer clear of the 2017 Elantra.

By familiarizing yourself with the problematic Hyundai Elantra years listed above, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions when searching for a reliable and cost-effective used vehicle.

Common Problems and Major Issues

Let’s now delve into specific  common problems and major issues including engine problems, transmission issues, and electrical system problems:

Engine Problems

One of the most frequent issues with the Hyundai Elantra is engine failure, particularly in the 2013 and 2017 models.

Engine problems can range from minor to severe, with the average cost for repairs varying depending on the specific issue.

Some engine problems you might encounter include oil leaks, oil consumption, and a persistent engine knock. To prevent these issues, it’s essential to regularly maintain your vehicle, such as scheduling timely oil changes and following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

Transmission Issues

Another common problem among Hyundai Elantra years to avoid is transmission issues, which may include slipping out of gear, fatal failure, and rough shifting.

These issues tend to occur after approximately 60,000 miles and have an average repair cost of around $2,000.

To keep your transmission in good condition, consider doing the following:

  • Regularly check your transmission fluid levels.
  • Replace the transmission fluid as per the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals.
  • Avoid aggressive driving, which can place additional stress on the transmission.

Electrical System Problems

Electrical system problems involve airbag malfunctions and the SRS light on the dashboard, and the notorious power steering problem caused by a malfunctioning electrical steering assist system.

In order to address these electrical issues:

  • Look for signs of electrical system wear and tear, like frayed wires or loose connectors.
  • Have a qualified technician diagnose and repair any issues promptly.
  • Avoid aftermarket electrical components, as they can sometimes cause more problems than they solve.

EDITOR TIPS: Our researchers published our findings about pros and cons of used Hyundai Tucson and reliability and performance issues!

The Most Reliable and Best Hyundai Elantra Years and Models

There are those years with great hope, boasting of many models with outstanding pre-owned Hyundai Elantra, including the 1998, 2004-2006, 2015, 2016 models.

The 2015 and 2016 Elantras are most reliable, providing great performance and efficiency. However if you prefer to go back to the fourth-generation model years (2007 – 2010), then 2007 model is often hailed as one of the best choices.

When it comes to the fifth-generation Elantras, the best model is typically the 2010 model. While some issues have been reported for this year, they are far less common than for other fifth-generation years.

With an improved budget, consider opting for a sixth-generation Elantra if possible, as they generally offer improved reliability.

Elantra Hybrid

When you’re exploring environmentally-friendly Hyundai Elantra options, the Elantra Hybrid is definitely worth considering.

Newer Hyundai Elantras, particularly starting from 2019 onwards, have been continuously improving in terms of both reliability and eco-friendliness.

The Elantra Hybrid comes in various trims, such as the Blue and Limited trims, which offer exceptional fuel efficiency without compromising on style or performance.

This way, you not only get an environmentally-friendly vehicle but also the added value of a reliable Hyundai Elantra year.

So, while looking for the best Hyundai Elantra years and models to fit your needs, keep in mind these reliable years and the eco-friendly Elantra Hybrid option. They’ve proven to be wise choices for drivers in search of both reliability and value.

Safety Features and Driver Assistance Systems

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist

The Hyundai Elantra comes equipped with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA). This feature uses sensors to detect vehicles in front of you and warns you of potential collisions.

If necessary, the system may automatically apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate a crash. This helps you maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and react better in emergency situations.

  • Lane Keeping Assist

Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) is another valuable feature for your Hyundai Elantra. It helps you stay in your lane by monitoring road markings and gently steering the vehicle back into its lane if you start to drift. This can be especially beneficial on long drives or when you’re feeling fatigued.

  • Pedestrian Detection

Pedestrian Detection is an essential part of the Elantra’s safety features. It works in conjunction with the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist to detect pedestrians in your path.

If a collision is imminent, the system warns you and may automatically apply brakes, helping to prevent accidents involving pedestrians.

  • Adaptive Cruise Control

To make highway driving more comfortable, the Hyundai Elantra offers Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

This advanced system maintains a set speed and adjusts it as needed to keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. It can even come to a complete stop and resume your set speed when traffic starts moving again.

  • Driver Attention Warning

The Driver Attention Warning (DAW) system monitors your driving patterns and alerts you if it detects signs of fatigue or inattention.

This helpful reminder can support safe driving habits and reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by drowsy or distracted driving.

Comparisons with Other Cars

This beautiful compact car definitely has some rivals from top brands across the world. Let’s consider few of those, below:

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is known for its excellent fuel efficiency, sporty handling, and solid reputation for reliability, but the Elantra is a bit cheaper, longer warranty, and attractive styling.

Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is known for its impressive long-term reliability, overall low cost of ownership, and comfortable ride.

The Elantra has a more stylish design and a longer warranty, it’s essential to weigh these factors against the proven reliability of the Corolla.

Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata is a larger sibling to the Elantra, offering a more extensive range of features and a more spacious interior.

Sonata has a reputation for being more upscale than the Elantra, but it also comes with a higher price tag and slightly more luxurious driving experience. Some of the Hyundai Sonata years to avoid are 2011, 2012, 2006.

