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2011 Hyundai Elantra Review

MPG-o-Matic 2011 Hyundai Elantra Review Summary:
The 2011 Hyundai Elantra is the value play in a crowded category, from its 100,000 mile powertrain warranty through a range of features not commonly found in most compact cars. With 40 miles per gallon (MPG) highway the new norm for the class, it takes more than just mileage to compete in the segment.



The 2011 Hyundai Elantra is equipped with a 1.8-liter four cylinder engine producing 145 horsepower (HP) and 130 foot pounds of torque in PZEV form and 148 HP / 131 foot pounds in ULEV form. The Elantra’s DOHC D-CVVT (Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing) inline four can be mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Unlike the Sonata, the Elantra’s I4 is not fitted with Hyundai’s gasoline direct injection (GDI) system.


The official fuel economy estimates for the 2011 Elantra are 29 city / 40 highway MPG with either the automatic or manual transmission.

We traveled more than 450 miles in our automatic-equipped Radiant Silver Elantra Limited PZEV review unit and hit the official mileage estimates, scoring an average of 40.5 MPG on the Interstate highway and 36.4 MPG combined in summer weather, with temperatures ranging from the seventies through the low-nineties.

This represents a significant gain over prior model year Elantra’s gas mileage ratings.

Interstate highway testing temperatures were in the high-seventies. Our test vehicle was equipped with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels (standard on the Elantra Limited) and P215/45HR17 tires, and was delivered with just under 8300 miles on the odometer. The Elantra GLS is fitted with either 15-inch steel wheels/wheel covers or 16-inch steel and alloy wheels, clad with P195/65TR15 or P205/55HR16 tires, respectively.

Interstate Mileage Testing:

  • Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 39.9 MPG
  • Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 41.2 MPG

What the Elantra gains in fuel-efficiency, it gives up in off-the-line performance. We found the 2011 automatic-equipped 1.8-liter Elantra to be approximately two seconds slower than the 2009 manual-equipped 2.0-liter Elantra Touring.

The 2011 Elantra’s curb weight runs between 2,661 and 2,820 lbs. for the manual and 2,701 and 2,877 lbs. for the automatic.

The Elantra is designed to run on regular unleaded gasoline. While the 12.8 gallon fuel tank is roughly two-thirds the size of the very generous 18.5 gallon tank in the Sonata, it still provides a good amount of highway driving range.

The four-wheel ABS disc brake system features Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, with 11.0-inch ventilated front and 10.3-inch solid rear discs.

While the center-mounted monochrome trip computer provides two trip meters, driving range, average vehicle speed, elapsed time, and average fuel consumption data, it lacks a real-time fuel economy gauge. This is a notable oversight in a car touted for its 40 MPG highway mileage.

The Elantra is quite stylish, but not exactly sporty to drive. Although the the six-speed automatic includes a slap-stick SHIFTRONIC manual mode, the Elantra is a commuter with little intent to tear up the twisties. The Veloster should fill that roll quite well.

The interior has taken a considerable step up, with the Elantra Limited featuring leather seating surfaces and a six-way adjustable driver’s seat with includes height-adustment. Front seats have two-level heating.

The leather-wrapped steering-wheel puts a range of controls within a thumbs reach.

Our test unit was equipped with the Premium Option Package, which includes:

  • 7-inch touchscreen navigation system
  • 360-watt audio system with XM Satellite Radio, XM NavTraffic, XM Sports and XM NavWeather (free 90-day subscription)
  • Proximity key entry and push-button start
  • Rearview camera

Hands-free Bluetooth is standard in the Limited model and optional in the GLS. The system supports phonebook downloads and iPod support is solid.

There are two twelve-volt outlets: one concealed at the base of the dash above the USB / auxiliary input jack, and one in the front passenger footwell.

The second row seats provide 37.1 inches of headroom and 33.1 inches of leg room. Although headroom is limited for taller folks, passengers in colder climates will surely appreciate the (one-level) heated rear-seats in the Elantra Limited … a feature that’s quite unique within the compact segment.

The Elantra’s trunk is generously sized for a compact sedan, with 14.8 cubic feet of storage. The 60/40 rear seat folds down via trunk-mounted releases.

All-in-all, the 2011 Elantra packs a lot of value in a handsome new design, but the competition is stacked with competent 40 MPG fuel-sippers, from the Chevy Cruze ECO and VW Jetta TDI, through the new Ford Focus and Honda Civic. The Elantra seeks to stand out with a combination of value and features not commonly found in the compact class.

2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited

Parts Content Information
US/Canadian Parts Content: 34%
Major Sources of Foreign Parts Content: Korea – 65%
Final Assembly Point: Montgomery, Alabama
Country of Origin:
Engine – Korea
Transmission – USA

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