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January 2, 2018

Review: 2018 Hyundai Elantra 2.0 GLS

It’s painful to see what Hyundai has done with the Elantra. From a world-beating compact sedan that had the Japanese almost beat down pat, it’s now good as gone; plummeting into obscurity just as quickly as it rose to fame. It’s the automotive equivalent of being a K-Pop one-hit wonder. It was classy, sexy, and original. Now, it’s simply overpriced, unoriginal, and sadly, uninteresting.

Honestly, it’s not all bad. If you loved the previous Elantra, you’ll surely love this new one for sure. It’s still refined, comfortable, and capacious; but then again, just about any new compact car is. Adding to its problem is the fact that Hyundai didn’t seem set their sights far enough with this one. It’s as if the designers and engineers had some metrics to fulfill and they did so. Barely.

Take the design, for example. Hyundai has got their entire Fluidic Sculpture at work here from the angled lines, hexagonal grille, and slim headlights—they all work to give it a well-proportioned and pleasantly modern look, but it’s also far too close to the previous model. It’s too much of a déjà vu. The problem continues when start sticking your nose into the details too. Those 17-inch rims sure look yummy, but the halogen headlights and taillights sure don’t.

The same problem confronts you as step inside. While it doesn’t stray far from Hyundai’s cabin playbook (which equates to it being comfortable, modern, and well-wearing), but start poking around and there are expanses of hard plastics scattered throughout. It also occurs to you that this P 1.1-million car lacks leather seats. It’s a shame because the Elantra’s made some steady progress in other areas such as the nice, crisp controls and buttons and clear, legible gauges. It could have been a high-quality product, but instead, it ended up as being simply run-of-the-mill.

Equally concerning is the Elantra’s lack of safety gear. While its dual SRS airbags, anti-lock brakes, and rear parking sensors with camera would have merited a perfect score in the early 2010s, it’s 2018 and that makes it a crime. There are no side-impact or curtain airbags and no stability control. Oh, and have a gander at the back seat and you’ll see just two adjustable headrests and a two-point lap belt for the middle occupant.

It’s certainly hard to get over the Elantra’s lack of features, but at least it makes you forget (sort of) with its refined, comfy driving character. It does away with any sporting pretentions, so instead this range-topping GLS model makes for a quiet and sensible cruiser. The 152 horsepower and 192 Nm of torque outputs are average, and that’s how it pretty much behaves on the road. Compared to its lesser GL sibling though, it’s far better. Plus, it actually achieves better fuel economy: 8.33 km/L or a 7 percent improvement over the 1.6-liter variant at similar speeds.

Just like its powertrain, the rest of the car is tuned for sensible motoring. Not only does it offer impressive NVH levels, but drive through a pothole deliberately, and it’ll absorb it well. It’s smooth without the ungainly float. It’s best experienced during long straights and sweeping bends, but if you do push it a bit, it remains stable with some amount of roll built in. It’s only when you hit quick transitions that the beam axle suspension shows its rather low limits.

As quiet, refined, and sensible as the 2018 Hyundai Elantra is, it’s hard to get excited over it. On one hand, there are noticeable improvements to its ride, handling, and some degree, style, but on the other, it also sticks far too close to the original formula while also skimping on safety, luxury, and convenience specifications. In the end, the improvements that this generation offers is far too marginal compared to what the previous model has offered. The Elantra almost beat the Japanese at their own game some years back, but this time, it’s actually the Elantra that’s fighting for relevance in a crowded compact sedan marketplace.

