What should I look for in a used Hyundai Elantra hatchback?
The Elantra tends to appeal to those who take good care of their cars, so tracking down a meticulously maintained, immaculate car shouldn't be too hard. If the car's in merely average nick, keep looking.
The Elantra is very dependable, with no widely reported common faults. Even so, insist on a full service history and watch out for signs of abuse.
Too many knocks against the kerb can put the wheels out of alignment, so avoid cars with uneven tyre wear and those that don't drive straight.
Watch out, too, for cabin damage caused by a careless family. Check the air-con blows cold - it's potentially expensive to fix if it doesn't.
On low-mileage cars, ensure the engine runs smoothly and is free from knocking noises. Chances are, such a car will have done most of its running on a cold engine, when most damage occurs. Likewise, the exhaust and brakes will have had a harder life on low-mileage town cars, and you may well need to budget on replacing them.