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Shopping for a used car can often feel like a hassle. That’s because you have to consider many factors, such as how well the car has been maintained, how many people have owned it, and whether it has unreported accidents. But some used cars are more reliable than others. And according to U.S. News, the 2009 Hyundai Elantra should be on your wish list.

Which used cars made the cut?

U.S. News ranked the top 30 used vehicles under $5,000. For once, Toyota didn’t dominate the list. Many automakers that appear most are actually defunct, such as Mercury and Scion.

Kia boasts the most cars on the list, with the 2007 Rondo, 2009 Optima, 2009 Sedona, and 2007 Sportage. Mercury, Ford, and Mazda all tied for second place with three vehicles each. 

Hyundai has two vehicles on U.S. News‘ list. One is the 2009 Accent, and the other is the 2009 Elantra.

Why does the 2009 Hyundai Elantra stand out?

The 2009 Hyundai Elantra isn’t the flashiest vehicle on the list. It doesn’t have the body of a sports car, it can’t fly down the highway at high speeds, and it isn’t filled with luxurious infotainment features. But the 2009 Hyundai Elantra boasts a record for reliability.

U.S. News gave it an overall score of 8.5 out of 10. Though the Elantra’s exterior isn’t imposing, it’s far from ugly. It’s available as a sedan or hatchback called the Elantra Touring. It comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission as standard, but a four-speed automatic was optional. 

In addition, the interior is spacious and comfortable. The large trunk is roomy enough for gear, groceries, or luggage.

The 2009 Hyundai Elantra is also well known for its longevity. Of course, it’s best to get a CarFax before buying a used vehicle, but Elantras typically pass the test. With a price of $3,423, it’s more than worth the money.

Would the 2009 Hyundai Elantra make a good first car for a teen?

First cars are a big deal. Everyone remembers their first vehicle. It might bring back fond memories or make you wince, but it’s something you never forget. 

With that said, what teens want and what they need aren’t always the same. Sure, they might want a Lamborghini, but it’s not in the budget. On the other hand, a Hyundai Elantra is affordable and reliable. 

Though many parents aren’t sure if they want to bother teaching their teenagers to drive a stick shift, it’s not a bad skill to have. However, if you want your child to learn, a 2009 Elantra is a great practice vehicle.  

The 2009 Hyundai Elantra doesn’t boast fancy looks, speed, or new tech that teens crave, but that’s not exactly what they need for a first vehicle. Once they learn more about driving safely, looking for another vehicle might be suitable. But for a first car, a 2009 Elantra is hard to pass up.


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