I bought this car about 6 years ago for $1600 with 76,000 mi, now I have over 213,000 on it and still going like a charm, everything is working properly. Some of the things I had to repair were: 1 clutch, 2 oxygen sensors, 1 crankshaft position sensor, radiator, 1 air blower, driver's side interior door handle ( used the one from the back door as still opens the door with minor difficulty), 3 out of 4 vent louvers, (can't remember anything else), and the usual things: 1 timing belt, 2 batteries, 1 tune up stuff, oil, 2 sets of tires, brakes, bulbs, etc.
Very reliable with regular maintenance, minor breakdowns, usually car will be drivable and engine light will go on (repair time), front wheel drive (good on snow going up a medium hill), manual transmission (if battery dies, a good push can restart the car, hope your going down a hill tho), horn buttons location ( one for each thumb), bench moves forwards, perpendicular to the floor, so rear seats back support can fold flat
The vent louvers are very delicate, cup holder impede the use of chargers when open, seats need to be more comfortable, stronger AC (there's something wrong with it, after a long drive, it blows cool air, I don't know if the hoses are too close to hot parts of the engine or what, in short drives is really cold that you would be forced to lower it) (summer)
I bought this Elantra with 76,000 mi. , now I have 172,000 mi. on it. I don't know if the first owner did all the fixing, but this car has been very reliable to me. I use this car for long distance deliveries (courier), therefore, most of the mileage have been highway. Besides regular maintenance (tires, fluids, brakes, tune up, etc), I had to change the crank shaft position sensor, slave cilinder, clutch, the AC fun that was out of balance and making noise, driver's inside door handle (switched with the same side back door, fits perfectly), did change the timming belt and water and that's it. My only complaint are the air vents that are very delicate (all broken). Love this car!!!
* 30 mi/gl highway.
* Manual transmission (can re start the car, even
if the battery is low.
* Cheap to fix
* Wind noise.
* AC too weak.
* Bigger engine.
* Air vents (look and don't touch)
Bought this in '99 w/30,000 and it's still used daily in-town and on long trips. At 158,000 total miles it has suffered a couple problems, the worst a cracked exhaust manifold at 124,000. Clutches do wear out, and that was replaced at 152,000. Otherwise, it's very solid and has been very reliable, however we do keep it well-maintained (the secret to car longevity). It has seen some pretty tough duty in the mountains and in hot, dry desert-like conditions and never left us stranded. It's never had any electrical problems, no leakage from underneath, does not use oil (we've always run synthetic), heater and AC still works great, and to top it off, a tree fell on it but it just pushed back!
Simplicity, functionality (reasonable roominess for a small wagon), handling, mileage (31-33 highway), reliability, and body styling (look closely as it has an appealing, slightly unusual body style). We plan on driving ours until if just up and gives. And by the looks of it, that may be a while!
Most come with a factory roof rack. Ours didn't so we ended up buying a Yakima rack and pod. Great for extended road trips. Highly recommended (as least I'm assuming they're still available for the older wagons?)!