Fresh off a redesign last year, the 2008 Hyundai Elantra receives few changes. Hyundai has come a long way over the years, and its compact front-wheel-drive sedan has beefed up its list of standard features while keeping its price low to appeal to budget drivers. But economy doesn't come at the price of safety and value, and the 2008 Elantra earns four- and five-star crash ratings and comes with Hyundai's highly attractive 10-year/100,000-mile warranty. This Elantra if the better-equipped SE and it carries a 2.0-liter, 138-hp inline-four engine with a 4-speed automatic transmission and stability control.
The SE features ABS brakes, a tire monitor, six airbags (including side curtain for both rows), full power features, and remote entry. If you want air-conditioning, a CD player, leather trim, and cruise control, opt for this SE sedan, which also comes with traction control and larger 17-inch tires. Rear seats split-fold 60/40, expanding an already impressive 14-cubic-foot trunk. The 2008 Elantra is actually longer, higher, and more spacious inside than the Civic, and its updated two-tone interior helps mitigate the economy-car factor.
The Elantra's 24/33 mpg rating is decent and the Elantra's big selling points are its price tag and warranty. Its improved handling since the 2007 makeover and standard safety features are good considerations for families wanting to feel secure without breaking the bank.
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