The Rental Car Review : 2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS

I've been driving a 2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS for the past five days and here's my take on it.

(Full disclaimer : Hyundai wanted me to drive a 3 years old Elantra so bad that my GTI went nuts and I had to rent one. Not cool Volkswagen.)


Yeah, it was so cold that my GTI threw itself in limp mode and I had it towed to VW. Turns out the throttle body went out, the brake booster too and the crankshaft boot was broken, all of which were replaced under warranty. I had to go to the other side of town where's the only rental place that will rent underage is located. They gave me a 09 Focus SES coupe but the battery was dead so they changed it for the Elantra. It wasn't a good day.

The model was a silver GLS, with Bluetooth, sunroof, 16 inch wheels and it had a huge 57000 miles on the clock.

Exterior (4/10) : It's a pretty car but it's around since 2010 and there are TONS on the road. They need to redesign it ASAP, Corollas, Focuses and Civics are all prettier. The GLS trim helps the car but it is still pretty generic. There's no sport livery or trim and that could help.


Interior (6/10) : The interior held up very very well for a 57k miles rental car. Plastics are cheap, but they do not wear easily. The leather steering wheel was nice for a 22000$ car. In fact, the whole interior was really nice. HVAC controls are confusing though. There are two knobs to control the temperature and the fan speed and it takes some time to figure which one does what. Blue lighting at night can be tiring but can be dimmed. Oh, and you have heated rear seats ! WUT ?! Finally, Dad said seats were firm (no lumbar adjustment) and that it was a "f*$#*ing Korean car" but Dad is old.


Acceleration (5/10) : The little 1.8 L 4-cyl struggles to bring the car up to speed. It's not that bad but it's not that good. It's not a small car and it needs more than 148 HP.

Braking (6/10) : Nothing to say against breaking, it did pretty well.

Ride (7/10) : The Elantra gives a pretty good ride. Not much road noise up to speed (70 MPH) and no squeaks and rattles. Good job Hyundai.


Handling (4/10) : Steering felt vague and you're not getting any feedback. That was expected. But I drove it back to school (100+ miles) in a snowstorm (first picture) and it did very well.

Gearbox (5/10) : The gearbox is very average. The only reason i'm not giving it a 3 or 4 is because it's a 6-speed and not a CVT. It's geared for fuel economy and it shows. Gear changes are rough, and it always goes back in 4 when you resume the cruise control (at 65 MPH). BTW fuel economy was 30 MPG combined.


Audio (4/10) : I'm going to say upfront that the engine does not sound nice. Why ? It's just like that. I don't know if you guys ever heard a Hyundai Accent starting, but the noise is awful, sounds like a lawnmower and the Elantra does it too. The audio system sounds pretty meh but there is Bluetooth audio. It was the first time I used this and I have to stay it worked well. One thing that drove me nuts was the Bluetooth connection that always get lost when you go from accesory mode to ON.

Toys (5/10) : Those heated rear seats are a pretty nice toy IMO. Other than that, it's pretty average. I'd say the Focus offers more toys and they came out the same year.


Value (8/10) : This is where it gets interesting. You can get a 2012 GLS with 15000 miles for 13k. Thats 40% depreciation. Its crazy. You're getting a sunroof, alloy wheels, bluetooth, front and rear heated seats and a 5 year warranty for 13k. Think about it. It sucks for people who bought it new, but 22-24k for this car new is honest.

Total (53/100) : Bottom line I think it's a good car. Its not innovative in any way but it does the job well. You get pretty good equipment and I would recommend to everyone who wants an Accent to upgrade to one of these. It's better in every aspect and worth the price difference.


Don't get me wrong, it's no enthusiast car but I'm not going to bitch on a good car. If you're looking for a commuter car or something for your kid or your wife, buy this pre-owned and you'll get bang for your buck !

(You can follow me on Instagram to see orange car pictures and car related stuff, it's @theorangecarguy. Sorry for the crappy pictures, I was afraid people would judge me if they see me taking pictures of a rental silver Elantra. Just kidding.)

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