I'm a mechanic, and i have had this car since 180k. the engine is solid, no internal leaks except the valve cover gasket. The transmission with proper or improper maintenance, can last about 250k with little to none problems. the engine has original head gasket, intake gasket, and exhaust gaskets. the only common problem that I've seen is that the rear engine mount has a tendency to tear, causing shuddering during acceleration. the electronics are solid, to computer failures and I have not needed to replace the starter or have any problems starting. the aptitude needed to operate things inside the car is very simple. it has comfortable air conditioning that can last a long time with proper maintenance. I have gone on long road trips in this car and you could be able to stay in the drivers seat for a little bit over an hour and a half. the interior has no tears, stains, or sun damage, a simple vacuum can be able to make the car look like brand new. the steering wheel has a tendency to fall apart at about 150k, but it still works! also, the visibility is great! I have minimal blind spots, and great visibility. The acceleration is pretty decent too. I can be able to get to 60 mph in under 10 seconds with excellent control. I have had it up to 110 and it is pretty stable at high speeds. This car is the best car that I've ever owned for it's low pricing, and I will be buying this car again once my current elantra runs into the ground.
I bought this in 2004 and it is the best car I ever had. I still have this car low maintenance no problems and passing it down to my daughter. I'm sad because it's 2016 and I can't find another that suites me. Best car and I even have the 2003 Santa Fe. I will keep these best ever made.
I bought my Hyundai new in April 2004. I now have 123,000 miles on and could not be more pleased. Besides replacing tires and brakes( front rotors one time) the only repairs have been Timing belt, water pump, belts, tune-up with plugs & plug wires and front struts all done at 100,000 miles. Runs as good as new with very little rattle. I did replace the hatch lid struts 2 years ago.I average 24MPH in city driving, 32 on a trip. Love this car. I will run it till it dies. I traded my wife's 2006 Elantra GT in on a 2012 Santa Fe. Don't regret it a bit. Another great vehicle.