Despite its small engine, the car handles extremely well at high speeds. Even with only 92 Horsepower, I can cruise at 110 with the AC at full blast for extended periods of time, and no signs of overheating. The car will maintain 95+ with the AC running uphill for miles without even thinking about overheating. Also, wind noise at these speeds is very low compared to what my escort would have made going 75.
Despite the car's impressive handling and high cruising speeds, its acceleration is not great. 0-60 time is upwards of 11 seconds, even shifting very aggressively.
The car's gearing ratio is very wide compared to what I'm used to. 1st can be taken to ~ 30 mph, 2nd ~55 mph, 3rd ~ 80 mph, 4~ 115 mph. Engine can't top 5th gear out.
The gas mileage is great, although affected heavily by use of the air conditioner and heavy acceleration. I have gotten 42 mpg by maintaining a steady 60 mph for several hours without using the air conditioner. Cruising with the air conditioner at 85 mph generally gets about 35-37 mpg. In the city, mileage varies a lot more. I have gotten 32mpg over the course of one tank when I didn't use the AC and "drove like an egg shell was under the gas pedal." Generally though, running the AC and accelerating normally yeilds 28-30 mpg in the city.
The self adjusting valve lifters shouldn't be ticking with only 90,000 miles. Switching to synthetic oil quieted them down a bit, but I am a little disappointed. There is no generic version of the lifters available, so I have to order new ones from Mitsubishi at 20 bucks EACH! (I need 12 of them total).
Additionally, there is no Chilton or Haynes shop manual for this car, I had to get one on Ebay for over 60 bucks!! And that was used, the new price is ~$120 USD. Yeow.
Except for the valve lifters though, I have had 0 trouble with this car. Always starts first crank, original AC compressor blows ice cold, and its hard to beat the highway mileage without going to a hybrid or a motorcycle. For the 3000 I paid for it, I'm very pleased. It's a great used buy since the car seems to depreciate quickly.