I bought my 1996 Hyundai Elantra GLS wagon used (in 2008), with 117,000 miles on it. Since I wanted a white paint exterior, I really had to search a bit until I found one (in Arizona). I've put about 3000 miles on it so far and it has performed like a champ. Lots of room for myself, wife, and two large dogs. Well appointed, comfortable, with excellent cooling/heating capabilities and superb 360 degree visibility, I soon grew quite fond of this modest but sturdy little Korean automobile. With excellent fuel economy (27-30 mpg average for both city and highway), it's really the frugal person's Honda Civic: high quality for low cost. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good used car!
AC & heating (tops!), styling, comfort, visibility, handling (nimble and fun to drive), overall functional utility for carrying both people and cargo (station wagon). Carries a kayak (or bicycles) on the roof rack without complaint, too! Enough power to do just about anything on the road (1.8/4).
Engine was upgraded to 2-liters (4 cylinder) in 1999, which was a plus, although the 1.8 liter engine (with automatic) used in 1996-98 models certainly provides all the horses most people of moderate habits need, outside the race track (but not for those used to 0-60 in 4 seconds, however).