Compact car; Built in South Korea
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,400*


1992 Hyundai Elantra


1992 Hyundai Elantra interior


1993 Hyundai Elantra


1994 Hyundai Elantra


1995 Hyundai Elantra 4-door sedan

Pros:
  • Control layout
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Visibility
Cons:
  • Noise
  • Radio controls
  • Ride

Overall, Elantra rates no higher than average, but came better equipped than most competitors. Workmanship cannot match that of most rivals, so be sure any Elantra is inspected carefully before you make a purchase.

Overview

Sensing a gap in both size and price between its low-budget subcompact Excel and the up-level compact Sonata, Hyundai launched the Elantra. This high-end subcompact 4-door sedan aimed at the Geo Prizm, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Ford Escort, and Saturn sedan. The front-drive Elantra came in base or fancier GLS trim, with a 113-horsepower, 1.6-liter twin-cam 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual shift. Ordering 4-speed automatic transmission cut output to 105 horsepower.

Yearly Updates

1993 Elantra
A larger, more-powerful engine became available in 1993, on the GLS and all automatic-transmission models. Base cars now wore a black-finished grille, versus a body-color unit for the GLS, which also adopted newly designed wheel covers and a 3-spoke steering wheel. Manual-shift base models stuck with the original 113-horsepower engine, but others got a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that made 124 horsepower.
1994 Elantra
Elantras added a driver-side airbag for 1994, plus optional antilock braking with 4-wheel discs for the GLS. Styling got a freshening, including a reshaped grille, headlamps, front bumpers, and taillights, plus modified interior trim.
1995 Elantra
Awaiting a redesign for 1996, the existing Elantra faced its final season without significant change.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

With 5-speed manual shift, the initial 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine developed 113 horsepower. Ordering an Elantra with a 4-speed automatic transmission cut the engine’s output to 105 horsepower. For 1992, manual-shift base models adopted the 113-horsepower engine, while all others got a 124-horsepower, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/97
Engine HP 105-113
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 102
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
22/29
22/29
dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.8/110
Engine HP 124
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 116
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
21/28
22/29
22.5

Road Test

Early Elantras with the smaller engine exhibit fairly spirited performance with manual shift. But with the automatic transmission, you must use a heavy foot to keep up with traffic. Performance is better with the 1.8-liter engine that debuted for 1993. Though relatively smooth, the 1.6-liter engine isn’t truly quiet. The 1.8-liter engine is smoother but not much quieter. Gas mileage isn’t as great as might be expected. An automatic GLS averaged only 22.5 mpg. Road and wind noise is excessive for a modern small car.

Elantras have a floaty ride. The suspension does not absorb bumps well, and the ride can get rough over broken pavement. Wavy surfaces yield a bouncy and disjointed sensation. Body lean is excessive in sharp directional changes, and the front tires tend to resist turning. Brakes are adequate, if a bit overassisted. The addition of optional antilock braking for 1994 was a sensible move, though ABS was available only on the GLS.

Passenger space is generous for a car in this class. Six-footers can sit comfortably in back, though the seat is too narrow for three adults. Head room is adequate all around. Except for low-mounted radio gauges, controls are well laid out. Visibility is good to all directions. Out back, the large trunk has a low, bumper-height liftover.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Hyundai Elantra GLS auto

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 3
30%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 2
20%
Steering/Handling - 2
20%
Quietness - 2
20%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 3
30%
Room/Comfort Front - 3
30%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 3
30%

Total: 30

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
98.4 172.8 66.1 52.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
11.8 13.7 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.4 37.6 42.6 33.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 Elantra 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 1
20%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 144
Injury 218
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: If the transmission slips or will not go into fourth gear, the end clutch needs to be replaced. (1992-95)
Automatic transmission
Description: The transmission may shift poorly between first and second or develop harsh shifting. It can be corrected by adjusting the kickdown servo. (1992-95)
Brakes
Description: Brake-pedal pulsation is often due to brake-disc-thickness variations. (1992-95)
Engine misfire
Description: In cool weather, the engine may stall or run rough. A replacement computer might fix the problem. (1992)
Hard starting
Description: Hard starting may be due to a cracked in-tank fuel line. (1992-95)
Hard starting
Description: A cold-start repair kit can aid 1.6-liter engines that do not start in temperatures below 10 degrees (F). (1992-94)
Manual transmission
Description: Manual transaxles may grind when attempting to shift into reverse due to a problem with either the reverse idle-gear bushing and reverse shift lever, reverse synchronizer, or a weak wave spring. (1992-94)

Recall History

1994-95
Description: Driver-side airbag warning light could illuminate because of increased electrical resistance; might prevent airbag from activating during a crash.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.