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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated Oct. 22, 2023

Used 2013 Hyundai Elantra Pros And Cons

Related: How To Get The Best Deal On A "Brand New" Hyundai Elantra

Due to extremely high new and used car prices, as well as high interest rate loans, many shoppers are now looking for "older" models to better fit their budgets.

Hyundai Elantra

However, this does add some additional risk in terms of reliability and maintenance issues for people considering the 2013 Elantra, or any other older vehicle.

Is The 2013 Elantra Reliable?

While the Hyundai Elantra as an overall model is generally reliable, the 2013 model year has had mixed reviews by owners. While many have had excellent experiences overall with mostly normal maintenance issues, there have also been more complaints than any other model year.

And while if properly maintained, a 2013 Elantra can last about 200,000 miles, which is average for the class, car buyers should be aware of engine failures which are not uncommon in the 60,000 to 100,000 mile range.

So, a low-mileage candidate may actually not be the only answer in this case. One that has already had it's engine replaced (approximately ($4,000) may also actually be a good value.

Therefore, before getting into the pros and cons of the 2013 Elantra ...

Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Vehicle

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's usually best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $150-$200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

Also, Always Know The Value Of Your Trade-In

Whether you are trading or selling on your own, it's just a good idea ... even whether you are in the market or not at the moment. You can then use this important information for a number of purposes ... to negotiate with a dealer, or to know how to price your car in the retail market, or simply to know the value of one of your assets, which is always a good idea.

Getting trade-in values online tend to vary a lot from site to site. But I've found the one at Edmunds Trade-In Quotes is particularly comprehensive and accurate.

It's free and just takes a couple of minutes. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN# followed by many simple, but specific, yes/no questions. It really focuses in on the detail of the specific vehicle.

2013 Hyundai Elantra Pros

2013 Hyundai Elantra Limited

Distinctive Design: The Elantra's sleek, head-turning and distinctive exterior design is one of its major appeals. People watch it go down the street and are surprised when they eventually make out its Hyundai badge. While looks are an individual taste, the majority view seems to be that it's one of the better looking choices in the small sedan market and projects an image of a much pricier car.

Long Feature List For The Dollar: Even the base GLS is well-equipped with standard features such as remote power door locks, one-touch power windows, cruise control, power and heated mirrors, interior air filtration, 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, a remote anti-theft alarm system, a trip computer, and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player, speed sensitive volume control, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Car Buying Tips:

Do This To Get The Best Price For Your Trade-In

How To Get The Lowest Rate Car Loan

Easy Negotiation Tactic To Buy A New Car At The Lowest Price

Is Flipping Cars Possible?

And for additional features, the Preferred package added 16-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls, foglamps, upgraded interior trim, a sliding front center armrest and illuminated vanity mirrors, while moving up to the Limited model adds all the Preferred package features plus leather upholstery, a power driver seat, a sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels and heated rear seats.

The Limited's optional Technology package added more goodies such as a touchscreen navigation system with voice activation, Bluetooth streaming audio, a rearview camera, automatic headlamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition/entry and an upgraded audio system.

Indeed, this Elantra could have been equipped similar to much more expensive luxury cars.

2013 Hyundai Elantra Limited interior

Comfortable and Solidly-Built Cabin: The seating is both comfortable and supportive while the design still provides ample legroom and more overall space than one typically expects from a compact. Headroom is also quite adequate up front, although it can be a little tight in the rear for tall passengers.

The cabin's overall look, feel and build quality is among the very top in its class and especially impressive for the price range. It's stylized center stack and controls along with a smaller-diameter steering wheel add to the attractive modern style and spacious feel inside.

Large Trunk: The Elantra's trunk is one of the largest in its class, coming in with a maximum cargo capacity of 14.8 cubic feet. The 60/40-split rear seat also offers a large pass-through for accommodating longer storage items.

Excellent Fuel Economy: All 2013 Elantras are front-wheel drive and powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 148-horsepower and 131-pound-feet of torque. The partial zero-emissions vehicle (PZEV) version of this engine, equipped on models in California-emissions states, produce a slightly lower 145-horsepower and 130-pound-feet of torque.

The EPA-estimated gas mileage for models with either a manual or automatic transmission are the same, standing at an excellent and pump-friendly 29 mpg city and 40 mpg on the highway.

2013 Hyundai Elantra Cons

Some Engine Issues: Engine problems, including ticking noises in the engine and complete failures have occurred.

Some Transmission Issues: Some owners reported problems with the automatic transmission, including rough shifting, slipping, or failure to engage gears. Proper maintenance, such as regular fluid changes, can help prevent transmission issues.

Suspension and Steering Components: Complaints about the suspension system and steering components, including loose or noisy steering and worn-out suspension parts, were reported.

Tight Headroom: While the overall interior space in the new Elantra is above average for the small car segment, this sedan's sleek style, largely a result of its sloping roof line, produces a somewhat tight headroom situation for taller rear passengers. Of course, it's fine for children if that's who'll be filling your backseat. But 6-footers will have a potential mixed bag back there. On the one hand, they should find ample legroom. On the other, the roofline could become an issue on longer treks.

Not Quite As Sporty As It Looks: The overall ride quality of the Elantra is quite good. In fact, it offers one of the best combinations of ride comfort and handling in its class. The four-cylinder engine capably provides both peppy performance and very good fuel efficiency.

That said, because the car certainly has a sporty look, it may raise expectations of a sporty and athletic drive to match. But while it's definitely a competent daily driver, it doesn't have the handling abilities of rivals such as the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus or Mazda3, all of which are a little more refined and sophisticated in this department.

There's also a bit of road and engine noise, although not too intrusive, that reminds us that this is indeed a compact economy car and not the more upscale sedan its looks project.


While the 2013 Hyundai Elantra is definitely worth serious consideration by car buyers in the small economy car segment. Others worthy of consideration would include the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda3, Subaru Impreza and Toyota Corolla.

Lastly, Suggestions For Getting The Lowest Price

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.

Here's another method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at wholesale open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.

And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" Elantra if the price was crazy good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Car. This works just phenomenally well.

More Car Buying Tips:

This One Tip Will Save Thousands On Car Insurance

The Truth About Wholesale And Trade-in Values

The Best Used Cars For Gas Mileage

Use Auto Lease Residual Value To Your Advantage

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Other Models Of Possible Interest:
Used Hyundai Elantra
2013 Hyundai Sonata
2012 Hyundai Genesis
Older Used Kia Optima
2013 Kia Optima
2012 Hyundai Sonata
Older Used Hyundai Sonata
Older Used Hyundai Genesis
Older Hyundai Accent
Older Used Hyundai Santa Fe
Other Older Hyundai Models