Our family was in need for a new car and we were limited in budget. We decided that we cannot purchase a car if it is over $13,000. We looked at: Corolla, Sentra, Civic, and Elantra. We noticed that these cars are very comparable in their performance and expert reviews are generally positive. 2007 Elantra received many positive reviews by the experts. Just google "hyundai elantra 2007 reviews" and you will see what I mean. However, Elantra beats competition in safety (6 standard air bags, 4 ABS, etc) & interior space (according to EPA, Elantra 2007 is classified as a midsize sedan, even though its exterior dimension is compact) & price.
We bought new Elantra 2007 GLS with Preferred Package (A/C, fog lamp, cruise control, 172 Watt stereo system, plus more) and Automatic Transmission and floor mats for exactly $13,000. This is $3500 less than the sticker price. You cannot buy either Sentra, Corolla, or Civic with that price -- not even close.
After three weeks of driving this car, I am amazed. My wife loves this car. With its safety features, I feel much safer to put my kids (2 yr and 4 yr) in the car (rear side curtain air bag comes standard). 4 ABS brakes are powerful, it brakes so quickly that we needed to get use to brake pedal pressure.
While others may not like the external design, but we love it. Internal design looks much more refined and luxurious, its blue luminous panels look sophisticated and easy on the eyes. There are many bins to store your little stuff. All the dials and switches are intuitively located.
Overall, indeed Elantra is best in its class.