I’m looking to buy an inexpensive used car, 3 or 4 years old, and would ideally like to put 200k plus on it. I’m looking at the Corolla and the Elantra. Corolla’s a bit more expensive. Is it worth the extra money, or are they pretty much of equal quality and reliability for the long haul?
The Elantra keeps getting better and better, but if you want PROVEN long-term reliability, there isn’t a much better choice than a Corolla. There is a reason they cost a bit more.
Whichever car you choose, read the owner’s manual and follow the recommended maintenance schedule. That’s the best way to obtain maximum life from any vehicle.
Some posters wrote in with stories of way over 200,000 miles on their Elantras without major problems. I believe the Corolla is slightly better built, but both will get you where you want to go. Elantras use slightly more fuel than Corollas, if that is important to you. On a total cost for 200,000 miles, the Corolla will come out ahead. I think you should decide based on which one you enjoy driving more.
The one you like better for any reason beyond price is the best choice. 200k is a long time in a car even 3-4 years used. I had a miserable 225k miles/9 yrs in a Civic I regretted buying a month after purchased.