The Hyundai Elantra is listed as United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Picks Ten Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles. The Elantra ranked #2 in 2006 and 2007 in the category of most fuel efficient sedans, and also was ranked as the most efficient non-hybrid mid-sized sedan.
Hyundai Elantra SE awarded 2008 Consumer Reports "top pick". Hyundai Elantra SE was among the top 10 vehicles for 2008 unveiled in the magazine's issue. The magazine's annual ratings, based on road tests and predicted safety and reliability are considered highly influential among consumers.
Hyundai Elantra earned Consumer Reports' 'excellent' rating in predicted reliability. Hyundai Elantra SE is Consumer Reports top-ranked 2008 vehicle amongst 19 other compacts and subcompacts (however, the less expensive GLS trim line, without the electronic stability control standard on the SE trim line, and with less sporty tires, was ranked closer to the middle of the group). Beating out such high-quality competitors as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Prius.
Launched in 1991 (1992 in the United States) to compete with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the Elantra (codename J1) received a mid-term facelift in 1993. It was originally designed to replace the Hyundai Excel, but the Excel ended up being sold for four seasons until being replaced by the Accent.
The Elantra was powered by a Mitsubishi-designed 1.6L (1596cc) straight-4 This DOHC 16-valve 1.6L unit produced 113hp (84kW) at 6000 rpm and could push the Elantra to 60mph (97km/h) in 9.5seconds. The quarter-mile (0.4km) run took 17.1seconds and produced 80mph (129km/h). Top speed was 116mph (187km/h). The Elantra got 22mpg[clarification needed](10.7L/100km) in the city cycle. Starting in 1993 there was also a Mitsubishi-designed 1.8L (1836cc) straight-4 engine available the 1.8L unit that produced 124hp (99kW) at 6000 rpm.
Launched in 1995, the second generation (codename J2) was offered as a sedan and station wagon. It was sold in the Korean market as the Avante in sedan form and Avante Touring in station wagon bodystyle.