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2003 Hyundai Elantra GLS review
OWNER RATING 7.4 /10
  • Body is rust-resistant; Protective body strips; Excellent motor and transmission; Roadholding; Hatch
  • Lack of safety features; Lacks modern camera options
PRICE N/A
ANCAP RATING N/A

by Mark Tunstall

 

I purchased my Elantra second-hand in 2015, and it had two previous owners.

My car had additional extras from the previous owner including a new CD radio, tinted windows and tow bar. The most impressive aspect of this car is that it is entirely free of any rust and the paintwork is still high in lustre and blemish free. The interior is as good as new; the only parts that have broken are the vanity mirror falling out of the sunvisor and the digital clock failing. The door handles and locks have never failed.

This vehicle is extremely versatile, and carries four passengers in comfort. The rear seat folds flat for taking luggage and the hatch makes for easy access. The hatch is so useful for carrying cargo that I would only ever consider buying hatches. The seats are firm and provide good support and adjustment. Some people may find them too hard, and I sometimes use a cushion for extra lumbar support.

This car has protective strips along the side that protect the doors from annoying carpark dents and scratches – a feature not found on modern cars.

The engine is strong and reliable. It can tow a trailer up hills without straining and has enough power to easily overtake on the highway. The build quality of Hyundais is excellent. I have owned over 25 cars in my life, both imported and locally built. I was highly impressed with Hyundai and will only buy cars now from this maker.

I would highly recommend this car. It is very economical to run, parts are easy to obtain, and it is a reliable no-fuss car. If you are looking for a car with modern features like sat-nav or advanced safety options, this may not be the car for you, but you will have to spend at least 10 grand more. But for the money you will have excellent air-conditioning, power steering, electric windows front and back, and central locking. My car has a four-speed automatic transmission that still performs brilliantly and changes smoothly and reliably.

The roadholding of this car may not be as luxurious as modern cars, but I have found for average driving conditions that it holds the road very well. There are no squeaks or rattles, even though it is now about 15 years old.

If you are looking for a great second car, I recommend you look for a low-mileage example. I think you will find that any purchase with around 100,000km would provide excellent value for money.

I have thought of updating several times, but just don’t want to part with this car. I am waiting for Hyundai to bring out another Elantra with a hatch option!



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HYUNDAI ELANTRA BREAKDOWN

2003 Hyundai Elantra GLS review Review
  • 7.4
  • 8
  • 8.5
  • 5
  • 7.5
  • 8
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