Editors at TheCarConnection.com find that the 2009 Hyundai Elantra offers plenty of fabulous safety features, but it’s hard to overlook lackluster side-impact ratings for this small car.
Front, side, and curtain airbags are standard across the 2009 Hyundai Elantra lineup. MotherProof points out, "I want to note that there are six standard airbags in the Elantra, including side-curtain airbags for the back seat. Standard! I love it!" Also standard are anti-lock brakes and active head restraints; stability control and brake assist are standard on the SE for the new model year as well. The Washington Post concurs that the safety features available on the Hyundai Elantra "include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags."
With all that safety equipment, the 2009 Hyundai Elantra gets barely acceptable results. The Elantra sedan earns an "acceptable" rating for rear impact from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but just "marginal" in side impact. It also gets a mid-pack four stars for side impact in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests. The 2009 Hyundai Elantra does, however, garner top scores in frontal impact from both tests.
MotherProof also points out "three car seats will not fit in the back seat ... so take note of the fact that while the Elantra has the most interior space in its class, it's still not a school bus."
One issue is cited by Kelley Blue Book, which reports "visibility is slightly hampered aft and to right rear." Mother Proof concurs on this aspect of the 2009 Hyundai Elantra. The reviewer notes, "the back shelf comes up so high it's difficult to see out the rear window. It would seem odd to wish for a backup camera in a small budget car, but I do with the Elantra."