I bought this car over a year ago and it has been a great car, but loaded with issues for me. Ever since I've had the car from June 2016 till now I've had to replace the 02 sensor, reseal the windshield (leaked inside during hard rain), get new brakes and rotors, replace the whole exhaust system, replace the belts, and get a transmission fluid flush because the transmission was slipping. I've also had loss of power in the engine, but I recently found the cabin air filter had NEVER been changed and the engine air filter needed changing so after changing those I have power again. Other than ALL of that i still think it's a nice car, but if you are going to get one then you have to make sure it's a great one because mine only had 106,000 miles on it when I got it and it now has 117,000 miles on it and its not good to need to have all that fixed and changed when its not crazy high on miles yet.
I bought this car new for $10,500.00. I drove it for 8 years and then passed it to my daughter for school. It currently has 216,000 miles and going strong. Total for repairs, not including maintenance, about $1,000.00! It is on it's third set of brake pads and still the original rotors. It's also on it's third set of tires which were changed at 210,000 miles. Handling is great, but the engine had always strained going up steep hills. Without a doubt this is the best car I've I've ever owned!
*-Update-Car still being driven every day and still going strong at 221,000 miles!
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.*Update* it's a year later and Edmunds has asked me to update my review. The car is still so wonderful and reliable and has not needed any other repairs since the clutch and radiator and I have driven 8 thousand more miles and taken 2 more long distance trips. My friends are all a little in love with it for its cuteness and reliability.