1997 Hyundai Elantra Wagon 1.8 DOHC from North America


Economical and reliable, sporty handling


Engine burns a small amount of oil (after 200000km).

Front bumper cracked after small collision (cheap plastic bumper, very flimsy).

Gas gauge stopped working.

Rear suspension problems (unspecified).

General Comments:

Excellent car overall, purchased as second vehicle to drive around, very reliable, never failed me.

Excellent fuel economy, peppy engine, lots of zip, great sports style handling, fun to drive.

Rear fold down seats are a great design, roof rack is use full and sturdy, car is easy to park too.

My only problems with this car are comfort wise, the seating is just not as comfortable as the North American vehicles I have owned. Also the base model is lacking in options that should be standard in all vehicles, power windows, power locks, CD player.

I've owned much older cars with these features;

I wish car companies weren't so cheap with the options.

Other than that, this is an excellent car for someone who wants a reliable, economical, modest vehicle that is fun to scoot around with.

I would have kept it, but it was sold to a friend who needed a car, it's still running fine to date with over 230000 kms .

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2008

1997 Hyundai Elantra Sedan from North America


Worthless pile of nothing!


I bought this car after reading good reviews about it saying it was fuel efficient and roomy. What a joke!

I bought it in February 2007 for $1500 and since then, we've put well over $3K into it! SO not worth it!!!

We had to replace the transmission at 117K miles - that was expensive - AND a waste of time AND money.

We have had to replace the alternator, power steering pump and belt, rotors, brake pads, wheel bearings... the list goes on and on.

Even after replacing the power steering pump it still squeaked. The squeak finally quit suddenly yesterday - and so did the power steering (wow! what a surprise!). The belt is still in tact.

The heater quit working yesterday morning (of all the days!), the brake light came on, and my battery light came on.

I've tried to deal with this car as long as possible in hopes that eventually it would stop costing me so much money. After yesterday's ordeal I'm thinking that it's just not possible.

The gas mileage on it is anywhere from 19-22 mpg... before the transmission was replaced I was getting anywhere from 23-30 mpg.

And as for room, don't even bother if you need to fit three booster seats into the back!!!

I have learned a valuable lesson from this hunk of junk - - - avoid ALL Hyundai's and anything else that's foreign. They aren't even worth the powder to blow up!

I'll stick to my Dodges or Fords - who knows, my husband has a Buick maybe I'll find a good one of them!

A message to Hyundai - - - MAKE BETTER CARS!!!

General Comments:

The only good thing about this car is the clock on the instrument panel and the awesome speakers.

Have nothing to say about it's performance because frankly, it's been in the shop being repaired more in the last 9 1/2 months I've owned it then I've DRIVEN it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th November, 2007

30th Nov 2007, 11:32

I think if you buy a 1997 vehicle in 2007 - for $1500.00 - you should expect that things will go wrong - what did you expect.

30th Nov 2007, 12:18

Another point might be spend more on your car in the first place!!

In the UK your $1,500 equates to about £750, which isn't even a decent 42" Plasma TV.

Hyundai actually have a reputation for building reliable cars, and their latest stuff is pretty good to drive now as well.

As for buying a Ford or Dodge, I was selling Dodge as well as Chrysler/Jeep over here up til '06 and I wouldn't put my trust in any 11 yr old one of them!

6th May 2010, 00:15

If you buy a 1997 for $1500, yes you should expect problems. On the flipside, if you buy a 1997 Hyundai at all or any Hyundai for that matter, you can expect problems. And if you find a 1997 Hyundai for sale, it's going to cost $1500 if it's dead mint and has 30,000 miles or less on it, because that's all they're worth.

Expect the transmission to go every 30,000 miles. And possibly the head gasket too.

19th Mar 2015, 11:58

...A bit of drama can be a good thing... sometimes.