According to research by Edmunds.com, the $19,711 average transaction price of the 2012 Hyundai Elantra is besting that of its chief rivals, the Toyota Corolla by $1,500 and the new Honda Civic by $500. The great big cherry on top of that sundae for Hyundai? Elantra sales were up more than 40 percent last year.

The sales success of the Elantra wasn't much of a surprise even before the car went on sale, the transaction-price story is an eye-opener. We don't have a breakdown on model mix, but a base Elantra with a six-speed manual is $17,220 and the Limited is $21,320 (both prices include $725 destination). The Elantra's small-money options, like an iPod connector, match those of the competition, and even its three upmarket packages, two for the GLS and one for the Limited, contain features mostly available on the Corolla or Civic.

Point being, the Elantra doesn't have a single killer app to explain its position. But all of its touches – one extra gear on the manual, two extra on the automatic, its newness and its design, its competitive gas mileage and its rearview camera that can't be had on the competition, for instance, appear to be the cause. There's also the fact that dealers don't have to put much (if anything) on the hood since the factory still can't make enough of them to satisfy demand.

Nor is this only a tale of the Elantra; the Sonata has narrowed its average transaction price to within $900 of both Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. And according to Hyundai CEO John Krafcik, we aren't anywhere near the end of the company's aspirations: "We're in the middle of a very long journey." Indeed, even new Elantra itself hasn't reached top speed yet – a new Coupe and five-door GT are on the way to round out the family for 2013.


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  • 134 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        ndcart
        • 2 Years Ago
        Care to expand on that, rather than just throwing out general accusations? Curious, how is the warranty meaningless, and what were the quality issues?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ndcart
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ndcart
          [blocked]
          ndcart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ndcart
          Did I say I owned one or was a fan? I'm an automotive junkie, and work in the industry. Nothing wrong with that. Your reply speaks volumes about the type of person you are.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ndcart
          [blocked]
        Monkaroo
        • 2 Years Ago
        Your comment is just plain dumb. You'll find a disgruntled owner with every car made. I heard of Honda's with bad brakes or transmissions issues etc. So saying her car was bad because it was a Hyundai doesn't make any sense. A co-worker has a 2009 4-cyl Accord and complains about how bad the gas mileage is. BTW. I had the first car Hyundai every engineered. It was a brand new 1993 Hyundai Turbo Scoupe with Hyundai's Alpha engine. I drove that car 118,000 miles. Only had to change the turbo hose around 100K. It's all relative. http://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/pictures/VEHICLE/1993/Hyundai/3977/1993.hyundai.scoupe.5262-E.jpg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Monkaroo
          [blocked]
        Whatamooseiam
        • 2 Years Ago
        I own/owned 3 Hyundais and warranty NEVER required any such proof of service that you mentioned. And they've held better than my previous Civic and Eclipse. I'd gladly put my Sonata against anything you have in your garage. That's how much confidence I have in Hyundai's reliability. Please...I'd could say the same crap about Honda and Mitsubishi with the experience I had with them. Doesn't mean I'll generalize them as crap based on anecdotal evidence. Look at the facts, look at the studies, look at the surveys. The reliability of Hyundai in general is sound.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Whatamooseiam
          [blocked]
          BKdroid
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Whatamooseiam
          Same boat. I had a Tiburon as well (probably same generation as Shawn). I owned it for 5yrs and never once had an issue. Not a single one. And it's not like I was easy on the thing. I was young, reckless, and learned as I went doing upgrades to it. I guess he got a lemon
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        desinerd1
        • 2 Years Ago
        oh, and same Consumer Reports ranked Elantra at top of it's class and also removed Civic from the recommended status: http://www.autoblog.com/2011/08/01/honda-civic-loses-recommended-rating-from-consumer-reports/
        Justin Campanale
        • 2 Years Ago
        Great job. This is the EXACT same thing you posted under your "Mitchell" login. Except when you posted it under that name, someone pointed out to you that the Accent had a +5. So now you cleverly deleted the Accent from your list so that you could troll Hyundai even harder. Seriously, INVISIBLEBLOG (yes we know it's you), why do you even try. Your comments on this forum are not considered intelligent discussion. Nobody takes you seriously except for the worst Honda fanboys like yourself, Rant Master, and s2k.
