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1996 Hyundai Elantra

  • 1996 Hyundai Elantra Base Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      130/122
    • ENGINE
      1.8L I4
    • MSRP
      $10,899
  • 1996 Hyundai Elantra Base Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      130/122
    • ENGINE
      1.8L I4
    • MSRP
      $10,899
  • 1996 Hyundai Elantra GLS Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      130/122
    • ENGINE
      1.8L I4
    • MSRP
      $12,349
  • 1996 Hyundai Elantra GLS Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      130/122
    • ENGINE
      1.8L I4
    • MSRP
      $12,349
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  • Review

1996 Hyundai Elantra Review

Improved from before but has room to grow.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1996 Hyundai Elantra is a compact car and was first released in South Korea in 1990 as a 1991 model year. It would later make its debut in the North American and European automobile market. It introduces the second generation and therefore comes with a number of drastic changes for both the interior and exterior. The launch of the first generation showed that Hyundai was no longer a second-rate automaker, and this new generation hopes to cement that image.

The Range

Body Styles: sedan, station wagon
Engines: 1.8-liter I-4
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Elantra GLS

What's New

The 1996 Hyundai Elantra is formally a part of the second generation, and it has undergone some significant improvements. It's far more slick and stylish and has side impact protection, dual airbags, and a better engine. The new Elantra’s price has also been hiked, putting it on par with the Honda Civic and Dodge Neon in terms of cost.

Exterior

The 1996 Hyundai Elantra is bigger than the first generation and also has a more rounded styling, especially at the rear end. The wheelbase is 100.4 inches as the sedan has a length of 174 inches, while the wagon has a length of 175.2 inches. The width of both body styles is 66.9 inches, and the height is 54.9 inches.

Interior

The 1996 Hyundai Elantra gives the driver good visibility in all directions with a spacious interior and generous headroom and legroom up front. However, tall passengers would find themselves more cramped inside. Space in the back is strictly adequate with just enough legroom and headroom for two adults of medium stature. Add a third person or put two tall passengers inside, and the rear seat loses much of its appeal. Trunk space at the back is also just about passable, but the trunk lid opens up to a very limited angle and makes loading and unloading large items difficult. Nevertheless, the rear seatback on the GLS can be folded down to give a good boost to cargo space. Cargo space for the station wagon is significantly larger, even more so when the rear seatback is folded down completely flat.

Performance & Handling

The 1996 Hyundai Elantra is powered by a 1.8-liter straight-four engine that delivers 130 horsepower. Combined with a five-speed manual transmission as standard, a four-speed automatic is also available as an option. The new engine is significantly better than the previous version in terms of performance and refinement. It's quieter and more competent on the road even at highway speeds. However, the engine tends to get rather loud when it's throttled hard. Stability is great on the highway but less so on other roads. The steering is a little loose, but handling is great.

Safety

The 1996 Hyundai Elantra scored a mediocre three out of five stars in terms of passenger and driver safety during the frontal impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.

EPA Fuel Economy

Hyundai Elantra: 21/29 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Considerably refined performance
  • Good fuel economy
  • Adequate passenger space

You Won't Like

  • Small trunk opening
  • Noisy engine when pushed hard

Sum Up

Improved from before but has room to grow.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Civic
  • Dodge Neon
  • Ford Escort
  • Eagle Summit

See the New 2015 Elantra.

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