2008 Hyundai Elantra SE 4-door Sedan (725)

This week we’re looking at the 2008 Hyundai Elantra SE 4-door Sedan. Now that’s what I’m talking about Richard. I know you liked this one and everyone appreciates the fuel economy numbers. Good job Hyundai.

General Info:

Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Korea 97%,

Assembly – Ulsan, Korea.

Class:  – Compact

Cars: – Accent, Azera, Elantra, Entourage, Genesis, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tiburon, Tucson and Veracruz.


Many in the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita and the Newhall Pass must travel CA 14 highway and the I5 to get almost anywhere in Los Angeles. And when there are problems on the highway we all have phones but we can’t call anyone to find out the latest information on road closures and related emergency situations. This was most noticeable October 13, 2008 with the mountain fires that closed the 118 and 210 highways.

But there is something you can do. If you tried to call the CHP or Cal Trans you would not have got the information you needed. 800 427 7623 is the road conditions number of Cal Trans. 323-982-4900 is the CHP Non-emergency Dispatch number. I suggest you put all of these numbers into your cell phone and be prepared. The Website for DOT is www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi and you can enter the highway number and get road conditions as well.

Officer Porter of the CHP Traffic Management Center advises they are available 24/7 at 323-259-2010. Naturally they would likely get overloaded if everyone had known this number. However, if there is a great need and the phones do get overloaded you would expect they would be smarter than the problem and direct you to a broadcast station to tune into to get that information or have a minute to minute update of the information vital to all those who use our highways.

And don’t be shy. We pay dearly for the CHP, Cal Trans / DOT (Department of Transportation).

Handling & Performance:

You won’t be breaking any records at the drag races but this 2 liter 138 horsepower engine is geared well and it handled the mountain Crest Test effortlessly.


Basic in design but at this price point you gotta appreciate what they can do with a limited budget. The important thing to remember is that the South Korean labor market makes production of a great commuter possible for the money.

Fit and Finish:

Good in class.


Well priced.

Features and Conveniences:

I think you’ll agree there are a lot of great functional features for a car in the price range which is not unusual for Korean cars.

Consumer Recommendation:

Resource – www.safercar.gov

I just finished testing the Chevrolet Cobalt and I’d look at that one for sure in this class. I’ve had good experience with the Toyota Corolla as well. But there are so many good cars in this category that you’ll have your work cut out for you to find the best one for your need. Price alone the Elantra is hard to beat but I’d look at the Cobalt, Saturn Ion and Focus in that order. Good luck.

Recognized Competition:

Hyundai Elantra $14-17,000, Saturn Ion $12-20,000, Subaru Impreza $17-35,000, Nissan Sentra $16-20,000, Suzuki Forenza $14-15,000, Toyota Corolla $15-20,000, Chevrolet Cobalt $15-23,000, Scion tC $17,000, VW Jetta $17-24,000, Kia Spectra $13-16,000, Pontiac G5 $16-20,000, Ford Focus $15-15,000, Mitsubishi Lancer $14-26,000, Mazda 3 $14-21,000, Dodge Caliber $16-24,000, Honda Civic Hyrbid $24-27,000, Honda Civic $15-25,000.

Good News:

Good pricing and fuel economy with decent roomy trunk and rear seat.

Bad News:

Light weight.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 138 hp Inline 4-cylinder engine, 4-speed auto trans, traction control, tire pressure monitoring, anti lock brake system, Electronic Stability control, front, side and side curtain airbags, 4-wheel independent suspension, 16” alloy wheels, tilt and telescopic steering column, air conditioning, power windows, locks & heated mirrors, remote keyless entry with alarm, audio with CD/ MP3 and 6 speakers, XM radio w/ 3 months included, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, trip computer, cruise control and fog lights.

Gas Stats:

$3.39/ Gal avg. October 14, ‘08


for more information.

25 City and 33 Highway MPG

www.safercar.gov  or    888-327-4236


MSRP $17,325.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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