The Elantra never fall neatly into any category. It costed less than a similarly equipped Toyota Corolla or Geo/Chevrolet Prizm, and it had a larger engine (with 16-valves, dohc and balance shafts) than a Honda Civic or Nissan Sentra. Its closest competitors were the Ford Escort and Chevrolet Cavalier.
The original Elantra was available only as a 4-door sedan, in either well-equipped base or upgraded GLS trim, and all Elantras were front-drive with all-independent suspension.
Both trim levels used antiroll bars front and rear, power brakes and steering, cloth trim, variable-speed intermittent wipers, full carpeting, rear-window defroster, digital quartz clock, tinted glass and the ubiquitous cup holders.
The base model had a 1.6-liter engine. The GLS had the 1.8-liter version of the same engine, which was also in the base Elantra when equipped with the optional automatic transmission. The Elantra came with gas shocks, power windows and door locks, power mirrors, bright window trim, tachometer, map lights, door lamps, center console, tilt steering wheel and 40-watt stereo cassette with four speakers. Both cars had stereo options with the ultimate 100 watt 6-speaker CD player in the GLS.
When ABS was ordered on the GLS, rear drums were replaced with discs. Both cars had the option of air conditioning, a power sunroof, automatic transmission and cruise control.
For '95, the Elantra continued fine-tuning a good basic package. Slight sheetmetal revisions to the taillight area identified the new model, which also now had a driver's-side airbag and optional ABS with rear disc brakes.
As of January 26, 1994:
- $9,799 (1994 Hyundai Elantra)
- $11,199 (1994 Hyundai Elantra GLS)
As of August 29, 1994:
- $10,199 (1995 Hyundai Elantra)
- $11,599 (1995 Hyundai Elantra GLS)
As of April 17, 1995:
- $10,299 (1995 Hyundai Elantra)
- $10,898 (1995 Hyundai Elantra SE)
- $11,699 (1995 Hyundai Elantra GLS)
As of January 15, 1996:
- $10,899 (1996 Hyundai Elantra 4DR Sedan)
- $11,799 (1996 Hyundai Elantra 4DR Wagon)
- $12,349 (1996 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4DR Sedan)
- $13,799 (1996 Hyundai Elantra GLS 4DR Wagon)