I have over 180,000 on my 1996 Elantra and it just keeps on going. I've never had to do any major work on it. The paint and exhaust system on the car, however, could use some improvements. Very easy to scratch. The interior could be improved. But again, mechinacally it is awsome.
If you are looking for a car that keeps going and going... this might be the one. I'll write another review here when it finally dies... otherwise assume that there is an Elantra out there with 180 K + miles and rising, out there.
Better interior, bigger cup holders, more resiliant paint.