Hyundai Elantra Years to Avoid: Best and worst years

If you’re considering a Hyundai Elantra for your next vehicle purchase, knowing the best and worst years is essential to make an informed decision. The Elantra is praised for its reliability and fuel efficiency, but some model years have faced significant issues.

This blog post’ll dive into the top-rated Elantra models known for their performance, dependability, and value while steering clear of those pesky problem-plagued years that are best left avoided.

Key Takeaways

  • The best years to buy a Hyundai Elantra are from 2019 onwards, 2004 – 2006, 2015, 2016 and 1998 due to their reliability, fuel efficiency and advanced safety features.
  • Car buyers should avoid the worst years of Hyundai Elantra models which are identified as the 2017 Elantra along with those produced between

2010-12 and in year 2013.

  • Reliable Hyundai Elantra models depend on various factors such as design updates, manufacturing defects or recalls, customer reviews and complaints,

driving conditions and maintenance.

  • It is important to research the specifications, features and past recalls or issues before buying a used Hyundai Elantra. Test drive it and have a professional inspection done by an expert mechanic to ensure it meets your specific needs within your budget.

Best And Worst Years For Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra has had its share of good and bad years, with some models proving to be more reliable than others.

Best Years To Buy: 2019 Onwards, 2004-2006, 2015, 2016, And 1998

Car lovers in search of a reliable and fuel-efficient compact sedan should keep an eye out for these standout Hyundai Elantra years:

  • 2019 onwardsImproved design and technology make these models highly sought after, featuring advanced safety features, stylish exteriors, and better fuel efficiency to maximize your driving experience.
  • 2004-2006: These years are known for their reliability and good value for money; they offer a comfortable ride with minimal reported issues.
  • 2015: This model year is considered one of the best due to its impressive mileageuser-friendly infotainment system, and good stereo setup. However, it’s essential to be cautious of engine problems that some owners encountered during this period.
  • 2016: Another reliable option, the 2016 Elantra boasts an attractive design, excellent handling capabilities, and updated safety features. As with the 2015 model year, buyers should remain vigilant about potential engine issues.
  • 1998: Though an older model year, the ’98 Elantra stands out due to its overall dependability and performance. Its simple design may lack modern amenities but delivers on durability and low maintenance costs.

By focusing on these top Hyundai Elantra years for purchase, car enthusiasts can drive away feeling confident in their choice while enjoying a quality vehicle that fits their preferences.

Worst Years To Avoid: 2017, 2010-2012, And 2013

Car lovers should be aware of the Hyundai Elantra years that are best to avoid when considering a purchase. The worst years for this model include:

  • 2017: This model year faced issues like brake problemsengine failure, and malfunctioning cruise control.
  • 2010: Plagued by significant engine problems, the 2010 Elantra is considered a bad year for this compact car.
  • 2011 and 2012 Hyundai Elantra: These model years were known for their engine and transmission issues, resulting in poor reliability ratings.
  • 2013: Identified by CarComplaints as the worst model year for the 2013 Hyundai Elantra, this version faced problems such as engine failure, electrical faults, and malfunctioning safety features.

It’s essential to research these problematic years and opt for more reliable Hyundai Elantra models like those from 2019 onwards or those produced between 2004-2006 or in 1998.

Factors That Affect The Quality And Reliability Of Hyundai Elantra Models

Various factors, including design updates, manufacturing defects, customer reviews, driving conditions, and maintenance influence Hyundai Elantra models’ quality and reliability.

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Design Changes And Updates

Throughout the years, Hyundai has made numerous design changes and updates to the Elantra models to enhance performance, safety, and aesthetic appeal. These alterations have significantly determined this popular compact sedan’s best and worst years.

Similarly, from 2019 Hyundai Elantra received even more significant design overhauls such as modernized body lines, bolder angles, and advanced technology like SmartSense safety features.

The inclusion of these improvements transformed these recent models into some of the best Elantras available today in terms of reliability and overall satisfaction among car enthusiasts.

Conversely, some model years faced issues like engine problems or electrical faults as observed during 2011-2015 – attributed mainly to certain design decisions that didn’t pan out well for those particular generations.

Manufacturing Defects And Recalls

Hyundai has had its fair share of manufacturing defects and recalls, which have affected some Elantra models. One example is the 2011-2016 Hyundai Elantras that were recalled for engine problems, including faulty bearings that could cause the engine to seize and stall while driving.

Another example is the 2017 Hyundai Elantra, where more than 150,000 units were recalled due to brake light issues.

It’s important to research any past recalls or known issues before buying a used Hyundai Elantra. With proper maintenance and care, these cars can be reliable and affordable options for many car lovers.

Customer Reviews And Complaints

The opinions of Elantra owners are a valuable source of information when considering buying one. Fortunately, there are many online reviews and forums where you can find honest feedback from fellow drivers.

