With my tax refund this year, I wanted to buy a cheap car that is good on gas. I'd never really looked into a Hyundai before but, In my experience, any import is better than a Domestic car. I found my elantra on craigslist. Picked it up with 170k miles after a short test drive and took it to the shop. It needed 2 wheel bearings and a tie rod. I put an aftermarket radio in ($45 Investment) and I couldn't be happier with it. It's a little rusty but where I live, anything older than 6-7 years is going to be. I average 31 MPG and the engine and tranny still respond quickly. I don't worry that it won't start or will die on me any time soon. I've put about 10k miles on it since I've bought it and I'm so impressed I think my next family vehicle will be a Hyundai. I'm 6'5" and I fit just fine in the car even with my kids in the back. granted they're both under 10 but, for now I can't complain. My only complaint is the cup holders are too close together. If you're thinking of getting one, go for it. These things are cheap and should last you quite a while unless the previous owner just did no maintenance to it (which should be obvious).
Last summer I was in the market for a 4,500 dollar car and I spent an hour or two a day on this website. I read the reviews on an '05 elantra because one was for sale close by- and they were all so positive- discussing how solid the engine is, how safe they feel in an accident etc. I purchased the car for 3,400 which was down from 3,800 because the family was leaving for Hawaii the next day. It had 105k miles and now has 120k miles. I was hit by a truck swinging back while I was parked- and the car didn't even dent. The car has made 2- thousand mile trips this last year and survived a Tahoe winter. It has been hearty, reliable and much more than I could have asked for in my price range. I receive a lot of compliments on it because it is so cute. Some people think I drive a Saab. I have had put $1,200 in repairs into the car- a new radiator and clutch about 5 months after buying it- those have been the only problems and it was very good about indicators and easy for mechanics to work on.
I've owned seven little old cars in the past fourteen years, many much older than this one, and this one has given me the most trouble bar none. As you probably suspected, the Toyotas and Hondas behaved perfectly. Now I'm not gonna say it is all the car's fault, because I'm certain it's at least partially the fact that the previous owners were idiots (reversed the radiator hoses, made sure the PCV valve would never come out with the application of hardening mud). Plus, you have to consider, if idiots are buying Hyundais... yeah, that was kinda mean. But beware! Every thing I do to it, every fix, is like going down the rabbit hole, even though this car is relatively easy to work on. Let me start from the beginning. I bought the car only 4k miles ago, and with blown struts and cracked windshield and a little hitch in its shifting--I knew about all that. One week after the purchase, driving down the highway, radiator blew. So, tow bill. New radiator, and it was still overheating. This is when we realized the hoses were reversed. New thermostat, new belts while we're at it. Two week long saga of getting the belts on juuuuuust right to get one or the other or all of them to stop squealing. Pro tip: tighten the alternator belt. Before I forget, let me mention that now, one of the pulleys is squeaking, will probably need to replace THAT soon. One of the back drum brakes was squeaking, tried to get that off to fix... of course it's well and truly stuck, /fail. I did some research on the internet about the shifting, found a lot of people had had success with changing the transmission speed sensors. Bought them on ebay, installed, and... I think it's shifting somewhat better. It doesn't do the odd shifting thing anymore... mostly. It's still not perfect, and it's driving me a little insane. I think it's manuals from here on out for me. But anyway, back to the car. Tried to change the PCV valve, unscrewed it from the valve cover... and the whole effing brass fitting came out of the valve cover with it, because apparently, someone'd glued it in. Jammed it back in, PCV valve unchanged. Option at this point: Get really, really creative getting the PCV valve out, or new valve cover, $250. The engine was filthy, decided I was going to wash it before working on it. Wound up flooding one of the spark plugs. Couple-day saga of changing spark plugs (which were due anyway, so whatever), Heet, wires. Apparently I'd fried the wire, too. Couple days after that, headlights went out. Both of them, at the same time. Odd, yes? Anyway. There's more, I know there's more, but I'm drawing a blank right at this second, so how about the good: The seats are comfortable, the sunroof still works and doesn't leak, aftermarket stereo plays Pandora. Oh! And I'm beginning to suspect parts are cheap, cuz the junkyard quoted me $550 for a new (100k miles) engine. Peeves: Rear foot space is sparing, little spots of rust starting on body.
Bought with 128k miles on it. Changed the battery and windshield wipers 'cause they were old, that's it. After 8 months and 10k have had absolutely no problems.I get 28 mpg combined. The exterior is pretty cool comparing to other cars with same age imo, the interior of course is not good looking, in high speeds it shakes sometimes, the steering wheel shakes a little most of the time, but for the money I paid and the reliability I got, I can overlook those.