        Lucid
        • 2 Years Ago
        Popular mechanics got 47.6 MPG highway on the Elanra. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/fuel-economy/mileage-moment-of-truth-we-put-40-mpg-claims-to-the-test-6651300 Thanks for trolling.
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        Whatamooseiam
        • 2 Years Ago
        So the only one that happened to beat the Elantra is a hybrid that also starts at $24k... and you're saying Elantra owners are "paying more at the pump too" because....???
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Whatamooseiam
          [blocked]
          Justin Campanale
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Whatamooseiam
          meant g2k. AP1_S2K appears to be a role model for Honda fans, on the other hand. He gives Honda credit when nessecary, but isn't afraid to offer constructive criticism.
          Whatamooseiam
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Whatamooseiam
          @Mary Keana YOU are the one that needs reading comprehension. The only one that BEAT the Elantra is the hybrid. Read my post again. Heck, read it 1,000 times over until YOU understand basic English. Also, why don't YOU go to ConsumerReports and read up on how the Elantra has gotten the Top Pick award for small cars (over Civic, Corolla, Focus, etc...) since 2008. I love how one or two people actually spend so much time creating fake accounts just to down-vote me. Either they need a life outside of trolling or they're getting paid just to spread crappy rumors about a company instead of actually trying to BUILD BETTER CARS!
        Monkaroo
        • 2 Years Ago
        Well their sales are really showing that people don't really care about not getting 1 or 2 mpg less than quoted. Seriously think most people are not going to buy a car if it gets 38 mpg instead of 40 mpg on the sticker? It's all about how you drive. Second have you looked at the engine size and HP ratings on those civics? Also why list hybrid cars. I think people forget that the 1.8 in the Elantra is not direct-injected. Imagine if they add that tech to the car in the next year. I think the first year was about keeping cost down.
          suthrn2nr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Monkaroo
          imagine if they add super-hydrogen, all-electric, sun powered turbines in the year after next. I think next year is also about keeping costs down. \s
        ernie.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Where's the Elantra?
      desinerd1
      • 2 Years Ago
      What's NOT included on a base Civic: - Air Conditioning - Any kind of audio system - Central locking - Remote keyfob - Cruise control - Map lights - Floor mats - Dignity
        • 2 Years Ago
        @desinerd1
        [blocked]
          Justin Campanale
          • 2 Years Ago
          Invisibleblog/ ______I______/Austin, don't forget what you can't get on the Civic at any price. An interior that is worth a damn.
          desinerd1
          • 2 Years Ago
          most car buyers in this segment don't know or give a damn about independent rear suspension.
        Someone
        • 2 Years Ago
        @desinerd1
        Good, realistic comment. We should boycott autoblog for this kind of mediocre article, they only want traffic and laughing at us. Pathetic being unable to write a complete article explaining things like what you just posted
        Someone
        • 2 Years Ago
        @desinerd1
        Sorry, this comment was not for you, you obviously don't know much
        AJ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @desinerd1
        The fat hyundai doesn't have anymore dignity regardless of the trim.
      dreadcthulhu01
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not a bad car, but I would take a Focus, Sky-Activ Mazda 3, or Cruze over the Elantra. All four cars are close enough in price/fuel economy/equipment to call it a draw, so the Elantra loses on other factors. Hyundai's current design language is way over-stylized, and is looking bad already. The Cruze has grown-up, conservative looks, the Mazda 3 is much more fun to drive (albeit with the silly smiley face on front), and the Focus looks pretty good, and is also more fun to drive (though not quite as good as the Mazda 3).
      Someone
      • 2 Years Ago
      To be honest, who pays more for a Hyundai is basically unconscious, probably he/she sees and add cheap options making the final price higher. In my case and I believe I'm not the one, I'm so sorry but I would never pay more than half of the equivalent in Toyota or Honda for a Hyundai. I just prefer to avoid problems seen again and again with my family and friend`s hyundai. Rather I choose a Toyota or Honda with problem-free for much longer, simple as that even if someone is there to make you believe misleading ads from hyundai. And if I want options, I wait two more months and I add them to my Toyota or my Honda. Autoblog, mediocre articles all the time, I pity you
      Scott West
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's because it's worth the money... Case in point, I own one.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scott West
        [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scott West
        [blocked]
          Rayvan
          • 2 Years Ago
          My wife's OBGYN called this morning and she said that Papst Beer is normal.
        transam
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scott West
        "Worth the money" You dont know much about cars do you?
