The Hyundai Elantra is an award winning compact car that made it’s debut in 1991.
With its affordable price tag, the Elantra offers plenty of bang for your buck featuring state-of-the-art technology, an eye-catching design and excellent reliability scores.
If the Elantra sounds of interests to you then check out our short guide below.
We will cover sales figures, production statistics, recall actions, resale values, and many more!
How Many Hyundai Elantra’s Have Been Sold Per Year in The US?
In the past five years the Hyundai Elantra has sold an average of 177,502 units per year.
Sales have dropped off quite noticeably in 2020 with 105,475 units sold compared to previous years 2019, 2018 and 2017 with 175,094, 200,415, 200,415 units sold respectively.
First launched in 1990, the Elantra was available for the 1991 model year and sales were initially low with only 3,867 units sold.
The following year this quickly increased by almost a factor of 10, with 32,042 units sold.
Sales soared again in 1999 and figures were just shy of the 100,000 mark.
In the following years sales remained fairly consistent and it wasn’t until 2011 when sales rocketed again to around 200,000 units per year.
Sales of the Hyundai Elantra peaked in 2013 with 247,912 vehicles sold in the U.S.
Despite the recent drop in sales, Hyundai is expected to bounce back in coming years particularly with the launch of its 2021 hybrid model and after receiving the 2021 North America Car of The Year Award by a panel of automotive journalists.
Below is a table from Car Sales Base that contains annual sales figures in the U.S for the Hyundai Elantra from 1991 to 2020:
|Model Year||Units Sold|
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What Year Did Hyundai Start the Elantra Models?
Hyundai launched the Elantra in October 1990 and was first available to buy in the U.S. in 1991. There are currently 7 Generations of Elantra available with a hybrid option made available for 2021.
First Generation Elantra (1991 – 1995) – Boxy in its appearance like other many cars at the time. It received a minor first facelift in 1993 for the U.S. market, followed by another in 1994, some added features included ABS, front airbags, folding power mirrors, fog lights and a choice of alloy wheels.
Second Generation Elantra (1996 – 2000) – The 2nd Gen embodied a curved design that was in stark contrast to that of its predecessor and was notably sportier in appearance. This model was available not only as a four-door sedan but also as a station wagon. The engine was also increased from a 1.6L 113 hp to a 1.8L 130 hp.
Third Generation (2001 – 2006) – The 2001-2006 Elantra saw a noticeable size increase, a subtle exterior redesign and another engine upgrade sized at 2L 140hp as well as standard features such as AC and power steering.
Fourth Generation (2007 – 2010) – With an exterior that was curvier than its predecessors the Elantra Increased in size again and the base trim was upgraded to have features such as electronic stability control, a sunroof and optional leather seats.
Fifth Generation (2011- 2015) – Featuring a brand new look, the 5th Gen Elantra was completely re-designed with sloping edges and had a much sportier appearance. The Elantra UD sedan was awarded the North American Car of the Year at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
Sixth Generation (2011- 2015) – Opting for a more conservative, modern look the 6th gen was made available with a wider variety of trim levels and engine choices. Most models however, ran on a 2.0L 147 hp engine which was notably more powerful than its predecessors.
Seventh Generation (2021 – Present) – The seventh-generation Elantra looks sharper than ever with a new coupe-like look and boasts more high-tech features. One of the most highly anticipated announcements is the addition of a new hybrid option which offers a significant boost to fuel economy.
The 7 Elantra Generations with the relative years are listed below:
- 1991-1995 (1st Generation)
- 1996-2000 (2nd Generation)
- 2001-2006 (3rd Generation)
- 2007-2010 (4th Generation)
- 2011-2015 (5th Generation)
- 2016-2020 (6th Generation)
- 2021 – Present (7th Generation)
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How Is the Fuel Economy on a Hyundai Elantra?
The Hyundai Elantra offers good fuel economy on it’s gas powered vehicles with a combined fuel economy ranging from 28 – 37 mpg.
These numbers are greatly surpassed however by the Hybrid Elantra models which offer a minimum combined fuel economy of 50 mpg. The Elantra Hybrid Blue is the most fuel-efficient trim.
