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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated Feb. 21, 2024



Older Fourth And Fifth Hyundai Elantra Generation Overview (2007 - 2014), Reliability, And Possible Maintenance Problems

Related: How To Get The Lowest Price On A "Brand New" Hyundai Elantra

In today's very high-priced used car market, many shoppers are now looking for "older" models that have aged well as a way to save significant dollars. This makes a vehicle's history of reliability all the more crucial.

Hyundai Elantra

And many consumers are looking at an older (generally 10 or more years old) Hyundai Elantra due to its stylish design and many features at a typically affordable price. The big question is, "is it one of those models that has aged well?"

Well, for the most part, generally fairly well, if it has been well-maintained. While its had some mechanical problems, as all cars do, the Elantra has graded out at about average when it comes to reliability and longevity, with an expectation of lasting in the 150,000 to 200,000 mile range when properly cared for.

Here it is again ... "proper care" and "well-maintained" are the essential ingredients.

So here, ...

- We'll do an overview of some earlier Elantra generations, specifically the fourth and fifth, covering the 2007 - 2014 model years.

- Then we'll list possible mechanical issues that have been reported by some owners for these models so they can be checked before buying one today.


But first, and very importantly ...

Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Elantra

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.

And My #1 Price Tip: It's important to get online price quotes at auto sites such as Edmunds.com and CarsDirect.com (both, actually), whether looking for a new or used car. Competition among dealers for your business is what gets you a lower price, and it's very easy.

And quickly, while we're at it, my #2 Tip is to always know the up-to-date trade-in value of your current car. You can get a quick and surprisingly accurate one at Edmund's Trade-In Quotes.

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.


Fifth Generation Hyundai Elantra (2011 - 2014)

This version was heralded in with a major redesign for the 2011 model year. With a new head-turning design, outstanding fuel efficiency, comfortable interior, generous trunk space, long list of standard safety equipment, and surprisingly upscale optional features, this Elantra was way up there among the segment's best.

2011 Hyundai Elantra

We really like its easy drive, quieter and smoother than one would expect from a compact. Its performance, maneuverability and handling are excellent and its suspension smooths out the rough spots. Acceleration is very good and is absolutely impressive with the manual shift. And all while getting very good gas mileage.

Interior space is also another plus. Leg room in the backseat is actually remarkable for a vehicle this size. And the seating is firm and comfortable. What's more, the build quality is solid and the feature list is impressive for a small sedan in this price range.

Offered in GLS and Limited trims, the long list of standard features on the base GLS include power windows, power doorlocks, power mirrors, keyless entry, heated mirrors, antilock disc brakes (ABS), stability control, traction control, front seat side-impact airbags, active front head restraints, side curtain airbags that cover both rows, and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player and a USB/iPod interface.

Some GLS models can also be found with the optional Popular Equipment package that adds cruise control, air conditioning, a telescoping steering wheel and 16-inch steel wheels, while the Preferred Equipment package adds steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloy wheels, a sliding armrest on the center console, and illuminated vanity mirrors and sun visor extensions.

Moving up to the Elantra Limited gets everything above plus leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels and foglamps.

There's also an optional Navigation package (named the Premium package for the Limited) for both models that adds navigation, realtime traffic and weather, keyless entry/ignition (only on the Limited), automatic headlights and a premium 360-watt stereo system.

Under the hood of these Elantras is a new, at the time, 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. Partial zero-emission vehicles (PZEV) sold in California and other states have a revised version of this engine that lowers production slightly to 145 horsepower and 130 lb-ft.

GLS models are equipped with either the standard 6-speed manual transmission or the optional 6-speed automatic, while the Limited comes with the automatic as standard.

Fuel economy with either engine or transmission is outstanding, coming in with an EPA gas mileage estimate of 29 mpg city and 40 mpg on the highway.

Overall, its well-tuned suspension and more rigid body structure provide a "fun to drive" personality. The steering is quick and precise while body roll is relatively minor through the turns, while the car gives an overall well-planted and secure feeling in terms of handling.


2011 - 2014 Hyundai Elantra Possible Mechanical Problems

Some owners have reported repair issues which should therefore be included in a pre-purchase inspection. Again, bear in mind that individual vehicle maintenance and driving history can have a significant impact on a particular vehicle's mechanical history.

Transmission Issues: Some owners experienced problems with the automatic transmission, such as rough shifting, hesitation, or slipping.

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Engine Problems: There were reports of engine-related issues, including oil leaks, overheating, or premature wear of engine components.

Suspension and Steering: Some models were reported to have issues with the suspension system or steering components, resulting in noise, vibrations, or handling problems.

Electrical System: Some owners encountered issues with the electrical system, such as malfunctioning sensors, faulty wiring, or problems with the infotainment system.

Brake Problems: There were occasional complaints about brake-related issues, such as premature wear of brake pads or rotors, brake pedal vibration, or brake fluid leaks.


Fourth Generation Hyundai Elantra (2007 - 2010)

While there is a four-door hatchback known as the Elantra Touring, this Elantra is actually a sedan, available in two models: GLS and SE.

2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS

The base GLS model is pretty thinly equipped, but many can be found with the optional Popular Equipment package that added many features, such as cruise control, air conditioning and a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio, a CD player and a USB/iPod audio jack.

All of these features are standard on the SE model. In addition, some of these older Elantras can be found with other stand-alone options such as leather upholstery, heated front seats and a sunroof.

Powering all of these Elantras is a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine that produces 138 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque, and is coupled with either a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual.

Initially, there was a third trim in this generation, the Limited, but it was discontinued for 2008 and replaced with an options package for the SE. 2008 also marked the addition of brake assist and stability control to the SE as standard features.

And for the 2009 model year, the tuning for both the suspension and steering were revised and the USB/iPod audio jack was made available.


2007 - 2010 Hyundai Elantra Possible Mechanical Problems

Owner-reported problems which should therefore be included in a pre-purchase inspection:

Transmission Issues: Similar to the fifth generation, some owners experienced problems with the automatic transmission, including rough shifting, hesitation, or slipping.

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Engine Problems: There were reports of engine-related issues, such as oil leaks, overheating, or premature wear of engine components.

Suspension and Steering: Some were reported to have problems with the suspension system or steering components, leading to noise, vibrations, or handling issues.

Electrical System: As with many vehicles, there were occasional complaints about electrical system problems, including malfunctioning sensors, electrical shorts, or issues with the car's lighting system.

Brake Problems: Some owners reported issues with the brakes, such as premature wear of brake pads or rotors, brake pedal vibration, or brake fluid leaks.


Lastly, Suggestions For Getting A Low Elantra 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 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 really good, here's info on The Best Way To Buy A New Car. This works just phenomenally well.


Car Buying Tips:

Learn to Negotiate Low Prices

Are There Good Bank Repossessed Cars For Sale?

Do This For The Best Trade-In Price


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Related Older Model Articles:
2013 Hyundai Elantra
2012 Hyundai Elantra
2011 Hyundai Elantra
2010 Hyundai Elantra
2011 Elantra Touring
2011 Hyundai Accent Review
2013 Hyundai Sonata
2012 Hyundai Sonata
Older Hyundai Sonata Guide
Older Hyundai Genesis
2011 Hyundai Genesis
Older Hyundai Models
Older Kia Optima Overview