I was impressed with the car in most areas.
The build quality was reasonably good, and I could say on par with Ford`s Mondeo Mk2.
The interior did suffer from rattles and wishbones did knock.
For the money, you do get a lot of kit with the car, such as electric sunroof, electric mirrors, electric windows all round, cental locking, air conditioning and CD player, etc.
The instruments were easy to read at a quick glance and the purple illumination was impressive (not too hard on the eye). The dimmer switch was useful, but seldom needed.
The quality of the interior plastics were fairly good and felt quite solid.
The external build quality was okay and did not feel too flimbsy. Good "door-thud", but "key-in-lock" feel was something to be desired.
Noise in the cabin, even at thirty miles per hour was noisy. To have a conversation with passengers, you had to listen hard and talk loudly to be understood.
Fuel economy was dismal, especially for a diesel. With reasonalbe town driving, I managed about 26mpg. Some petrol units of the same size can easily achieve this figure, if not more. Lets face it, the whole point of owning a diesel vehicle, although with higher servicing costs, is to lower the cost of motoring.
Handling was a bit scary (worse than the Mondeo mk2). Loads of understeer. There were several times when I almost lost the back end on roundabouts, whereas in the same conditions, a Peugeot 406 would handle blissfully with no worries whatsoever.
Another concerning issue, as the result of the combination of light weight, front wheel drive and loads of low end torque, it was extremely easy to wheel spin, even in the dry.
Performance was good. Good acceleration and the car coped with motorways easily. The torque of the engine was impressive and could easily pull in fourth gear at twenty miles per hour with no hesitation. The car also reached dual carriageway speeds quite quickly and could quite easily earn you a speeding ticket if not careful.
Interior and boot space were quite adequate.
The gearbox problem is probably due to the torque levels of the engine. Too much torque and not enough strength in the gearbox.
Hyundai are getting better with quality and value for money. Yet have a while to go before on par with Japanese rivels, such as Honda and Toyota.
As an economical vehicle. Would I buy one? Probably no. I would have to be persuaded very hard to be tempted away from Japanese vehicles. Every motorcycle I have owned has been Japanese, and the quality and reliability is evident throughout.
Many people would say, for a good vehicle it would have to be German or Japanese. I disagree, Japanese, absolutely, German, absolutely not. As a matter of principle, I would not buy German.