As a newly licensed teen with not a lot of money I needed something reliable and safe. But at the same time I couldn't afford a big SUV with high gas-mileage or a newer car. Also, I wanted something cute, but most older cars look blocky and ugly. I got it all in my trusty 2000 Elantra for a low price. I just love my car and my parents actually like it too, so win- win. I've had it since July and haven't had any problems except I had to have the spark plugs and wiring replaced and a routine oil change. It's been a great car though.
Love the look and feel of the car. Very easy maneuvering so it's a great first car.
Pick-up's not so hot, takes a while to get up to speed so not great for interstate driving. Plain interior, no cupholders in back which is a pain since I frequently give younger siblings and friends rides.
I was the 2nd owner, and had it for miles 77K through 114K. During that time, I replaced: front rotors, cracked exhaust manifold (free recall fix), plugs and wires, window regulator, o2 sensor, washer pump, horn, wiring, transmission (OUCH!). The previous owner had replaced the mass air flow sensor and throttle positions sensor. The entire exhaust rusted out too-- salt is tough up here though. Still, that's a lot of repairs for ~30K! And I did the timing belt stuff and tires, which is routine-- but it hurts to do all that and then have the tranny go.
It was zippy, fairly roomy, and handles well. I liked its performance much more than the Corolla we have in the household. But it only gets 23-27 mpg, to the '01 Corolla's 30 (both automatics). And the Corolla is insanely reliable...
Hyundai has really improved this vehicle in subsequent years. Wish they still offered a wagon. Keep making hatchbacks! The newer models are much more efficient and seem to rate well in reliability (consumer reports for the '00 are fairly poor, btw).
I bought this car with about 65,000 miles on it, and now have 110,000. If I'd written this review before the 95K mark, it would have been a glowing review. However, since then just about everything has come apart-- the transmission (and I'm not one to push a car and don't live in the city), the power window, horn, check engine light, oxygen sensor, wiring etc. This is one of those cars that falls apart at 100K, and you're unlikely to find one with lower miles these days. The Elantra was essentially redesigned the *next* year, so the newer models may well be worth looking at.
Smooth ride, comfortable. Spacious. Decent gas mileage (28-30 mpg mixed).
They redesigned the following model year, so I suppose this is moot.