By SmallWagonDriver on
1998 Hyundai Elantra 4dr Wagon
Bought this in '99 w/30,000 and it's still used daily in-town and on long trips. At 158,000 total miles it has suffered a couple problems, the worst a cracked exhaust manifold at 124,000. Clutches do wear out, and that was replaced at 152,000. Otherwise, it's very solid and has been very reliable, however we do keep it well-maintained (the secret to car longevity). It has seen some pretty tough duty in the mountains and in hot, dry desert-like conditions and never left us stranded. It's never had any electrical problems, no leakage from underneath, does not use oil (we've always run synthetic), heater and AC still works great, and to top it off, a tree fell on it but it just pushed back!
Simplicity, functionality (reasonable roominess for a small wagon), handling, mileage (31-33 highway), reliability, and body styling (look closely as it has an appealing, slightly unusual body style). We plan on driving ours until if just up and gives. And by the looks of it, that may be a while!
Most come with a factory roof rack. Ours didn't so we ended up buying a Yakima rack and pod. Great for extended road trips. Highly recommended (as least I'm assuming they're still available for the older wagons?)!