Currently there are 2 types of Elantra – the standard gas only Elantra and the Elantra Hybrid which uses both gas and electric.
In 2021 the standard Hyundai Elantra has 4 trim levels:
- N Line
The SE, SEL and Limited share the same 147-hp 2.0L, 4-cylinder engine, so the difference in fuel economy between them is minimal.
The sporty N Line uses a 201hp, 1.6L Turbo GDI, four-cylinder engine, and as a result is the least fuel-efficient in the current line up.
The Elantra Hybrid has 2 levels of trim.
Despite sharing the same 1.6L GDI 4-cylinder hybrid powertrain the Blue has a marginally better fuel economy. This is likely due to the fact it is lighter and features fewer electronics which can drain the battery.
See below a table with all 6 current trim versions of the Elantra and the fuel economy for each.
(Data from Hyundai USA)
|Model||City MPG||Highway MPG||Combined MPG|
|Hyundai Elantra SE||33||43||37|
|Hyundai Elantra SEL||31||41||35|
|Hyundai Elantra N Line||25||34||28|
|Hyundai Elantra Limited||31||41||35|
|Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Blue||53||56||54|
|Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited||49||52||50|
How Quickly Do Elantra’s Depreciate?
The Elantra has a fairly average resale value, after 5 years of use it will still retain 49% of its value, providing it has been looked after and properly maintained.
Whether you’re buying or selling, the depreciation rate will neither be an advantage or disadvantage and you can expect a middle-of-the-road price for each scenario.
According to data from Car Edge ‘A Hyundai Elantra will depreciate 51% after 5 years and have a 5-year resale value of $10,630.’ This is based on an annual average mileage of 13,500 miles and a well-kept vehicle that originally cost $20,843.
Possibly due to the fact that the Elantra is not as popular as some of its competitors may explain why it’s less likely to have a higher resale value.
The table below illustrates how some of the other cars in its segment match up in terms of depreciation.
|Car Make & Model||% of Value Kept After 5 Years|
|Honda Civic||58% (high)|
|Hyundai Elantra||49% (medium)|
|Mazda Mazda3||54% (medium)|
|Toyota Corrolla||60% (high)|
Related: How Long Will a Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Last?
Did Hyundai Recall any of the Elantra Models?
Even the best Korean auto engineers get it wrong from time to time with the Hyundai Elantra being subject to a number of recalls over the years.
The Hyundai Elantra has been recalled 41 times over 22 model years.
A recall is issued when a manufacturer or the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) deems that a vehicle or one or more of its components creates an unreasonable safety risk or does not meet minimum safety requirements – All safety recall repairs are FREE at authorized Hyundai dealers.
To find out if your Hyundai vehicle has been subject to a recall, you can use the Hyundai Recall Lookup on their website, by simply entering in the vehicles 17 character VIN code which can be found on the drivers dashboard or inside the drivers door jamb.
Here is a table from Hyundai Problems, showing by model year, those recall campaigns:
|Model Year||Recall Campaign Numbers|
How Much Do the Elantra Models Pollute?
With the owners becoming more conscious of their carbon footprint, you may be interested in knowing how much a Hyundai Elantra pollutes.
The new Elantra Hybrid in the Blue trim is the best on emissions emitting just 165 grams of greenhouse gases per mile and is rated as 10/10 on the U.S Department of Energy’s emissions score rating.
Overall the Elantra is fairly efficient vehicle, with the non-hybrid models having an average of 7/10 on the same scale.
Here is a table displaying data from the Fuel Economy website for each of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra variants:
|Model||Greenhouse Gas Emissions||Emissions Score|
|Hyundai Elantra SE||318 grams per mile||6/10|
|Hyundai Elantra SEL||244 grams per mile||8/10|
|Hyundai Elantra N Line||288 grams per mile||7/10|
|Hyundai Elantra Limited||257 grams per mile||7/10|
|Hyundai Elantra Blue||165 grams per mile||10/10|
|Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited||177 grams per mile||9/10|
How Much Can the Elantra Models Tow?
The Hyundai Elantra is relatively small vehicle and is not designed for towing.
The Hyundai Elantra vehicle manual states ‘We do not recommend using this vehicle for trailer towing’.
