2010 Hyundai Elantra

Change year or vehicle
$2,708 — $10,784 USED Shop local deals
SAVE
Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
Compare
Back to top

Key Specs

of the 2010 Hyundai Elantra. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    29-30 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    138-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Interior amenities
  • Value for the money
  • Safety features
  • Front-seat roominess
  • Trunk size
  • Warranty

The Bad

  • Engine noise
  • Highway comfort
  • Uninspired styling
  • Highway acceleration
  • Some basic features not standard
  • So-so mpg with hatchback

Notable Features of the 2010 Hyundai Elantra

  • Sport-tuned Elantra Touring hatchback
  • Manual or automatic
  • Six airbags and ABS standard
  • iPod-compatible stereo

2010 Hyundai Elantra Road Test

David Thomas
There are a lot of new compact cars on the market these days, including the Kia Forte and redesigned Mazda3. Others, like the Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra, are aging gracefully.


The Elantra is one of the least expensive compacts out there, especially with the seemingly nonstop incentives available on this model. Now, for the first time, the company is offering a bare-bones model, dubbed Elantra Blue, that also gets the best mileage of the lineup: 35 mpg on the highway.


It's an alluring concept for cost-conscious shoppers, but because of the Blue's sparse features and the cost of adding just a few essentials, shoppers should take a close look at the real value of such a proposition.

Performance
There is absolutely nothing exciting about driving a Hyundai Elantra. It has ho-hum handling and no personality, and acceleration is rationed tighter than food on "The Biggest Loser." Of course, it doesn't do anything badly, either. In fact, the driving experience is completely predictable, unlike the somewhat inconsistent Forte and the numb Toyota Corolla.


The five-speed manual transmission in my Elantra Blue tester was easy to shift, with a light clutch. I commuted in heavy traffic and my left leg never got tired.


The ride was relatively soft, with acceptable road and wind noise for this class. The seats are comfortable on long drives, too. Basically, this is the type of car a person buys to commute in, and the Elantra is very good at it.


Mileage for a standard E...

There are a lot of new compact cars on the market these days, including the Kia Forte and redesigned Mazda3. Others, like the Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra, are aging gracefully.


The Elantra is one of the least expensive compacts out there, especially with the seemingly nonstop incentives available on this model. Now, for the first time, the company is offering a bare-bones model, dubbed Elantra Blue, that also gets the best mileage of the lineup: 35 mpg on the highway.


It's an alluring concept for cost-conscious shoppers, but because of the Blue's sparse features and the cost of adding just a few essentials, shoppers should take a close look at the real value of such a proposition.

Performance
There is absolutely nothing exciting about driving a Hyundai Elantra. It has ho-hum handling and no personality, and acceleration is rationed tighter than food on "The Biggest Loser." Of course, it doesn't do anything badly, either. In fact, the driving experience is completely predictable, unlike the somewhat inconsistent Forte and the numb Toyota Corolla.


The five-speed manual transmission in my Elantra Blue tester was easy to shift, with a light clutch. I commuted in heavy traffic and my left leg never got tired.


The ride was relatively soft, with acceptable road and wind noise for this class. The seats are comfortable on long drives, too. Basically, this is the type of car a person buys to commute in, and the Elantra is very good at it.


Mileage for a standard Elantra GLS with a manual transmission is 25/34 mpg city/highway, while models with an automatic transmission do better, at 26/34 mpg. Those numbers are up 1 mpg in all categories versus the 2009 model. The Elantra Blue is rated 26/35 mpg.


I averaged 25 mpg during my week with the Elantra Blue. I generally average close to cars' city mileage estimate during my test drives, so that seemingly low number isn't unusual.


I did get the chance to drive in some significant snow and ice here in Chicago, and the Elantra did a fair job tackling it. I usually recommend all-wheel drive to folks who can afford it and live in a place like Chicago, but the Elantra shows that even an inexpensive front-wheel-drive car can handle slick roads when driven properly.


