Daily driver, the first year the car seemed pretty solid. After that you started hearing more noise. Too much maintance for such a small car. If you don't follow the schedule it will void the so called 100,000 mile warranty!
Bought this car new in late '02; now have 92K miles. Had only a few minor problems, all covered under extended warranty: E-brake cable, rear wheel bearing, hatch latch. Orig. tires went 40K miles, brakes a bit more. Needs a new clutch, but 90k mile seems about right. Paint is sensitive to dings and scratches, but the body has held up fairly well. I've lost a few radio control knobs, and the speakers are beginning to give a little static, but the interior has held up nicely. Service at dealers has been mixed, sometimes too expensive and other times they don't do things listed in manual (like radiator flush at 60,000). Resale value isn't great, so I will keep this car until it falls apart.
I purchased my blue 2003 Elantra GT hatchback with 65,000 miles, and it now has 135,000 miles. The leather seats and sunroof give you amenities not seen in cheaper vehicles like this one. Hyundai parts are easy to find, and repairs are cheap. I bought this car just before I went to college to use while in school. I replaced the audio unit with an updated one, so I could play pandora and hook in my maps. It comfortably seats 4, but fits 5 people. The size of the trunk is nice and not typically seen in hatchbacks. I've replaced a section of the exhaust pipe for $200, valve cover gasket $25, brake caliper assembly $110. I can foresee that I will have to replace the timing belt and struts soon.
I drive my Elantra 80 miles hwy everyday for the past year. It has had very few issues such as the O2 sensors failing and my parking break snapped. Relatively cheap fixes. What did concern me was when I hit my cow of a deer, was that the air bags didn't deploy when the whole front end of my car was smashed up. The repairs, covered by my collision insurance were extremely cheap, only coming out to be $1400 total for new headlights, grill, hood, bumper + cover fog lights, horn, paint job and tire. It has been a great car and has been a pretty good winter car.
Good gas mileage (30mpg highway, 25mpg city), cluster is nice, good ac/heat, smooth transmission, reliable, comfortable, handles well and is small enough to fit into tight places easily.
Take out your slave cylinder, it will increase acceleration and will keep your clutch from wearing out. Interior is pretty bland and the car doesn't have much power. Replaced O2 sensor within 5k and the check engine light is back on for it again already
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