2018 Hyundai Elantra 2.0 GLS
Ownership 2018 Hyundai Elantra 2.0 GLS
Year Introduced 2016
Vehicle Classification Compact Sedan
The Basics
Body Type 4-door sedan
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.0
Aspiration Normally Aspirated
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 152 @ 6,200
Nm @ rpm 192 @ 4,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 6 AT
Cruise Control No
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 8.33 km/L @ 13 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,570
Width (mm) 1,800
Height (mm) 1,450
Wheelbase (mm) 2,700
Curb Weight (kg) 1,352
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Struts
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires Hankook Ventus Prime 2 225/45 R 17 W (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control No
Parking Sensors Yes, with Rear Camera
Other Safety Features No
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control Automatic, with Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes


  1. You nailed it to the head Uly! HARI needs to up its game and not further water down its offerings!

  2. Bakit ung Kia at Hyundai kahit ung mga top of the line models ng mga sasakyan nila napaka liit nung touchscreen sa center console? Kung base model okay lang pero for top of the line hindi acceptable.

  3. Sir Uly you should have evaluated the car at its effective selling price of P1M. Maybe its expensive at P1.15M but Hyundai dealers give out 150k discount. The only thing you can but with that money is a base Mazda3 with the 1.5 engine or the mid-level Altis with a 1.6 engine

    1. I was thinking of doing that, but it wouldn’t be fair to people who might have bought an Elantra at full price before. Besides these discounts are usually limited time offers. Maybe a new model (refresh) is coming.

    2. Most people read reviews to guide purchase decisions and might be fooled by your review that it costs 1.1m when in fact its below 1m now. Afaik last year pa yung discount nila and bago pa naman yung model for a mew one

    3. People still wouldn't buy this even if HARI will price it down to 1M. There are far more better choices out there, let's say the TOTL Honda City with all the bells and whistles. Heck, even the low end and mid variant Altis is better than this.

    4. Some people are just brand loyal or the bells and whistles. When I buy a car I look at the engine since you can't upgrade the engine and this has 150+hp and nearly 200 torque. Y

    5. It’s going to be hard to keep track of all these discounts going on. If Hyundai made it the official price then that would be possible. It’s no point pricing a car at P 1.15M and then selling it off at P 1M. I’m sure someone didn’t ask for any discounts any got a GLS—that would be sad.

    6. 1M and you’re concerned about engine performance? Get the ford focus ecoboost then, 180hp and 240Nm of torque at that price.

    7. Its obvious and official since I've seen that ad since early 2017 in your own website which screams up to 150k discount on Hyundai cars. You just have to browse your own website. I guess instead of decreasing prices due to the Korean free trade they must have offered discount instead.

    8. Price reduction and offering discounts are two different things. The fact it says "up to 150,000" means if the dealer is unscrupulous enough they may offer you less discount or none at all.

    9. Why are people whining that the comparison is unfair? Because Hyundai is giving a discount? If all they can do is offer a discount all year round, then that makes Hyundai a cheat.

      Bring down the official price then reviewers will compare vs other cars on the official price bracket.

      Hyundai should honestly just let go of its "premium" pretensions. No, a car with a 5-inch screen isn't premium. My dick is longer than that.

    10. Just barely longer than that. Sino ba sabi premium yan? Its a budget car but with a better than average engine. Review said its overpriced but what better car can you get at less than 1m?

    11. It’s not just overpriced. It’s underspeced as well.

    12. Agreed. This pathetic excuse of a compact car has nothing better to offer versus its competitors. Anyone who defends this piece of crap is a diehard fanboy who chooses to be blind rather than face reality.

  4. Im expecting the same market reaction to upcoming all new accent. The exrerior design is really a step backward and interior retained that plastic feel.

  5. No thanks. A Corolla Altis G please. Lesser price, way better value.

    1. Altis is good choice but Pricey and its best for city driving with its 1.6 engine and too light steering

  6. A better Korean alternate to this is the Kia Forte sedan which is 193k cheaper.


    It's official until the end of Jan 2018 150k discount even for 2.0 GL model.

  8. Yung reviewer lang ata hindi alam na me discount anh hyundai years ago pa

  9. Hyundai shills: It's discounted therefore it is not overpriced!

    lol then why is nobody still buying?

  10. What I'd like to know is the steering feel and feedback? How does it fare compared to the Altis and Sylphy? I know we can't compare it to the Mazda 3, Civic, and Focus... But I'd just like to know.


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