Are Hyundais Good Cars?

Hyundai is a popular brand with high rankings for reliability and safety.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In the past,
Hyundai
was considered an unreliable brand—but the automaker has come a long way over the past two decades, and its modern vehicles offer impressive reliability and excellent safety scores.
While Hyundai might not be as immediately recognizable as brands like
Toyota
or
Honda
, the Korean carmaker continues to make headway into the American market with a selection of good-looking, affordable cars. While some Hyundai models are better than others, cars like the Accent, Elantra, and Kona are all solid picks.
Thinking about buying a Hyundai? Here with everything you need to know about some of the most affordable cars on the market is the
car insurance
expert,
Jerry
. In this guide, we’ll go over Hyundai’s most popular models and how they stack up to the competition. We'll even show you the easiest way to lower your
Hyundai insurance cost.

Are Hyundais good cars? 

Founded in 1967 by Chung Ju-Yung, the Hyundai Motor Company began selling cars in the United States in 1986 with the Hyundai Excel. The Excel was an instant hit, selling 168,882 vehicles in its first year. It also earned the title of “Best Product #10” by Fortune Magazine that year. 
Hyundai cars were initially well-received—mostly because of how inexpensive they were—but it soon became apparent that the cars were unreliable, and sales began to plummet. In response, Hyundai invested heavily in research and development and soon began producing higher-quality cars. 
By 2004 the brand’s reputation had started to improve, and by 2012 the
Hyundai Elantra
had been named North American Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show.
Today, Hyundai ranks as the fifth-largest automaker in the world and is known for selling high-quality cars at affordable prices. Here’s how Hyundai models stack up with leading automotive press sources Edmunds and Car and Driver:
Model
Starting price
Vehicle type
Edmunds.com rating
Car and Driver rating
Accent
$17,690
Sedan
7.2/10
9/10
Elantra
$21,245
Sedan
7.7/10
8.5/10
Elantra N
$33,195
Sedan
8.4/10
9/10
Ioniq
$24,645
Hatchback
7.6/10
8/10
Ioniq 5
$41,195
Hatchback
8.3/10
8.5/10
Kona
$22,545
Subcompact SUV
7.9/10
9/10
Kona Electric
$35,245
Subcompact SUV
8.1/10
8.5/10
Kona N
$35,445
Subcompact SUV
7.9/10
8/10
Nexo
$60,680
SUV
Not rated
6/10
Palisade
$34,845
SUV
8.2/10
9.5/10
Santa Cruz
$25,685
Mid-size pickup
8.1/10
8.5/10
Santa Fe
$28,445
Crossover SUV
7.7/10
8.5/10
Sonata
$25,195
Mid-size sedan
8/10
9/10
Tucson
$26,195
Compact SUV
7.9/10
9/10
Veloster N
$33,545
High-performance hatchback
8.1/10
8.5/10
Venue
$20,245
Crossover SUV
7.4/10
8/10
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Did you know? At the 2022 World Car Awards, Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 was the winner of three titles: Car of the Year, Electric Vehicle of the Year, and World Car Design of the Year.

Are Hyundais reliable?

Hyundai is considered slightly above average when it comes to reliability, earning the #11 spot in the 2022
Consumer Reports
ranking of 28 car brands. While Hyundai is less reliable than brands like Mazda and Toyota, it’s more reliable than Ford, Kia, Audi, and Tesla. Automakers are usually considered reliable if they offer good warranties, use high-quality materials that aren’t costly to replace, and don’t issue a lot of recalls.
Among Hyundai’s most reliable cars are the Accent and the Elantra, with both vehicles earning a score of 4.5 out of 5 from RepairPal.com.
Did you know? Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is one of the best on the market.

Are Hyundais safe?

Hyundai earned
high safety scores
from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2022. In fact, Hyundai earned more top safety awards from the IIHS in 2022 than any other brand. The
Tucson
,
Palisade
, Santa Fe, and Nexo were all given the title of Top Safety Pick+, while the
Elantra
,
Sonata
,
Venue
, and Santa Cruz are Top Safety Picks.
Not only does Hyundai perform well on crash tests, but many models also come with driver-assistance tech to help keep drivers safe on the road. Here are some of the impressive safety features that Hyundai has to offer:
  • The Hyundai SmartSense system detects other cars, pedestrians, or cyclists at the front, rear, or sides of your vehicle. It automatically applies the brakes in the event of an oncoming collision.
  • Lane following and lane-keeping technology use cameras to monitor your position in your lane and provide audio-visual warnings if you start to drift.
  • High beam assist automatically turns your high beams on or off, depending on traffic conditions.
  • Smart cruise control uses radar to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • Highway driving assist uses GPS, highway data, and traffic conditions to help you drive the correct speed.
  • Driver attention warning monitors driving patterns and alerts you if it detects drowsy or distracted driving.
Here’s a rundown of Hyundai’s available safety ratings and recalls in 2022:
Model
NHTSA rating
IIHS rating
Recalls
Accent
4 out of 5
Good w/ poor headlights
0
Elantra
5 out of 5
Good w/ poor headlights
2
Ioniq
Not rated
Good w/ acceptable seatbelts & child restraints
0
Kona
5 out of 5
Good w/ marginal seatbelts & child restraints
0
Nexo
Not rated
Good
0
Palisade
5 out of 5
Good w/ acceptable seatbelts & child restraints
0
Santa Cruz
Not rated
Good w/ acceptable seatbelts & child restraints, poor headlights
1
Santa Fe
5 out of 5
Good w/ acceptable seatbelts & child restraints
2
Sonata
5 out of 5
Good w/ acceptable seatbelts & child restraints
1
Tucson
4 out of 5
Good w/ acceptable seatbelts & child restraints
1
Veloster N
Not rated
Good w/ acceptable seatbelts, child restraints & headlights
0
Venue
4 out of 5
Good w/ acceptable seatbelts, child restraints & headlights
0
MORE: How to find vehicle safety ratings

Are Hyundais expensive to maintain?

