I researched plenty b4 buying my Elantra because I wanted a problem-free car (a real challenge when buying used). The '04 Elantra is highly rated by many car reviewers. Having owned mine for 6 months and driven 12,000 miles, I want to share how wonderful owning this car has been. I bought this car with 52K mi on it. It is a loaded 5-spd GT Hatch. I like the styling inside and out. I have not had a single mechanical problem. I have had to replace one headlight bulb and it was easy. If the biggest complaint about a car is changing headlight bulbs, common sense told me it is a smart car to buy. And the gas mileage? 35 MPG combined; that's 450 mi b4 the fuel light comes on! Worth every $ I paid.
Styling; the hatch especially does not feel like an "econo-box". Cup holders! MP3 playable CD player! Trip computer! Fun gear shifting! Leather seats. Versatility of a hatch configuration. Dependable. AWESOME GAS MILEAGE even with 4 adults, luggage AND the AC blowing.
Seats could offer more back support. Lots of road noise above 70 MPH.