1998 Hyundai Elantra SE 1.8L 130hp I-4 from North America


Very sporty for a 4dr and feels like a lot of car for the money


Right axle seal leaking at 132k.

Right axle seal found to be bent at 136k.

Had car inspected at Hyundai and Honda dealers before buying at private sale. Both found right axle seal leaking slightly. After buying I decided to get the leak fixed, but probably didn't need to bother.

One week after getting seal replaced the car is pouring out transmission fluid and getting it all over the side of the car. I was really upset and almost ran out of tranny fluid and worried that the tranny itself my have been damaged due to the mechanic's poor install.

I took the car right back and they told me it was a bent axle causing the new seal to tear apart probably due to previous owner's incompetent driving skills. I asked why it was not found on the inspection, but they said they weren't looking for it even though the part is supposed to be checked.

Anyway they went good for replacing the seal and refunding inspection, but I had to pay for the new axle of course. This happens 2 weeks after spending my last cent on the car (previous car was a 92 Accord and ironically enough the engine died!).

General Comments:

Handling is very nimble and precise when cornering.

Lots of low end pep from 0-60. Acceleration is very good.

Car is basically gutless on the highway and takes a long time to shift to overdrive.

For the size of the engine the gas milleage is poor, only 24/32.

I really think that I got a good deal on this car but I just hope that this isn't a sign of things to come. Hyundai used to have a horrible reputation but I've been told by everyone that they've come a long way in quality, even rivaling Honda. That remains to be seen with my 98 Elantra.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th March, 2005

3rd Apr 2005, 19:08

Geeze my son had an identical happening with his get it 98 Elantra.Whoooow.

15th Jan 2006, 14:58

Sorry to hear of those problems. We have 2 of these here at home (249 K on the sedan and 170 K on the wagon) They have both been incredible and have cost me next to nothing, but just regular maintenance. I've been amazed and have to put them at the top of my list of least expensive cars to own. Both are manual transmissions and get excellent gas mileage as well. My Honda would compare, but the Mazda, Datsun, Toyota all fall short in comparison to these two cars. I must say my Isuzu 4X4 has been very dependable as well. I am so pleased, that I'm passing them down to my children...

20th Mar 2006, 18:34

Hello, I am the author of the above review. After owning the car now for almost a year my opinion has changed dramatically. The bent axle is the ONLY maintenance I had to do on this car besides regular oil change and I got new front brakes recently. I am convinced this car is extremely reliable. I have been driving it over 100km per day 5 days a week for a year now and it has never let me down. I really just wish it had more power, but this is really the perfect car for me at this time.

2nd Jan 2009, 04:46

I just purchased a '98 Elantra with about 87k miles, and I was driving it before I bought it for about three months or better. Also, I found that everyone has a broken driver side handle.

But this car is very reliable for me; I drive it everywhere every day, and all I did was a tune up and oil change, and it runs terrific.

The only gripe is the gas mileage is not what I expect out of a 1.8L, and the power is not quite there, but I love the car, and it's a best buy for the 1200 I paid.

1998 Hyundai Elantra GLS from North America


This car is no Honda. I have never been totally satisfied with it's performance. The warranty is not as good a it seems. My main complaint is that the interior door latches break. I have replaced these latches 5 times. I have to roll my window down to exit my car, and in the winter the window freezes, so I am trapped in my car. I have contacted Hyundai several times regarding this situation, they state no recall has been issued. I have filed a complaint nationally.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th February, 2005