Stability control and traction control are standard on the top-of-the-line Elantra SE, but they're absent on the Blue. I was more worried the car would be equipped with low-rolling-resistance tires, which are made for efficiency and might impact grip in the snow. Hyundai squeezed that single extra highway mpg from the engine, though, so standard 15-inch tires got me through the slush with plenty of grip — thankfully.

Value & Features
All Elantras come with a comfortable interior with few frills and lots of room, plus a large trunk for the class (14.2 cubic feet). The dash has a simple layout, with materials that are on par, quality-wise, with most of the competition, though they're a step or two behind the best, like the Civic. The seats are supportive, visibility is good and you don't feel cramped inside. That's about all you can ask of an inexpensive compact.


But how inexpensive is it really?


The Elantra Blue starts at $14,145, with standard features like power windows and locks, plus power, heated side mirrors and remote entry. But there's no air conditioning or stereo, and it comes in just four colors: gray, silver, black and blue. There's only one option package, the $1,700 Comfort Package, which adds things like air conditioning, a stereo and cruise control. My test car had that package and a Bluetooth system, bringing the total MSRP, including the destination charge, to $17,020.


That's not exactly the cheap car that's advertised. Kia's all-new Forte sedan, comparably equipped, is $15,890 after destination, and it's a more advanced car. And get this: It's also available with a $1,000 cash-back offer in most areas through May 3, 2010. Its slight mileage disadvantage — 25/34 mpg versus the Blue's 26/35 — likely won't outweigh its lower price compared with the Elantra Blue.


Move up to the Elantra GLS at $16,895, and you get an automatic transmission and everything in the Blue's comfort package as standard equipment. Equipped identically to my Blue tester with Bluetooth, the MSRP would be $18,070, including destination. As of this writing, there was also a $1,500 cash-back offer on all Elantras.


There's also an SE trim level that adds 16-inch wheels, steering-wheel audio controls, stability control, traction control and a sport-tuned suspension. It starts at $17,845 before destination, and it also has a $1,500 cash-back offer (all valid through April 30).

Safety
The Elantra now receives the top ranking, Good, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in both frontal and side crash tests. It rates Acceptable, the second-best score, in rear tests. Hyundai altered the structure of the doors, so side crash-test scores improved. The Elantra comes with six airbags, including seat-mounted side airbags for the front seats. Safety equipment like stability control and traction control aren't offered on the lowest trim levels, though they're standard on the SE.

Elantra in the Market
While the Elantra is as solid as cars come in the compact segment, it's not going to wow anyone — nor does it best the new Kia Forte in terms of price or safety features. You'd have to find the right trim level and equipment, the right rebate and perhaps even the right salesman to get the green light on this practical purchase.

Send David an email 



Latest 2010 Elantra Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(3.9)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(4.0)
Comfort
(3.9)
Reliability
(4.3)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Most reliable car I?ve owned!

by MarqM from Hemet, Ca on August 27, 2018

This car is great! It gets great gas mileage. Myself and my 3 boys gets around just great. From football to tae kwon doe, this car delivers. Read full review

(4.0)

I'VE HAD THIS CAR 8 YEARS.

by Keda from NewJeresy on August 15, 2018

I brought this car in 2010 brand new, now it's 2018 I am looking to trade in to get the 2018 Elantra (Hopefully).This car over all has done good, still after 8 years. Very reliable and performance is ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2010 Hyundai Elantra currently has 2 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2010 Hyundai Elantra Blue

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
acceptable
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
acceptable
Structure/safety cage
acceptable
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Hyundai
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    120 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Newer than 5 model years/less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    5 years/60,000 miles (from remainder of original)

  • Powertrain warranty

    10 years/100,000 miles and 10 years/100,000 miles for hybrid/electric vechicle batteries.

  • Dealer Certification Required

    150-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

Change Year or Vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Elantra received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker