I've had my Elantra Value Edition for about 6 months/3k miles now. I thought I'd share my impressions of the car thus far:
EXTERIOR: Very handsome. The body has nice curves and fluid lines, and the panel gaps are tight. LED DRLs make the front end really pop. The 16 in graphite colored rims are attractive. At 5.3 in, there isn't much ground clearance.
INTERIOR & SEATS: Quite comfortable. I'm 6'2 and still don't need to move the seat all the way back. The cushioning is a tad on the firm side (I've heard that seats in Korean-built Elantras are firmer than US-made ones for some reason). Ergonomics are good, especially with the telescoping steering wheel that you can set to your comfort. Rear legroom, though, could be better. The headroom is good. Interior fit and finish is good. I haven't noticed any rough edges or misaligned panels. There're some hard touch plastics but they look & feel fine. Front material quality carries over to the rear as well. The glovebox is roomy and damped; center console is medium sized.
HVAC: Hot heat and cold A/C. I've been leaving the climate control @70 AUTO and the system cools down the car quickly. Three-setting heated seats work nicely as well.
NVH: Surprisingly quiet on the road for an economy car. Wind noise on the highway is subdued. The sound deadening is good since I don't hear the engine when sitting at a light. The suspension reminds me of old double wishbone Hondas -- soft enough to take bumps with ease and firm enough to keep things planted on the highway and when cornering. My old '05 Elantra used to easily get thrown around by crosswinds but not this one. I'm not a fan of the cheapo Kumho tires, though. They make an annoying hum on certain road surfaces and sound hollow. I noticed the rear tires came with a lot of balancing weights from the factory.
STEERING & BRAKES: Because of electric steering, the steering feel is very numb. It is very light at low speeds, making parking lot maneuvering easy. It is easy to spin the steering wheel all the way to lock, and when you do, there's an unnerving clunking noise. The SPORT mode tries to artificially firm things but it's still devoid of any real feel. The brakes are excellent. The pedal is nice and firm with little travel distance. I'm used to Hondas and their mushy feeling pedals.
TECHNOLOGY: This is my first new car in five years, so I think I'm overexcited about the features in this car. I really like the BSM & RCTA w/arrows showing the direction of the object. The Smart Trunk is a neat feature when your hands are full with shopping bags. The infotainment system is awesome with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The touchscreen is quick to respond and display quality is crisp. I have the base sound system, which is just okay. Certain music sounds tinny, even after fiddling with the settings. The daytime resolution of the backup camera is fine but it's rather grainy at night (maybe there's pollen covering the lens?). Luckily, the car's small enough to not really have blind spots or visibility issues. This is my first car with push button start, and I'm loving it so far.
POWERTRAIN: I primarily chose the Elantra over the competition because it's one of the last cars left with port fuel injection and a regular A/T. The 2.0L 147 HP engine is just adequate. When you mash on the gas, it sounds noisy and unrefined; definitely not as smooth as other 4-cyl cars I've driven over the years. These Atkinson cycle engines characteristically sound like a diesel when you pop the hood at idle. The 6-speed A/T overall is smooth, but sometimes gets confused when in slow city traffic. Fuel economy is wonderful. I've beaten the EPA highway estimate and crossed 40 MPG several times.
LIGHTING: Nice blue lighting for interior knobs and buttons, with a cool white light for the instrument cluster. The front door handles light up when the proximity key is detected at night. The dome lights are bright, but murky yellow halogens (will upgrade to LEDs soon). The DRLs are bluish-white LEDs, while the headlights are 9005 halogen projectors. Output is just okay; I'm looking into LED upgrades ATM. I haven't used the H7 reflector high beams much.
MAINTENANCE: The listed OCI is 1 yr/7500 miles. QS is the "recommended" oil because of their longtime relationship w/Hyundai. The book says 5w20 & 5w30 are acceptable. I will dump the FF soon and replace it with 5w30 in the hopes it'll maybe quiet down the clicking of the Atkinson cycle engine. To my knowledge, Hyundai doesn't use a special break in oil like Honda does. Drain plug and oil filter have cutouts and are easily accessible. I plan to use syn oil & OEM filters for the life of the car. I thought about running an extended drain filter like FU or M1, but there's so much hullabaloo about Hyundais rattling at startup with non-OEM filters that I don't want to risk it. The spec'd ATF is Hyundai SP-IV and is listed as a "lifetime fluid" LOL. I'm going to change that sucker @30k miles. Like most cars nowadays, there is no ATF dipstick. Coolant is LL and doesn't need to be touched for 10 yrs. Electric PS means no fluid for me to turkey baster out like my other cars. Air and cabin filters are easy to get to as well. Interestingly, Hyundai recommends using a fuel additive every year if you don't exclusively fill up with Top Tier gas. I'll toss a bottle of Techron in every year for good measure anyway. The spark plugs are good for 105k, and are easy to get to, along with the coils & PCV valve. The timing chain should be good for the life of the car.
All-in-all, I am pleased with this little car. It offers a lot of bang for the buck and is a testament to how far Hyundai has come over the years.
Thanks for reading. I hope this helps anybody in the market for an economy car