Used 1997 Hyundai Elantra Wagon Consumer Reviews
I would not recommend this car to even my worst enemy. The transmission has failed twice. All of the paint (original paint) is chipping off. It makes horrible banging noises when turning and no mechanic (not even Hyundai dealer mechanics)can figure out why. The steering column shakes (another "feature" thank no one can seem to fix). We have done all we can to no avail. I will never EVER buy another.
I bought this as my first car in graduate school and it has served me well for three years and 20k miles. It has been reliable and easy to drive. The interior is really crappy as was the case with 1990's hyundais... many plastic parts are wearing down on the interior. The window motors start to die at 80k. Some of this could be enhanced because of sitting so long in the desert (phoenix) sun. The outside of the car is nice (although the paint has worn on the grill and the hub caps look pretty poor these days. The visibility in this car is supreme! which makes this car fun and easy to drive. It is better to drive on the highway at speeds between 60-75(33mpg) than the city (21mpg).
Bought from an older gentleman 6 yrs ago some just general maint. Both my power Windows had to be fixed the car now has 61k and still works good don't know how long I will keep it the trade value is poor to say the least so as long as I can I will keep it.
This car has transported me to and fro and never broken down on me. Its got responsive trans (manual) goes pretty fast and gets good mileage. Too bad it depreciates quickly. Only problems were with a recall for fuel tank vacuum pressure that took the dealer a while to diagnose/fix properly.
Car is comfortable and responsive, rides well, and looks good, but when it got to 70K it seemed to start falling apart piece by piece. Trans was replaced at 8,000 miles, then rebuilt at 83K. New battery: 68K. Starter replaced at 70K. Door handle replaced at 75K. Put on new tires after old ones wore out after 30,000 miles, new ignition cylinder at 85K. Speedometer cable and assembly now need replacing, too. Also, the trim surrounding the rear window is starting to fall off. I have been very diligent about maintaining this car as required, yet it still seems to need excessive repairs. I should have bought the manual trans version.