Comfort and Quality » 8
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
cloth seats are comfortable, with substantial cushions and ample support
generous amount of space
more trunk space than many cars in this class
The 2008 Hyundai Elantra has a generously sized interior with rich-for-the-price materials.
Seating in front is amply proportioned and comfortable, and there's enough headroom and legroom in back for two--or, in a pinch, three--normal-size adults, which is unusual among small sedans. By the numbers, with 97.9 cubic feet of passenger room and 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space, it has the most interior volume for a sedan in its class.
Cars.com reports the Elantra’s "cloth seats are comfortable, with substantial cushions and ample back support"; however, this year's Hyundai Elantra loses a point because "lumbar adjustment for the driver's seat is not available." Leg- and headroom are adequate due to this car's bigger cabin (5 to 10 percent larger than those of the competition, according to the manufacturer), but "unfortunately, none of that extra room goes in back...the seats are high enough off the ground that legroom is bearable, but headroom is tight."
On the other hand, Kelley Blue Book found that space was adequate all around: "the roominess, headroom and rear-seat legroom are welcome in a car of this size... Elantra can comfortably and safely pack in a family of five and its cargo." ConsumerGuide notes "adequate headroom and legroom, though taller occupants may want more room...wide ranging seat and steering wheel adjustments [that] enhance driver comfort," but contradicts some other reviews, stating that the "...[back row has] adult-size room." Edmunds also sides with ConsumerGuide, reporting that adults will "appreciate the Elantra's generous amount of space provided by the generous head, shoulder, hip and legroom found in both the front and rear seats."
Storage is generous for a vehicle in this 2008 Hyundai's class: ConsumerGuide reports "more trunk space than many cars in this class," but notes "the slim opening and sickle-type trunk lid hinges compromise utility." According to Cars.com, the "seatback folds in a 60/40 split, exposing a small opening to the trunk," which measures 14.2 cubic feet--"more than nearly all the Elantra's major competitors." Edmunds also notes "plenty of cubbies."
Edmunds is less complimentary about the Elantra’s "likable interior," which "is otherwise let down by a few low-grade interior plastics." While acknowledging that "top-quality plastics and other materials are utilized throughout," they are "betrayed by some cheap plastics here and there, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel (on the SE trim), [which is] prone to making your hands feel a bit clammy." ConsumerGuide, on the other hand, appreciates the interior overall: "plush cloth upholstery, attractive plastics, and many soft-touch surfaces belie [the 2008 Hyundai] Elantra's pricing. So does the classy blue dashboard lighting."
Cars.com suggests, "Beyond some cheap door panels and a rubbery steering wheel, there was little to suggest the [Hyundai] Elantra as tested cost less than $16,000...the dash is trimmed in soft-touch materials, the buttons feel high-quality and the ceiling has an upscale woven texture."
This year's Hyundai Elantra isn't the quietest car on the road; Cars.com reports "wheels and suspension provide little in the way of sound deadening, so there's plenty of road noise at highway speeds." ConsumerGuide counters by saying that the "engine is a bit noisy at high rpm but is never unpleasant," while noting "some wind rush...evident around the exterior mirrors," but concluding that "road and tire noise are impressively low for the class."
The 2008 Hyundai Elantra has generous interior and storage space, though wind and engine noise detract from the high-quality feel.