I bought this as my first car in graduate school and it has served me well for three years and 20k miles. It has been reliable and easy to drive. The interior is really crappy as was the case with 1990's hyundais... many plastic parts are wearing down on the interior. The window motors start to die at 80k. Some of this could be enhanced because of sitting so long in the desert (phoenix) sun. The outside of the car is nice (although the paint has worn on the grill and the hub caps look pretty poor these days. The visibility in this car is supreme! which makes this car fun and easy to drive. It is better to drive on the highway at speeds between 60-75(33mpg) than the city (21mpg).
Highway gas efficiency, Visibility, hatchback and fold down seats for cargo and or sleeping in the back on a long road trip.
Hopefully Hyundai is using better interior parts like the plastic fittings etc. Also there is a fair bit of road noise on the hwy.