I like the car a lot. When we needed a 4 door hatch/small wagon, it was the only car on the market in that price range we could find with a manual transmission and ABS brakes. When my wife saw the leather interior she snorted "Who puts leather in a tin can!". Now we're spoiled, having had the leather, and nothing in our price class currently does.
The leather interior has held up fantastically. I just cleaned it up for the trade, and while the plastic parts have some scratches and rubbed in dirt, the seats still look like new. Also, many people (including me) can't stand the new car plastic smell that Hyundai's have, but it was never an issue with this car.
It has not been trouble free, but it only stranded me once (broken sub frame), and has been relatively easy to work on. For cost of repairs and level of aggravation with them, it was probably a wash for savings on the initial purchase price. But again in January of 2002, there was no equivalent car in that size/price class.
It is not a sports car, but can get out of its own way. For the performance, I feel it should get better mileage, but over the life of the car, the average is just under 30 miles/US gallon. Not bad, since I live where you get winter blend gas 5-6 months a year.
I think it could get well over 160,000 miles if I put some work into it (wheel well corrosion, rear brake calipers, 1 rear strut), but I've gotten too good an offer to trade it in to make it worth the effort.
Roomy enough, that for the last 4 years I've been running a landscape gardening business out of it, hauling all my tools in the car as well as towing a trailer with up to a ton of mulch, soil, or tractor on it, as with trailer brakes, it will tow 3500 pounds.
If you find one with little/no rust, it's definitely worth a serious look.