      AlphaGnome
      • 2 Years Ago
      Per Hyundai.com, it cost $2,250 to "upgrade" to an automatic transmission!? So what does the competition charge for this luxury? Honda Civic = $800 Toyota Corolla = $830 Mazda 3 = $850 Chevrolet Cruze = $995 Subaru Impreza = $1,000 Ford Focus = $1,095 VW Jetta = $1,100 So what have we learned from this? The average car shopper is an IDIOT!
        Mike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AlphaGnome
        The Civic makes you upgrade to a price point of $18,655 to get an automatic with AIR CONDITIONING and cruise control. Adding auto to a Corolla requires you to take a package that bumps your price up to near $20K at minimum. Corollas also are easily the worst car you listed, so I'm not sure why you even bothered. If you want to get Sky Active and comparable gas mileage in an auto Mazda 3, you're again bumped up to near $20K. The 'ECO' edition with comparable mileage numbers in the Cruze, for an auto, runs you over $21K. The cheapest auto Focus you can get is $200 more than the cheapest Elantra with auto you can get. Comparable. With reasonable features (i.e. air conditioning), a stripped-down automatic Jetta is indeed the cheapest of the bunch at under $18K. Maybe try comparing apples to apples.
          AlphaGnome
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mike
          Perhaps you should actually read... I was comparing apples to apples, or in this case, transmissions to transmissions. I mentioned NOTHING about the content each car comes with standard, just the fact that Hyundai is charging more than double for their transmissions and that is just asinine. As SVX pearlie pointed out below, what Hyundai is doing is sneaky, but effective none the less...
        suthrn2nr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AlphaGnome
        thank you! I greatly appreciate comments with numbers to tell the story. Why would it cost that much more for an auto?
        peter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AlphaGnome
        That price includes other amenities as a package.
          AlphaGnome
          • 2 Years Ago
          @peter
          Wrong! That is JUST the transmision. Go see for yourself...
        AlphaGnome
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AlphaGnome
        Downvoted for providing real numbers for all to see... Tough crowd. Must be a lot of Hyundai supporters around here... Standard content aside, that is A LOT of $$$ to pay to have the car shift for you! Spread out over the life of a 4 year loan, that is just shy of $47 a month! And that's on a 0% interest loan!
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AlphaGnome
          Justin Campanale has about 20 accounts.
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AlphaGnome
          Guys, the person above isn't me, obviously.
          Justin Campanale
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AlphaGnome
          Would you mind enlightening what my multiple accounts are?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Someone
      • 2 Years Ago
      More: If we make any small analysis about production cost we see even better what kind of scam is this. While I pay the just price for a Honda or Toyota, I could pay an overpriced hyundai and not sorry but not. @Mike, are you korean or some member of your family has hyundai and you are unable to face the reality. No problems with hyundai? You just bought it (the member of your family or you are in a permanent denial) * they are so popular... you definitely have not clue of how the market works. There is a difference between what you wrote and `not a proper supply chain, not a proper stock study, etc.`. And sorry but the price doesnt rise according to your "idea" Peace Again, if want to be the scam`s victim, pay for a Hyundai what you pay for a Toyota. You dont even believe what you write if you deny what Im telling. Please be at least objective
        Mike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Someone
        You are the embodiment of trolling, and only serve to prove my point. Thanks for that. 'You wrong, me right!' With a caveman attitude, it's no wonder you can't actually refute my points and have no grasp on economic value. Price absolutely rises with demand. You don't even need Economics 101 for that lesson. They're popping out these things as fast as they can, because they're selling like hot cakes. P.S. Toyota Camry Hybrids were going for $2-4K above MSRP when they first came out because supply could not meet demand.
          Someone
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mike
          Because 'supply couldn't meet demand'. Definitely you know nothing. I'm so sorry for that. About trolling, are you who is 'thumbing your own comments :)'. Well, peace
          ryan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mike
          Someone, wtf are you even talking about.
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      Do some of you seriously not understand supply and demand? Elantras aren't being haggled on right now because dealerships cannot keep them on the lot. They're so popular that there are often not cars on the lot to even test drive. Why would a dealer come down in price on something in such high demand? Talk about Economics 101. Fact: If a redesigned Civic came out and they couldn't keep the things in stock, they would be going for MSRP or over, too. Happens with a lot of new cars - all you have to do is pay attention. I have zero problem with constructive criticism on ANY car, including the Elantra or any Hyundai. Some of you just can't come up with anything better to say so you start throwing around superlatives and displaying total ignorance. Now go ahead and downgrade this post. Carry on.