Hyundai Accent

The Hyundai Accent is a smaller and more budget-friendly option then Elantra and Sonata. Accent is a compact car with excellent fuel efficiency and a lower starting price.

However, it’s worth noting that the Accent doesn’t offer as many features or as sophisticated a design as the Elantra. Some of the Hyundai Accent years to avoid are 2002, 2004, 2009.

Buying Advice

New Elantra

When considering a new Hyundai Elantra, it’s important to take a test drive and evaluate the vehicle’s performance, efficiency, and safety features.

Speak with the sales team to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Here are some tips when looking for a new Elantra:

  • Research the available trim levels and feature packages to find the best fit for your needs
  • If fuel efficiency is a priority, opt for a model with the Eco option
  • Discuss warranty options and services offered by the dealership for added peace of mind

Used Hyundai Elantra

As revraled above, buying a used Hyundai Elantra demands you must be aware of model years to avoid like 2013 and 2017 reported to experienced engine failure, electrical glitches, and peeling paint.

The 2010 is a good choice for an older sedan. Do consider these factors before flipping your wallet open for a pre-owned Hyundai Elantra:

  • Inspect the vehicle’s maintenance records and ask about any mechanical repairs or replacements
  • Test drive the car to ensure it drives smoothly and responds well to your input
  • Have a trusted mechanic inspect the car for any potential issues

Features and Trim Levels

  • Standard Features

As a Hyundai Elantra owner, you’ll enjoy a variety of standard features in most models.

These may include a touchscreen infotainment system, rearview camera, and advanced safety features such as lane-keep assist and forward-collision warning.

In addition, you can expect good fuel economy, comfortable driving, and reliable performance.

  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Many trim levels of the Hyundai Elantra offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, allowing easy integration of your smartphone for navigation, music, and hands-free communication.

Having this feature at your disposal in your Elantra will make your driving experience more seamless and enjoyable.

  • Limited Models

For those interested in the Limited trim, you can expect luxurious features such as leather seats, a sunroof, and a premium audio system.

Limited models also include advanced safety features like rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control, ensuring a safer driving experience.

  • Elantra SE

The base 2023 Hyundai Elantra SE offers a starting price of just under $20,000, with impressive performance and styling.

However, it may lack certain amenities such as heated seats and side mirrors. Upgrading to the SEL trim or opting for optional packages might be necessary for these features.

  • SEL and Sport

The Elantra SEL adds dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, and a hands-free trunk lid release to the mix.

If you’re looking for sportier performance and added features, the Elantra Sport includes a more powerful engine, sport-tuned suspension, and larger alloy wheels.

Overall, while each Hyundai Elantra trim level offers its own unique benefits, it’s important to consider the specific features that matter most to you when making your decision.

Fuel Economy and Cost of Ownership

Fuel Costs

You want a sedan car that is fuel-efficient with good gas mileage like the 1998 Elantra offering amazing fuel efficiency rating of around 32 mpg on the highway.

Here are some recent Elantra models and their fuel economy ratings for your reference:

  • 2021 Hyundai Elantra: 33 mpg city / 43 mpg highway
  • 2020 Hyundai Elantra: 31 mpg city / 41 mpg highway
  • 2019 Hyundai Elantra: 28 mpg city / 37 mpg highway

Maintenance Costs

Another important aspect is the vehicle’s maintenance costs. The Elantra has a low cost of ownership, with repairs and maintenance costs that are generally lower than other vehicles in its class.

And, models from 1997, 1998, and 1999 have been known to be quite reliable, despite some reported transmission issues in certain years with high repair costs, the Elantra is generally reliable for many owners.

Testimonials and Real-Life Experiences

Crash Friday Afternoon

On a Friday afternoon, a female driver and her 3-year-old daughter were involved in a serious car accident while they were in their Hyundai Elantra. Despite the severity of the crash, the little girl survived but suffered from brain injuries.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene to manage the situation and to ensure the safety of the passengers involved in the accident.

As a Hyundai Elantra driver yourself, you should be aware of the potential risks and dangers on the road, as well as the importance of adhering to safety measures.

Elantra Driver’s Experiences

  • As a motorist, Vicky experienced a felicitous encounter with her vehicle. She acknowledges the dependability and fuel efficiency of her automobile, which consequently produces long-term monetary savings.
  • Andrew, another Elantra possessor, expressed his discontent with a particular model year. He disclosed that the 2013 Elantra encountered engine predicaments that necessitated a complete engine replacement, culminating in a burdensome $4,000 reparation.
  • Lady Joy, an Elantra operator for five years, extols the car for its suitability as a daily driver with adequate capacity for four passengers. By sidestepping problematic model years like the 2013 Elantra, she encountered little to no dependability issues.

As you contemplate procuring or persisting with your Hyundai Elantra, actual accounts from other drivers can offer invaluable insights into what to anticipate with your vehicle.

Keep these anecdotes and endorsements in consideration, along with your own individual experiences, as you voyage as an Elantra driver.


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