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Used Car Review

2011 Hyundai Elantra: Used Car Review

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Used 2011 Hyundai Elantra
Used 2011 Hyundai Elantra
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author photo by Ron Sessions May 2015

The 2011 Hyundai Elantra sedan is all new with the same striking Fluidic Sculpture styling as its larger sibling, the Sonata. It's value packed with roomy comfort, loaded with design flair and tasteful-looking materials, and has a long list of standard and optional amenities not often found in the compact sedan class. The top-of-the-line Elantra Limited includes standard equipment and unexpected niceties such as a power moonroof, leather upholstery and heated front and rear seats. Hyundai's Elantra may have modest power, but its fuel-economy estimates are at or near the top of the compact class, and drive quality is refined with the available 6-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features include a tire-pressure monitoring system, electronic stability and traction control, 4-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags, front-seat side airbags and front and rear overhead airbags.

The 2011 Elantra sedan is a good used-car value because it delivers sophisticated styling flair, roominess, comfort and fuel-efficiency at a reasonable price.

What We Like

Sonata-like Fluidic Sculpture styling; roomy interior and trunk; interior materials, fit and finish; 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty; good fuel economy

What We Don't

Soft steering feel; road noise level; no power driver's seat; no spare tire; measured acceleration

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The Hyundai Elantra sedan comes standard with a 1.8-liter double overhead camshaft 16-valve 4-cylinder engine. It generates 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded fuel. It's available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Both versions originally had an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 29 miles per gallon in the city and an impressive 40 mpg on the highway, but after Hyundai testing irregularities were discovered the following year, EPA lowered the 2011 Elantra's fuel-economy estimates for both manual and automatic versions to 28 mpg city/38 mpg hwy. These numbers are still very good, but short of the magic (and advertised) 40 mpg hwy number. All 2011 Elantras are equipped with front-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The 2011 Hyundai Elantra sedan is available in GLS and Limited trims.

The GLS trim's standard equipment includes a tilt steering wheel (but no telescopic adjustment), remote keyless entry, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder and iPod/USB jacks, 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, cloth upholstery, split fold-down second-row bench seat, an outside-temperature display, a trip computer, power locks, windows and mirrors, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, dual front- and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, and stability and traction control. Optional equipment for the GLS consists of air conditioning cruise control, a telescopic steering wheel, a garage-door opener, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, auto headlamps, a backup camera, navigation and 16-in alloy wheels.

Upgrading to the Limited trim adds leather upholstery, a power moonroof, air conditioning, cruise control, a telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, fog lamps, heated front and rear seats, a front center armrest and 17-in alloy wheels. Popular Limited options include navigation, a backup camera, auto headlamps, a garage door opener and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.


The Elantra was one of the best-selling compact sedans in 2011, so there should be a good supply of used examples available for purchase at moderate prices. Even with reduced EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2011 model year, the Elantra is one of the most fuel-efficient sedans in its class.

To get a good idea of the 2011 Elantra's price range, check out KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see which models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the following recall for the 2011 Elantra sedan:

A headliner support bracket may be displaced during a deployment of the overhead airbag, which could lacerate an occupant.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA did not evaluate the 2011 Elantra sedan for crash-test performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2011 Elantra sedan Acceptable ratings for small-overlap front impacts, head restraints and seats, but Good ratings for side- and moderate-overlap front impacts, as well as roof strength.

Hyundai sold the 2011 Elantra with a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, an industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty (for original owners only), a 7-year/unlimited-distance corrosion-perforation warranty and 5 years/unlimited miles of roadside-assistance coverage.

Hyundai certified pre-owned vehicles can't be more than 4 years old or have more than 60,000 miles. Every certified pre-owned Elantra undergoes a 150-point inspection. Each receives the balance of Hyundai's 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Roadside assistance is extended to 10 years/unlimited miles from the vehicle's original date of sale. Also included are 3 months of SiriusXM satellite radio and a vehicle history report.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 Ford Focus -- This was the last year for the previous-generation Focus. It has responsive steering and handling, but it lags in technology and doesn't offer a navigation system. This Focus is also only available with a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission.

2011 Toyota Corolla -- Toyota's evergreen Corolla is consistently at or near the top of the compact sales race due to its reputation for good fuel economy, trouble-free operation and good resale value. The Corolla driving experience is plain vanilla, but an XRS model offers a more powerful 158-hp 2.4-liter engine and grippier 17-in tires for a dash of sportiness.

Autotrader's Advice

While it may not be the fastest or best-handling small sedan, the 2011 Elantra is very stylish inside and out, and it offers impressive fuel economy. The Elantra's 14.8 cu-ft. trunk is roomy for its class and its cabin is quite spacious. The Limited trim offers a long roster of standard equipment such as heated front and rear seats, a power moonroof, leather upholstery and it comes standard with air conditioning and cruise control, which are only offered as options on the base GLS. Always look for a vehicle that's been well-maintained. Selecting a Hyundai certified pre-owned Elantra is a smart choice because the buyer can assume the remainder of the outstanding 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Also make sure all applicable recalls have been performed by the dealer.

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Used 2011 Hyundai Elantra
Used 2011 Hyundai Elantra
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2011 Hyundai Elantra: Used Car Review - Autotrader