I'm a mechanic, and i have had this car since 180k. the engine is solid, no internal leaks except the valve cover gasket. The transmission with proper or improper maintenance, can last about 250k with little to none problems. the engine has original head gasket, intake gasket, and exhaust gaskets. the only common problem that I've seen is that the rear engine mount has a tendency to tear, causing shuddering during acceleration. the electronics are solid, to computer failures and I have not needed to replace the starter or have any problems starting. the aptitude needed to operate things inside the car is very simple. it has comfortable air conditioning that can last a long time with proper maintenance. I have gone on long road trips in this car and you could be able to stay in the drivers seat for a little bit over an hour and a half. the interior has no tears, stains, or sun damage, a simple vacuum can be able to make the car look like brand new. the steering wheel has a tendency to fall apart at about 150k, but it still works! also, the visibility is great! I have minimal blind spots, and great visibility. The acceleration is pretty decent too. I can be able to get to 60 mph in under 10 seconds with excellent control. I have had it up to 110 and it is pretty stable at high speeds. This car is the best car that I've ever owned for it's low pricing, and I will be buying this car again once my current elantra runs into the ground.
I bought this car new back in college. 8 years and 100k miles later I'm finally about to give it up for something larger. The biggest repair I've ever had to do on this car is replace the battery. Other than that, every day this car has started right up and performed great. It's been all over the country and even got me through the mountains without a problem. I couldn't ask for better gas mileage out of a car with such good acceleration. I did install an aftermarket stereo a few years ago to support my Ipod but the factory stereo was fine besides that. It's going to be hard to say goodbye!
This car was bought for my eldest brother when he started college. He got this car in '11 with 101K miles on it. Since then, another 30ishK miles have come and gone, and it's as fresh as ever. It does show it's age (fuel tank has hairline fracture in it, has needed a lot of engine parts replaced recently) but for a car driven like this one, it's not bad at all! The manual gets better MPG's than our 40K mile '06 auto elantra, and it looks just as good! Just one problem with this car, and that's the trunk. It's large, but not as larger as the hatch's. Overall, a great 1'st car (especially for $4995!) Only problem right now is a missing trim piece that fell off due to bad glue!
I was in an accident with my 2004 Hyundai Elantra and although it was totaled, there is nothing bad I can say about this car. The other guy ran a red light and I t-boned him at 60 mph. The airbag deployed and my seat belt did not break. This accident was three days ago and I'm just sore. No broken bones. I was at the emergency room for about 30 minutes and was told I was fine and could leave. My Hyundai Elantra saved my life and that is why I'm taking the time to write this review. I highly recommend this vehicle for its comfort, safety, size, and pretty much everything else about it.