Pros: Hyundai customer support, upscale features, Useability
Cons: Bragging about a Hyundai is still "uncool."
I've owned my 2002 Hyundai Elantra GT for a little over a year now. I've decided to rewrite this review so that consumers can get n understanding of how well the car holds out early in it's life.
First off, I'm going to write about everything that has been broken, damaged, or somehow blemished since I've owned the car. Then I'll tell you a bit about it. After that I'll let you know what's held up surprisingly well given how I drive the car.
1. Fuel Door Release. My fuel door release handle was snapped in half by my ex-wife (no not in a fit of rage) when she couldn't open it on the first attempt. It seems the linkage between the handle and the door's release notch aren't the greatest and actually degrade over time.
2. Sunvisor. The passenger's sunvisor retainer broke when I tried to wrench the visor free one cold morning. The clip is made of the same plastic found throughout the car and isn't the best quality. It was easily fixed however with some super glue. No other porblems with it yet. I beleieve buying a new clip would only cost a couple dollars and is only a one-screw installation.
3. The Clutch. Maybe it's because I went on an extended business trip and my wx-wife had to drive my car around without ever being taught properly how to drive a stick. Or maybe my clutch is going out. But when I first bought the car the clutch was perfect in every way. Now, when I push it in it kinda squishes and scrapes and when I accelerate hard in first and push in the clutch, the stick pops out of first with a horrid crunch noise before I can put it in second. Maybe it's just my car but who knows.
4. Shift Knob. The cheap plastic gear indicator on the top of the manual transmission shift knob is breaking apart and wearing thin like how tires go bald after years of use. Again, the cheap plastic found throughout the car.
STILL GOING STRONG
1. The car's paint job just like any other new car is still at a showroom shine with minimal work.
2. The engine compartment is still clean. Black is black instead of brown. The metal isn't rusted yet, and all of the hoses maintained their flexibility and tight fit.
3. The car's handling system (brakes, suspension, wheels) are handling turns, stops, and maneuvers that I never thought a car could. Good job Hyundai.
4. The power remains good although I've noticed the car is a bit snappier when I have exactly half a tank of gas or when the needle is within a few milimeters of half. Strange.
Overall the car has met my epectations and has been through a lot. It's saved me from a few accidents and has entertained and amazed quite a few passengers. I've taken the car in for oil changes about every 3000 miles and I've had a few services done to it at the scheduled Hyundai times. No other problems from that. Although I did wreck the car and pull apart the front end on a parking grage pole, but my insurance restored it to new. Note, this is NOT the cause of the clutch problem as that began way before the accident. The car is virtually maintenance free so far and I hope it stays that way for a long time.
Hyundai is proving to the world that cars don't have to be expensive to be fun and reliable.