Doing so however may invalidate your vehicle warranty and put undue stress on the engines transmission.
For those reasons, we would advise against it.
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How Reliable Is a Hyundai Elantra?
The Hyundai Elantra is a very reliable vehicle, with reports from consumers and automotive journalists praising its durability.
- Repair Pal has awarded the Hyundai Elantra an impressive reliability rating of 4.5/5 and is ranked 8th out of 36 compact cars.
- Cars.US.News has given the 2021 Elantra a predicted reliability rating of 3.5/5
- J.D Power’s consumer verified ratings issued the Elantra with a quality and reliability score of 87/100
The average annual repair and maintenance costs is $452 which is lower than the average of $526 for compact cars and $652 for all vehicle models, making the Elantra one of the cheapest cars to maintain on the market.
The Elantra comes with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
As with any car on the road, the Elantra isn’t without its faults, even if they are less frequent than other vehicles in its class.
2013 was rated by Car Complaints for being the worst model year with 514 complaints, the most frequent being the brakes making a grinding noise, recent years have seen the lowest numbers of complaints.
Here is a chart using data from Car Complaints breaking down the number of complaints made by model year:
|Model Year||Number of Complaints|
How Safe Is a Hyundai Elantra?
From our research we can report that the Elantra is a safe vehicle and has performed well in various safety checks and crash tests.
The NHTSA awarded the 2020 Hyundai Elantra with 4 stars for its overall safety rating, the 2021 model at the time of writing is awaiting evaluation.
The 2020 Elantra received high scores on crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), earning an overall ‘Good’ rating for safety. It was also awarded the Top Safety Pick+ by the same organization, for models with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights.
Hyundai has ensured the Elantra has an abundance of safety features as standard across all of its trims, this includes but is not limited too:
- Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS) and Hillstart Assist Control (HAC)
- Advanced dual front airbags (SRS) with Occupant Classification System (OCS)
- Driver and front passenger side-impact airbags (SRS)
- Side-curtain airbags (SRS) (front and rear passengers)
- Brake Assist
- Anti-theft System integrated with Remote Keyless Entry and Panic
- Crumple Zones and Bodyside reinforcements
- Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection
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What Is the Typical Buyer Demographic for This Model?
Sedans have seen a resurgence among younger ‘Millennial’ buyers in recent years; this is down to their good fuel economy, but also spacious size so the car can be used for both commuting and weekend road trips.
That being said, Elantra owners tend to be 50 years of age with a median annual household income income of $64,318
Below is a table that gives an idea of the buyer demographic of the Elantra compared to the rest of the compact car segement.
|Elantra||Compact Car Segment|
|Average Owner Age||50||48|
|% of Female Owners||48%||45%|
|% of Male Owners||52%||55%|
|% of Owners Identifying as|
|% of Owners that agree their car|
is just for getting them from
place to place
|Median average income||$64,318||$70,279|
|% of owners that agree quality of |
workmanship is a first consideration when
choosing a new vehicle
|% of owners that are willing to pay more |
for a vehicle that is environmentally friendly
Owners say their favorite things about the Elantra are the:
- Exterior styling
- Interior design
- Fuel economy
- Visibility and safety
- Driving dynamics.
Buyers report their least favorite things about the Elantra are:
- The infotainment system
- Storage and space
- The climate control system.
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Hyundai Elantra Theft Numbers
The Elantra featured as the no. 6 most stolen vehicle for the 2018 model year with 775 units driven off, and the 2017 model year made the number 4 spot with 929 vehicles stolen, according to data collected from the NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau).
One of the main contributing factors behind such high thefts is the popularity of the vehicle and the sheer numbers of the vehicle that are produced and sold.
Simply put, more targets mean more potential to get stolen.
To help prevent your car from vehicle theft we advise:
- Keeping the vehicle locked at all times
- Do not keep valuables on display where thieves can see them
- Invest in a steering lock and car key signal blocking wallet
- Researching anti-theft technology
- Never leave your vehicle running unattended
Below is a chart from the NHTSA displaying the number of vehicles stolen between 1992-2014
|Year||Number of Vehicles Stolen|