Many common complaints revolve around transmission issuesengine problemsbrake failures, and electrical malfunctions.

These issues are mostly associated with model years 2012 to 2014 and 2016 to 2021. Still, some users also report good experiences with their vehicles – praising the fuel efficiency of newer models or the quality of safety features on older ones.

Driving Conditions And Maintenance

How you drive and maintain your Hyundai Elantra can significantly affect its performance and lifespan. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, is crucial to keeping your car running smoothly.

Extreme driving conditions, such as harsh weather or heavy traffic, can also take a toll on your vehicle.

For example, the 2011-2015 model years of the Hyundai Elantra have been known for significant engine problems that may be exacerbated by poor maintenance practices. Additionally, transmission issues have plagued several model years of the Elantra due to various reasons like driving in extreme heat or failing to change fluid regularly.

It is important to understand how driving habits impact your car’s reliability and make sure you care properly for it based on those impacts.

Tips For Choosing The Right Hyundai Elantra Model

Determine your needs and budget to narrow down your options when selecting a Hyundai Elantra model, research specifications and features for each one that meets your criteria, check for past recalls or issues, test drive the vehicle, and have it inspected by a professional.

Determine Your Needs And Budget

Choosing the right Hyundai Elantra model requires careful consideration of your specific needs and budget. Before making a purchase, take some time to identify what features are most important to you and how much you can afford to spend.

For example, if fuel efficiency is a top priority, consider models from 2015 onwards that offer impressive mileage ratings. On the other hand, if safety is paramount, look for newer models with updated technology and enhanced crash test scores.

Research The Specifications And Features

Before purchasing a Hyundai Elantra, it’s essential to research the specifications and features. This will help you determine which model suits your needs best.

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For example, if you prioritize fuel efficiency and safety features in your car-buying decision making process – then look for 2019 onwards models of Hyundai Elantra as they offer high mpg (miles per gallon) ratings while providing advanced safety technologies like Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system with Pedestrian Detection (FCA-Ped), Blind-Spot Collision Warning with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (BCW-RCTA), High Beam Assist (HBA), etc. Knowing what specs are important to you can help narrow down your search for the perfect Hyundai Elantra model.

Check For Past Recalls Or Issues

Before buying a Hyundai Elantra, it’s crucial to research past recalls or issues. This will help you avoid buying a car with known defects that could be expensive to fix later on.

For instance, model years 2012, 2013, and 2014 have reported electrical faults, while the 2015-16 models had engine problems.

To check for past recalls or issues with any used Elantra you’re considering purchasing, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website or

Test Drive And Have A Professional Inspection

Before purchasing a Hyundai Elantra, it is crucial to take it for a test drive and have a professional inspection performed. By doing this, you can get firsthand experience of how the car handles on the road and identify any potential issues that may not be apparent at first glance.

Additionally, having a professional inspection done by a trusted mechanic can provide you with an expert opinion on the condition of the vehicle’s mechanical systems and overall safety.

They can check for any signs of previous accidents or damage that may have been hidden from view and ensure all essential components are in good working order.

Making An Informed Decision

To make an informed decision when purchasing a Hyundai Elantra, research the model years and their reported problems, determine your budget and needs, test drive the vehicle, and choose a reliable dealership or seller.

Learn About Common Problems With Hyundai Elantra

It is important to be aware of the common problems with Hyundai Elantra before making a purchase. Some of the most reported issues include engine failuretransmission problems, and brake malfunction.

For instance, the 2013 model year has some serious engine faults that have resulted in class-action lawsuits and negative reviews from consumers. In addition, several model years like 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2020 and 2021 have been linked to electrical faults while other models between 2011-15 have faced repeated complaints about their engines.

With this knowledge in hand and by checking for recalls or issues on used cars before purchasing it can save potential headaches down the road and help make an informed decision when choosing a reliable Hyundai Elantra.

Identify Safe Years To Buy Used

If you’re in the market for a used Hyundai Elantra, it’s important to know which model years are considered safe and reliable. The best years to buy used include 2019 onwards, 2004-2006, 2015, 2016, and 1998.

These models have better mileage, good stereo systems and fewer reported problems than other years. On the other hand, the worst years for buying a used Hyundai Elantra include 2010-2014 due to significant engine and transmission problems.

When choosing a used Elantra model year that is right for you, consider your budget and needs. Look for newer models with less reported issues such as those after the mid-2000s or more recent “best” model year suggestions from experts or sources like

Compare The Elantra With Its Competitors

When searching for the perfect compact sedan, it’s crucial to compare the Hyundai Elantra with its top competitors. The following table highlights key differences among the Elantra, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Mazda 3.

