2004 Hyundai Elantra Hatchback 1.6 from Ecuador
Absolutely great, inexpensive family car
Driver's seat a little loose. Dealer fixed it.
Windshield wipers are noisy and don't clean as well as expected.
The Elantra hatchback is very roomy and comfortable. Great leg space in both rows; the trunk is large enough to carry my two kids' pedal cars.
Driving it is a pleasure; it is extremely smooth, stable, although slow to accelerate (I couldn't afford the 1.8 liter engine).
The whole car is full of niceties, little places to hold everything: coins, cell phone, sunglasses, CD's, books, documents, etc. (I mean, besides the usual glove box and cup-holders). Everything is on hand's reach and perfectly designed.
My Elantra is a real head turner. In my last trip to the beach, the hotel owner saw the car on the parking lot and asked me if it was a BMW. Many people are surprised to learn that it is a Hyundai.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th January, 2005
You could not afford the 1.8 because they don't make a 1.8, and the 2.0 is a bigger engine with more power.
Actually, there were Elantras with 1.8 liter engines. They stopped making them and kept the 1.6 and 2.0 engines.
This is an update to the original review.
After owning and driving my Elantra for more than three years, I could not be happier. This has proven an excellent investment in every sense. Beside its great looks, it is very comfortable, safe, and economic to run and maintain.
Of course, there have been some problems:
- One night a burglar broke into our home and tried to steal the car; he broke the driver's window with a hammer; the man escaped at the alarm noise. Then problems really began. The dealer didn't have the original window so they installed a glass that just fit it, but didn't have the proper adjustments; so the glass kept falling every time I tried to open or close it; the dealer fixed it time and again, with the same result. Then, I went to several workshops specialized in car windows, until someone was able to put it right into place and work properly.
- Sometimes, rain water leaked into the cabin from the back door (mine is a hatchback). I got it checked at the dealer, but they wouldn't find the problem. Finally I removed the rubber around the back door, cleaned the dust... and got the problem fixed for good.
- The car has new tires. Instead of the Khumo stock tires we put Dunlop radials. This made a huge improvement in stability, drivability and even the car's looks. Hyundai should consider shipping new vehicles with better tires.
- At 70 thousand kilometers, I am considering tuning the car a little bit: a good radio with CD changer would be celebrated by my kids; we already got an LCD-DVD-MP3 combo; probably new shocks, and perhaps something to improve the engine's power. We'll see.