According to RepairPal.com, Hyundai owners spend about $468 per year on car repairs. Since the overall average cost of car repairs is $652, owning a Hyundai may cost you less in maintenance expenses than many other car brands. A great way to keep your repair costs down is by following the maintenance schedule included in your owner’s manual.
Did you know? Hyundai includes free factory-scheduled maintenance services like oil and oil filter changes, tire rotations, and multi-point inspections for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles of ownership.
The Hyundai model with the most complaints on CarComplaints.com is the
Sonata
, with 2,261 negative comments. Most of those complaints are due to some major engine problems with the 2011 model year—but don’t let that discourage you from buying one! Modern Sonatas are pretty reliable cars, only earning a total of 9 complaints between 2019 and 2022.

Are Hyundais good on gas?

Hyundai is the automaker with the fourth-lowest tailpipe emissions and highest fuel economy—behind
Tesla
,
Honda
, and
Subaru
—according to a 2021 report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA cites Hyundai’s overall average fuel economy at 29 mpg in their report, but cars like the Accent, Elantra, and Kona can achieve over 30 mpg in 2022.
In addition to gasoline-powered cars, Hyundai offers a selection of hybrid and electric vehicles that reduce both fuel costs and pollution. The Kona Electric, Nexo, and Ioniq 5 are all fully electric, getting over a hundred miles from a single charge. Hybrid trims are available for the Tucson, Elantra,Ioniq, Santa Fe, and Sonata.
Here are the EPA’s 2022 fuel economy ratings for Hyundai models:
Model
City
Highway
Combined
Accent
33mpg
41mpg
36mpg
Elantra
33mpg
43mpg
37mpg
Elantra N
22mpg
31mpg
25mpg
Ioniq
58mpg
60mpg
59mpg
Ioniq 5
132mpg-e
98mpg-e
114mpg-e
Kona
30mpg
35mpg
32mpg
Kona Electric
132mpg-e
108mpg-e
120mpg-e
Kona N
20mpg
27mpg
23mpg
Palisade
19mpg
26mpg
22mpg
Santa Cruz
23mpg
21mpg
27mpg
Santa Fe
25mpg
28mpg
26mpg
Sonata
28mpg
38mpg
32mpg
Tucson
26mpg
33mpg
29mpg
Veloster N
22mpg
28mpg
25mpg
Venue
29mpg
33mpg
31mpg
Predictably, the plug-in Kona Electric and Ioniq 5 are the most environmentally-friendly cars in Hyundai’s 2022 lineup—but models like the Elantra and the Sonata offer great fuel efficiency despite their gasoline engines. Additionally, either car can be upgraded with a hybrid trim to further improve gas mileage. Alternatively, a larger vehicle like the Palisade burns through gas quicker because it requires a more powerful engine.
MORE: How to choose an eco-friendly car

Are Hyundais fun to drive?

Hyundai’s claim to fame is its lineup of low-cost cars with high safety ratings—but for drivers that want something a little more exciting than a daily driver, there’s the
Veloster N
.
Equipped with a turbocharged two-liter, four-cylinder engine with 275 horsepower, the Veloster N goes 0 to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds. And with a starting price of just $33,545, this high-performance hatchback is one of the most affordable sports cars on the market.

What’s the best Hyundai?

In most cases, the best Hyundai for you depends on your budget and preferences regarding things like vehicle size and type, cargo space, gas mileage, and other factors. But if you don’t know what you’re looking for yet, here are a few standout Hyundai models to get you started:
  • Elantra: For a four-door sedan, the Elantra’s sporty design gives it a little more flash and fun than your typical commuter car. It’s got a generous 10-year powertrain warranty and comes with a load of infotainment and safety features, including driver-assistance technology. The Hyundai Elantra starts at $21,245.
  • Santa Fe: This five-seater, family-friendly SUV offers plenty of cargo space and a premium-looking interior. With five powertrain options, including hybrid trims for better gas mileage, the Sante Fe fits most budgets with a starting cost of just $28,445.
  • Venue: Named the Lowest 5-Year Cost to Own SUV by
    Kelley Blue Book
    , the pint-sized Venue is the perfect city car. Its small stature makes maneuvering in and out of tight parking simple, and a roomy cabin makes this little crossover feel bigger than it is. You can get your hands on a Venue for as little as $20,245.  

How to find affordable Hyundai insurance

Hyundai drivers pay an average of $1,898 a year for
car insurance
, but your final costs depend on factors like the model and age of your car, your driving record, your location, and more. If you want to make sure you’re getting the coverage you want for the lowest rate possible, download the
Jerry
app and compare policies between providers.
The Jerry app is a
licensed broker
that does the hard work of finding cheap quotes from the top name-brand insurance companies. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy. 
And to ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal, so you’re always getting the coverage you want at the best price. This level of service is why Jerry earned a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store and made it the top insurance app in the country.
“It never occurred to me to look for more insurance quotes, but I’m so happy I saw
Jerry
. After using the app, I am saving $2,000+ a year through my new Progressive plan. It blew my mind!” —Jarod M. 
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FAQs

Toyota is one of the most reliable car brands in the world, and it does get better reliability ratings than Hyundai. But Hyundai offers a bigger selection of low-cost vehicles than Toyota, so for car buyers who need to stick to a specific budget, Hyundai comes out ahead.
Hyundais are slightly above average when it comes to reliability, but you can extend the life of your car by completing repairs in a timely manner and keeping up with regular maintenance checks.
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