        Peter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike
        don't try to put sense into "Someone", clearly he's "basically unconscious", clearly he doesn't understand supply and demand, clearly he thinks it is perfectly rational to pay half the equivalent of a toyota or honda for a hyundai.
          Mike
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Peter
          Yeah, feeding trolls is unfortunately my weakness.
      NightFlight
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mary Keana Shawn These are the new screen names of Rant Master ____|____ and whoever this person is. I see that Autoblog deleted a ton of his comments from the Genesis Coupe first drive, I am hoping they do the same here. Mary Keana even copied and pasted something that ____|____ said in the Veloster article.
      transam
      • 2 Years Ago
      I never though the Elantra was worth $1500 less than the major competitors, and I am blown away that people spend that much more, proving my point that people actually think this car is superior to many of its competitors when it simply is not. I always attributed Hyundai's recent sales sucess to low pricing, well now I guess people just know very little when it comes to car buying. The Cruze, Focus, Mazda3, Civic, Corolla, Jetta, Impreza, are all better cars than the Elantra.
        regionrat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @transam
        Saying the Civic and the Corolla are better than the Elantra proves what your screen name also does -- that you're living 15 years in the past, maaaan. I think it's hysterical how many people will spin anything. Hyundai now has the highest owner retention of any mainstream auto manufacturer, but oh yeah, they're clearly selling crap that no one likes.
          Jimmy Joe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @regionrat
          True, Hyundia has to guarantee the trade-in value if you return it to them. Otherwise the poor owners are stuck with a car they can't trade or sell on the open market.
          Jason Allen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @regionrat
          Customer retention is maybe the key to Hyundai's overwhelming success. +1
        TruthHertz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @transam
        The Cruze and Focus require special packages to get 40 mpg and popular mechanics could only muster 34 mpg out of the Focus (at only 70 mph) while the Hyundai pulled out 39 mpg. The Civic is a warm over that is so crappy that Honda is already refreshing it after the first year. The Corolla is a joke at this point. Major redesign in the cards. Hasn't changed since 2008. Jetta is probably the worst car in the segment. Impreza isn't anywhere close to the highly touted 40 mpg club.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TruthHertz
          [blocked]
          suthrn2nr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TruthHertz
          hahaha, yea, the wonderful 40mpg that hyundais DO NOT get: http://www.fuelly.com/car/hyundai/elantra http://www.fuelly.com/car/hyundai/veloster But the CR-Z and 2012 civic seem to get much closer to: http://www.fuelly.com/car/honda/civic http://www.fuelly.com/car/honda/cr-z
          dreadcthulhu01
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TruthHertz
          Well, in CR's 65 mph test, they got 43 mpg out of the Focus, and 39 mpg from the Elantra. And on fueleconomy.gov both Cruze and Focus owners report getting better fuel economy than the Elantra. Honestly, the 3 cars are close enough that things like tire choice or wind speed will end up determining which gets the better mileage. I agree with your comments on the the Civic, Corolla, and Jetta, though the Dodge Caliber gives it a good fight for the worst compact car in America. But the Impreza isn't that far off from the Elantra fuel economy-wise - 27/36/30 mpg for the Impreza vs 29/40/33 mpg for the Elantra isn't huge; if you drive 15,000 miles in a way similar to EPA combined test cycle, the Elantra will save you ~$160 at current US gas prices. And yeah, the only reason not to get a Sky-Activ Mazda 3 if you are shopping in this segment is if you don't like the smiley face. Thankfully Mazda seems to realize that people don't like it that much, and will be phasing it out as they update vehicles (see the new CX-5). Some other auto makers could learn from them (Acura, cough cough, Lincoln).
        Justin Campanale
        • 2 Years Ago
        @transam
        Sorry, but the Elantra is a much better car than quite a few of the cars you listed, including the Corolla, Civic, and Jetta. It's obvious you've never driven one. I myself would tie it with the Cruze and Impreza for 3rd place after the 1st Mazda3 and Golf and the 2nd Focus.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          [blocked]
        TruthHertz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @transam
        Oh and lastly, not everyone appreciates the ghastly front end on the Mazda...
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