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If you don’t want to get stuck driving a lemon, it’s important to consider maintenance costs when buying your next car. Hyundai makes several attractive models, including the economical Elantra sedan. However, another Hyundai car has even lower maintenance costs

What are the maintenance requirements for the average Hyundai vehicle?

RepairPal data shows drivers pay only about $468 annually to maintain and repair most Hyundai models. There’s only a 10% chance that any of those repairs will be major, and most Hyundai cars have fewer than one unexpected repair per year. 

From the 2000 model year and later, faulty parking lights have been a common annoyance on Hyundai vehicles. Drivers might also have to replace the cabin fuse box after 107,000 miles. Both of those repairs typically cost less than $200 each.

The Scoupe has the lowest annual maintenance costs among Hyundai models

1994 Hyundai Scoupe maintenance costs
1994 Hyundai Scoupe | Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai marketed the Scoupe as “Korea’s first sports car” and manufactured it from 1988 to 1995. After the automaker introduced its Alpha engine in the ’90s, the Scoupe was optimized to make at least 90 hp. The Scoupe LS Turbo boasted a Lotus-tuned suspension and 115 hp.

Some Kelley Blue Book users say this car is fun to drive, especially with modifications. Used turbo-equipped models cost less than $3,000 on average, and the car’s yearly maintenance costs likely won’t exceed $283.

RepairPal says the Scoupe’s most expensive repair is a clutch replacement, starting at $1,251. This problem typically occurs after 270,000 miles, though owners have noticed water leaking into the trunk at only 20,000 miles. Fortunately, a little extra sealing usually resolves that issue. Some drivers have also experienced hard starting, which can be fixed during a routine inspection.

How much does an Elantra cost to maintain?

Like the Hyundai Scoupe, the Elantra is known for its pleasant ride quality. However, new Elantra models pack much more power than their ’90s counterparts. The base engine has 147 hp on tap, while the N-Line trim has a 201-hp turbo-four. 

This compact sedan has an annual maintenance cost of $452 and has very few severe problems reported on RepairPal. The speed sensors in the transmission can go bad around 100,000 miles, but replacing them costs under $100. And the car might not start if its crankshaft sensor fails; however, this can be fixed for free under recall. 

Hyundai also made a coupe version of the Elantra for two model years, but it’s more expensive to maintain at $497 annually. Some of its repairs are expensive, such as an exhaust muffler replacement for nearly $900. And owners have paid at least $1,188 to have the clutch replaced.

From 2017 to 2020, the company produced the Elantra GT hatchback. At $397 per year, it’s cheaper to maintain than the average Hyundai vehicle. In the likely event that its speakers die, a hard reset usually gets them working again. 

Hyundai recently debuted the Elantra N for the 2022 model year, so RepairPal has no average annual repair data yet. It packs a 276-hp turbo-four, sometimes less reliable than a standard four-cylinder engine. This model also has larger brake rotors, which are more expensive to replace. 

However, because Hyundai vehicles are typically dependable, most repairs are few and far between. If you want a cheap used car with lower maintenance costs, consider a well-maintained Hyundai Scoupe. Late-model Elantras are naturally pricier, but their long-term ownership costs remain low.