Hyundai – Car Purchase Calculation


(Winner…. The 2001 Hyundai Elantra GT)

 As many of my friends know, I’m pretty frugal. I will admit that I am 95% value driven in 90% of my purchases. This is why it is a big surprise that I bought something I thought I’d never buy… a NEW car.

We needed to get a car to replace my tired old Mustang, and something that would be good for our upcoming family-to-be. So began the search for the best car value.

Basically I used the prices of four comparable cars and weighed them against the features that were included at that price. After hours of calculations, I determined what car would provide me (and this is a very personal calculation) with the most “utility” or personal satisfaction per dollar spent.

The first thing I did in my spreadsheet was to determine which features were important to me on a scale of 1 – 10. For example, alloy wheels aren’t as important to me as air conditioning, so alloy gets a 2 while A/C gets a 7. The next step was to list if the feature comes standard, is an option, or cannot be added at all. I gave a numeric value to these variables and multiplied it by my personal utility. Finally I took all these calculations and calculated how much satisfaction each dollar I spent gave me with each car in my list.

The results… the Hyundai Elantra Gt!

This spreadsheet is an example of my Excel addition. I love Excel, numbers, value, economics, and a nice new car. This spreadsheet pulls all of these things together. Keep in mind this spreadsheet and the calculations therein are NOT perfect. Looking over it now (three years later) I realize there are a few corrections that I need to make prior to my next vehicle purchase.

Even if it isn’t perfect, it should give you an idea of what I was trying to accomplish. If you would like a copy of the spreadsheet you may download it here:

My 2001 Elantra GT features: (my cool features in RED)


  • Power mirrors w/ heat timer
  • Front fog lights
  • Intermittent rear window wiper / washer
  • Rear window defogger w/ timer
  • Remote keyless entry system with alarm
  • 15×6″ 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels with Michelin® tires
  • Driver’s multi-adjustable seat w/ lumbar support
  • Dual front and side airbags, with front passenger detection system
  • Front seat belt pre-tensioners w/ force limiters
  • Leather seating surfaces and door panel inserts
  • Leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob
  • Tilt steering column
  • Air conditioning
  • Purple-illuminated instrument cluster including tachometer
  • Trip computer
  • Cruise control
  • Power windows and locks with 30 sec. retained power
  • 100-watt Clarion AM / FM / CD player with 6 speakers
  • Bi-level center storage console with armrest
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • 3-Point seatbelts in all positions
  • Aluminum-alloy head, cast iron block DOHC in-line 4 cylinder displacing 2.0 litres
  • 135 hp @ 6000 rpm / 133 lb.ft @ 4800 rpm
  • Electronic ignition
  • Multi-port fuel injection
  • Platinum-tipped spark plugs
  • 5-Speed manual transmission with 3.65 final drive ratio
  • Fully independent sport-tuned suspension
  • Sport-tuned variable-assist power steering
  • Stiffer front and rear stabilizer bars
  • Power assisted rack and pinion steering
  • P195/60R-15 Michelin® tires
  • Four wheel power disc brakes
  • Wheelbase 102.7 in / Overall Length 177.1 in
  • Width 67.7 in
  • Track 58.5 in / 58.1 in (front / rear)
  • Curb weight 2635 lb
  • 14.5 gal. fuel tank
  • EPA mileage estimates 25/33 (city/highway, mpg)

2 thoughts on “Hyundai – Car Purchase Calculation”

  1. Love this spreadsheet / point system. I did something similar in ’02 and settled on the Mazda Protoge’ 5, but the Hyundai Elantra GT was on my list. I think it came in 3rd or so. I had some soft categories like interior and exterior aesthetics.

  2. UPDATE: I’ve had my Elantra for about 13 years now. I only have about 80k miles on it, and most of those were from a SUPER long commute I had for 2 years. The other 11 years I just didn’t drive a ton (took BART or worked from home). I’m debating if I keep this one, maybe new paint job, etc. or start shopping for a new car.

    It is doing great (other than the paint is starting to oxidize). Part of my is thinking it’s time to get a new car, but the other part of me is kinda sentimental to my old reliable friend

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