I'm a 22 year old male, and I love my Elantra and wouldn't be seen in any other car.
Although my windows are tinted very dark, I mainly drive with my window open for the world to see!
The fact that it is a unique car for our age group (18-25 year olds) makes it even better.
Don't go on the stigma of the old 'Hyundai' based upon their early model excels.
The Elantra is the best car in its class.
Damm straight! I'm 19 now and still own my Elantra. What can I say. I LOVE this car! It's been a fantastic car to drive and own.
Also I still think it is FAR more classier and professional looking compared to a corolla.
I'm a 19 year old guy with an Elantra. I am a speed freak, and while the Elantra doesn't really satisfy that need, it is a safe, reliable, and well equipped little car that's great for my budget (especially as a uni student). The insurance is great and the tight turning circle (which I believe is the best in class, actually) has made it great for slipping in and out of the tight spots in urban areas.
My friends all have used muscle cars, all with more reliability issues than I can keep track of. Enjoy the thrifty Elantra for what it is, and save up to buy something sportier when you can enjoy it more. That's my plan. BUT, I'm thinking I'll hold onto the Elantra even when I get my next car. It's given me 70k great miles so far, and it'll still be a good commuter car in a few years.
OK, as the person who posted the original review a few years ago, I agree in retrospect that the car was not all that bad, just a little disappointing in terms of quality in some - not all - areas, ie; paint, trim, clutch action.
Hyundai have turned themselves around in the few years, and starting with the i30 / Kia Ceed, things can only get better! I'd certainly consider an i30 diesel if in the market again for a small hatchback.