2008 Hyundai Elantra vs. Its Competition

2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The 2008 Hyundai Elantra stands out in its class, pragmatically, with a roomier interior, a more settled ride, and better drivability than most of the cars in its segment, but many of its rivals have it beat for personality or sportiness.

The Civic, Spectra, and Mazda3 all feel sportier on the road, with more responsive handling and a better feel of the road, but each of those models arguably has more road noise inside and a ride that isn't quite as smooth.

The new-for-2008 Ford Focus is a close competitor, with a softer, smoother ride and a quieter interior than in years past, along with a refined powertrain, but the Focus's interior just isn't as spacious.

The Elantra's 14.2-cubic-foot trunk capacity also beats Civic and Corolla.

The Corolla has long been the segment benchmark, but the current (outgoing) model is especially conservative; to its credit, the Corolla gets especially good fuel economy.

The Elantra's long warranty is only matched by the Kia; Hyundai's warranty--five years or 60,000 miles comprehensive and 10 years or 100,000 miles on the powertrain--gives it a distinct advantage to buyers who want to keep the Elantra for a long time with no financial fuss.

2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS2008 Hyundai Elantra
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2009 Toyota Corolla 2009 Toyota Corolla
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2008 Ford Focus 4-door Sedan SE Angular Rear Exterior View2008 Ford Focus
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2008 Kia Spectra 4-door Sedan Auto EX Open Doors2008 Kia Spectra
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2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Sport *Ltd Avail*2008 Mazda MAZDA3
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Quick Specs
The 2008 Hyundai Elantra doesn’t have a lot of personality, but it’s the undeniable practical choice.
The 2009 Toyota Corolla has a split personality: the utilitarian base car and the slightly edgy, expensive Corolla XRS.
The 2008 Ford Focus isn’t all new, but it is an improvement, and a solid choice if you’re looking for a roomy car that handles well with a base price that starts around $15,000.
The 2008 Kia Spectra is still a lot of car for the money, but with it’s a bit outclassed by a host of more refined and updated small-car models.
The 2008 Mazda 3 is easily one of the best compact cars for sale in the United States.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
24 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan Manual GLS4-Door Sedan Manual (SE)2-Door Coupe S4-Door Sedan Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport *Ltd Avail*
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan2 Door Coupe4dr Sdn4 Door Sedan
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2008 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2009 Toyota Corolla2008 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2008 Ford Focus2008 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2008 Kia Spectra2008 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2008 Mazda MAZDA3