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Make and ModelFuel Efficiency (City/Highway MPG)Starting PriceHorsepowerStandard Safety Features
Hyundai Elantra33/43$19,650147Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning
Honda Civic30/38$21,700158Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, Adaptive Cruise Control
Toyota Corolla30/38$20,025139Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Mazda 328/36$20,650155Smart Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning, Lane-keep Assist, High Beam Control, Driver Attention Alert

As the table indicates, the Hyundai Elantra offers competitive fuel efficiency, pricing, and safety features when compared to its rivals. However, it’s essential to consider factors like past problems, reliability, and consumer ratings when making a decision.

Review Consumer Scores For The Best Elantra Years

It’s always essential to read consumer reviews before making a big purchase, and buying a car is no exception. When searching for the best Hyundai Elantra model years, it’s important to take into account what other drivers have experienced with their cars.

According to expert reviewers and customer ratings, some of the best Elantra years include 2019 onwards, 2004-2006, 2015, 2016, and 1998 due to better reliability scores and high customer satisfaction rates.

These models are known for their impressive fuel efficiencymodern features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility options also got positive feedback from the users on various online forums.

Choose A Reliable Dealership Or Seller

Choosing a reputable dealership or seller is crucial when purchasing a Hyundai Elantra. Look for dealerships that have been in business for several years and have positive reviews from previous customers.

If you opt to buy from a private seller, take extra care to ensure they provide all relevant information about the car, including its maintenance record and accident history.

Remember that buying from a trusted source can save you significant expenses on repairs later on.


In conclusion, choosing the right Hyundai Elantra model year can greatly impact your driving experience. You can ensure reliability, fuel efficiency, and safety by avoiding the worst years and opting for the best ones.

Always do thorough research before buying a used Elantra to avoid any potential issues. With proper maintenance and care, your Hyundai Elantra can last for many years to come, providing you with an enjoyable driving experience at an affordable price point.


1. Which model years of the Hyundai Elantra are considered the best?

The 2017 and 2018 Hyundai Elantra are generally considered to be among the best in terms of reliability, safety features, and overall value for their price range.

2. What makes some model years of the Hyundai Elantra better than others?

Overall improvements to engine performance, fuel efficiency, interior design, safety technology and other factors contribute to making certain model years stand out as superior choices.

3. Are there any particular Hyundai Elantra model years with recurring issues?

Some earlier models from around 2007-2010 have been known for having issues with transmission failure or brake problems.

4. Should I consider buying a used Hyundai Elantra?

Buying a used car can be an excellent option if you’re looking to save money on your purchase; however it’s important to do thorough research before committing to any vehicle purchase – particularly with older models that may require costly repairs more frequently.. Consider hiring an independent mechanic or getting a detailed inspection report done before purchasing so you can make an informed decision based on all available information about its history & current condition.

Common Questions and Issues for Elantra

Q: What are the best years for Hyundai Elantra?A: The best Hyundai Elantra years are 2013, 2018, and 2019. These years had good gas mileage, reliable engines, and received high safety ratings.
Q: What are the worst years for Hyundai Elantra?A: The worst Hyundai Elantra years are 2012 and 2017. These years had several engine problems and transmission issues reported by many customers.
Q: Are Hyundai Elantras reliable cars?A: Yes, the Hyundai Elantra is known for being a reliable car. It received high ratings for dependability and longevity over the years.
Q: What are some common problems with Hyundai Elantras?A: Some common problems reported with Hyundai Elantras include engine and transmission issues, as well as problems with power steering and electrical systems.
Q: What are some safety features of the Hyundai Elantra?A: The Hyundai Elantra comes with a range of safety features, including blind-spot detection, rearview camera, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
Q: Is the Hyundai Elantra a compact car?A: Yes, the Hyundai Elantra is classified as a compact car. It is popular for its fuel-efficient engine and spacious interior.
Q: What is the model year of the first Hyundai Elantra?A: The first Hyundai Elantra was introduced in 1998.
Q: What are the different generations of the Hyundai Elantra?A: The Hyundai Elantra has gone through several generations. The first generation was produced between 1990-1995, the second generation from 1996-2000, the third from 2001-2006, the fourth from 2007-2010, the fifth from 2011-2016, and the current sixth generation from 2017-present.
Q: Is the Hyundai Elantra a good car to buy pre-owned?A: Yes, the Hyundai Elantra is considered a good car to buy pre-owned. However, it is important to check the vehicle history report and have a thorough inspection conducted by a certified mechanic before making a purchase.
Q: Which are the best model years for a pre-owned Hyundai Elantra?A: Some of the best model years for a pre-owned Hyundai Elantra are 2015 and 2016. These years had the best combination of reliability, fuel efficiency, and price, making them a great deal for budget-conscious buyers.
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