A great looking, high performance import
Right front ball joint was replaced under factory recall.
There is a squeaky belt in the engine that only acts up on a cold start in colder weather. My mechanic said that it is not worth worrying about and poses no major problems.
So far, after one year of ownership, I have had no major problems with this vehicle. The only time it has been in for service is for its regular 3000 mile oil change.
This is a great car that is perfect for anyone who is looking for a performance sports car at a fairly low price. At around $29,000 new, it costs quite a bit more than a Civic Si for example, but the added performance - turbo, awd - comfort, and styling is worth the extra money.
The cabin is like the cockpit of an airplane. It curves around the driver so that every button or switch is accessible without much effort. The sport leather seats are not only comfortable for long trips, but wrap around the driver providing great lateral support in cornering.
The turbo boost can be felt around 3000 RPM and given the right driver, this car stock can probably run 0-60 mph in around 6.5 seconds, which is comparable to a GT Mustang or Z-28 Camaro with engines twice the size. The all-wheel-drive is great for high-speed cornering and also makes this a drivable sports car in the winter.
On the downside, upkeep can be fairly expensive. Engine problems can be costly to repair and the awd transfer unit adds one more thing that could possibly break. Because of the higher compression ratios and the turbocharger, 91 octane or better gasoline is required, which these days can cost quite a bit. My gas milage is quite varied, ranging from 27 mpg at best on the highway to a lousy 15 mpg in the city - granted that 15 mpg is with the pedal to the floor constantly, because once you drive this car it'll be a drag race between every set of stoplights =)
Overall it's been a great car to me thus far and I hope it continues to be for years to come. It is a great looking car that can back up every ounce of its great looks with great performance. There are also many high performance parts that can be purchased to make your driving experience all the more enjoyable.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th June, 2001