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I am wondering what my options are for increasing the horsepower. 138hp stock just isn't cutting it for me. It's a vehicle I will be using for a while and I have already put money into. I am open to doing an engine swap, if it doesn't end up costing more than the price of the car. So is there a cheaper option to give this little car a nice boost. I am looking for 160-180hp range really. I haven't hardly any custom elantras and it's a shame. This car is very nice it just doesn't have many options for any custom opportunities :(.
 

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Man, get a different car. Either you are looking into putting 2-5k USD into it and having not very stable built.
Engine swap is not easy either as all cars past 2005, or even 2000 are so computerised that it would be hard to get a new ECU (for new engine) to communicate with BMC and PCM.

And overall - you are going to spend more money than getting another car.

Look into Kia Forte (2014+) SX. That is 1.6 turbo that puts about 195 lb*ft and 199 HP (on paper, in reality it is more like 170/180 respectively). Get it tuned (low stage 1) and it will make you very happy.
But you will never get anywhere near Elantras fuel economy.

Mine 2009 GLS (5spd manual) was averaging 34 mpg. I could reach 40 without a big sacrifice.
Same route, same style, and Forte gives me 22 (automatic). Manual was better, but about 28 mpg.

So again - it is doable, but overall financially not justified.
I thought about it, too, a while ago.
 
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