"I purchased by 2002 Elantra GT new and have been very happy with it--sun roof, leather, good gas mileage and reliability for ~$17K. It's the perfect size for a family of up to 4--good room inside and the hatchback option with fold down back seats gives LOTS of room when you need to haul larger loads and perfect for longer road trips. Which is why it would make a great car for a college student. It now has 85,000 miles on it with routine maintenance (oil changes, 60,000 mile service, etc.) and is still going strong. The only 'bigger' maintenance I've had--I had to replace the battery after about 4 years; the temperature gauge for the radiator went out right at 60,000 miles; had brakes done at 75,000 miles; and it seems to go through rear break light bulbs at a faster than average rate. No, it's not the most glamorous car (although every once in a while someone comments that it looks like a Saab), but it performs well both in town and on the highway in all kinds of weather and has enough kick to make it worth holding onto for at least another 50,000 miles."
"Pro's: Purchased in 2008 with 119k now at 236,000 miles. Key maintenance and good synthetic oils 10w30 seems to be best. Oil change every 4200 miles, tire rotated regularly and the Timing belt is best replaced by dealer. Belt between 60-70k little pricey but well worth it. Transmission is solid and fluid changes at 45-50k special fluid so a little extra (Mechanics have not had a transmission replaced yet on any elantra's as of this date). Quality of build is excellent, reliability excellent, handling sporty and plenty of pep. Interior good design and seats are comfortable, spacious trunk area and rear seats are comfortable even for a mid sized person. AC good but hose sprung a leak at 236k, climate controls good. Braking is good use ceramic and top of the line they last longer and better response. Unique issue with stereo turns on at some large bumps-freaks you out at first if turned up to loud. This is a rock solid vehicle you won't be disappointed. Tow's a whopping 1900 lbs with trailer brakes and some even rate it higher, wouldn't push it though. Keep it waxed and professionally detailed every other year helps keep interior and exterior sound.
Cons: Corrosion around rear fender wells due to salt creeps in fast once started. Headlights a bear to change at first, read manual, little spring clip can be a pain and even break if not careful. Only real complaint is with headlight bulb changes poor design.
Summary: Hope this helps and I will be keeping this one for another 50k at least and buying a new one. 230k plus is a great value only paid $3900.00 for it in 2008 has held its value now at 3,900+ KBB."
"I have owned this vehicle since it was new and it has been extremely reliable and consistently provided great gas mileage. It is not the most comfortable vehicle on long trips, but handles very good. The great maneuverability and acceleration has gotten me out of some very close calls from other bad drivers."
Cons: "Road noise, Body role, Seats not so comfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Ok bought the car in 2011 with 120k. It was a beater car and need some work. Fortunately it was cheap. I replaced the shocks, belts, hoses, thermostat, plugs, and wires. I also repaired the a.c. and had the transmission flushed and an alignment done on it. Almost all repairs can be D.I.Y. and found on YouTube. That will vary depending on the tools you own however.
Ok on to the car itself. Pretty peppy for a four cylinder engine. Decent fuel mileage I got consistent 27 city with a/c on and 31 highway with a/c on. Highway with a/c off I have reached 36 mpg. The car is very cheaply constructed. Lots of road noise. I had some body role with corning over 30 mph. Mine lasted until 146k when my timing belt broke and destroyed the engine. FYI Timing belt would be a wise replacement on a used car. I believe the book says to change at 60k. This car has an interference engine meaning when the timing belt breaks the pistons will hit the valves.
If you can get one of these cheap enough by all means pick it up. Just be sure to know you're buying a beater so treat it accordingly."
"7 years old and zero problems.....I am going to keep it for commuting to work and will purchase a new sante fe for towing a camper. If you care for this vehicle with basic maintenance it will last forever. For those buying one used, make sure you ask for a maintenance record."