Bought my 1996 white Elantra GLS wagon from an Arizona dealer. It had 118,000 miles on it and was in excellent overall condition (well maintained by a NASA engineer) at the time. I have been quite pleased with this vehicle. Fuel economy excellent (30+ mpg) and reliability solid. Only problem I had was with the 'check engine light' coming on, but adjustment at the local Hyundai dealer resolved that and the car passed California emissions tests quite easily. The car's great fun, handles well, and extremely practical for passenger or cargo use. A few squeaks due to age, but they just add personality to what has proven to be a very satisfactory purchase. I'd buy another Hyundai in future!
The wagon is extremely utilitarian, with folding rear seats for a large cargo space. My Siberian Huskies love it! Excellent, if basic, ergonometric comfort in seats & driving position (good lumbar support). Excellent all- round visibility & good road keeping traits. Instruments are well thought out.
Slight improvement in upholstery materials would have made this car top- notch. HVAC system performs excellently, but lighted temp adjustment controls would be a plus (hard to see in the dark). Hyundai quality has risen remarkably since 1996, so present cars are much better still!
I bought my 1996 Hyundai Elantra GLS wagon used (in 2008), with 117,000 miles on it. Since I wanted a white paint exterior, I really had to search a bit until I found one (in Arizona). I've put about 3000 miles on it so far and it has performed like a champ. Lots of room for myself, wife, and two large dogs. Well appointed, comfortable, with excellent cooling/heating capabilities and superb 360 degree visibility, I soon grew quite fond of this modest but sturdy little Korean automobile. With excellent fuel economy (27-30 mpg average for both city and highway), it's really the frugal person's Honda Civic: high quality for low cost. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good used car!
AC & heating (tops!), styling, comfort, visibility, handling (nimble and fun to drive), overall functional utility for carrying both people and cargo (station wagon). Carries a kayak (or bicycles) on the roof rack without complaint, too! Enough power to do just about anything on the road (1.8/4).
Engine was upgraded to 2-liters (4 cylinder) in 1999, which was a plus, although the 1.8 liter engine (with automatic) used in 1996-98 models certainly provides all the horses most people of moderate habits need, outside the race track (but not for those used to 0-60 in 4 seconds, however).
Have put on 100-140 miles daily for for almost 8 years of use. Now have 279K on vehical. Major service include refurbished AT tranny at 147k ($1300) and recent water pump ($450) plus timing belt service, used power steering pump,gas filter,2 radiator fan motors,3rd set of tires (90K ea) Have not replaced alternator,muffler,or injector servicing. Check engine light has been on for 100k now. Have crack low on exhaust manifold but still get 35 to 38 mpg freeway,combo 30-33. Still no oil,tranny leaks...amazing! All my previous American cars have messed up my garage!
Was going to use vehical as a "throw away" commuter car, but it has not given me a chance to do so. Overall transportation costs is very low with paid off vehical. Best car ever had.
Redesign transmission. Even the refurbished after a few miles had similar 2-3 gear free wheeling problem but with proper maint...ok for now. Suspension is terrible but use to it. Radio could be greatly improved.
I have over 180,000 on my 1996 Elantra and it just keeps on going. I've never had to do any major work on it. The paint and exhaust system on the car, however, could use some improvements. Very easy to scratch. The interior could be improved. But again, mechinacally it is awsome.
If you are looking for a car that keeps going and going... this might be the one. I'll write another review here when it finally dies... otherwise assume that there is an Elantra out there with 180 K + miles and rising, out there.
Better interior, bigger cup holders, more resiliant paint.
Overall the vehicle performed well.
It was reasonable on gas.
It seemed to require more brake
maintence than normal.
The extended warranty was worth the
cost as several items needed to be
replaced before 75,000
Scheduled regular maintenance by Hyundai
is pricey, especially the timing belt.
The Dealer fixed items at no charge that
were no longer under warranty for Good-
Will. I would recommend the purchase
of an Elantra if you get rebates and a
Hyundai has the Shop manual and
troubleshooting guides FREE on-line
Dealer rides for customers to home,
work, shopping, etc.
Free rental car for long repairs
A non-interference engine would be
Different or better quality brakes.
Better sounding Horn(s)