Up until recently I haven't had any serious problems with the car. It was originally purchased as a used car by my mother, but it was only used as a loaner car by a repair shop, so the mileage was low, and the car was in more than decent shape.
My mother drove it for a while, and then I took it over when my Cavalier died. When I inherited it, I would estimate it had around 30,000 miles on it.
I have had problems with the hood release rusting to the point where I have had to literally pry my hood up and apply a healthy spray of WD-40 the release itself (this has happened a couple of times, but it's no big deal).
The last couple of times I had my oil changed, the mechanics (at two different oil places) recommended getting my transmission fluid replaced, because mine was looking really dirty. I have yet to agree to it, because I have heard mixed opinions on transmission fluid changes, but for a car that has just over 60,000, should I have to be dealing with this yet?
Like I said, it was only minor things until recently. About two weeks ago, the ignition got locked up, and I couldn't turn the key over for the life of me. It took us a while, and no one knows exactly what they did to get it to finally turn over, but a friend of mine thinks the tumblers might have fallen out of place, and we somehow jimmied them back into place. Like I said, no one really knows.
Last night, however, is when things started getting bad. I drove home from work and put the car in park, but the key would only turn back to the point where it was only running on battery power. It wouldn't turn back to the lock position and let me pull my key out. It took me at least an hour of screwing around with putting the car in drive, then reverse, then park, and trying to shut it off, for it to finally work.
It acted up again a couple of times this morning, worked fine on my way home from work today, and I just had a little episode with it again in my driveway about a half hour ago.
It looks like if I put my car in park and jimmy the shifter around a little bit, it will finally let me turn the key all of the way back and pull it out. I've been reading online, and it looks like this is a fairly common problem for the 2005 and 2006 models. Some people have found tricks to get around the problems, others have paid upwards of $300-$400 to have the entire shifter replaced, because of a bad sensor or something.
I plan on taking my car into a mechanic in the next couple of days, but for a car that I am still making payments on, I feel like this is a problem I shouldn't be having to deal with. Also, the comments I have been reading show that whatever the problem is, IT'S NOT covered under any warranty because it's electrical. I'm pretty sure the warranty on my car is void anyway because it was bought used, but still, this is crap.
Decent gas mileage, especially on the highway.
Used the car to drive back and forth from college to home when I visited (roughly two hours highway time). Driving at speeds over 50mph, and high winds at any speeds, make the car feel a little unsafe. I felt like I was being tossed around the highway like a toy all the time, and would constantly have to slow way down to "regain control". It's a light car, and thus any wind has an impact on how it handles.
It's definitely a "cheaper" car in terms of how it's built, but there seem to be quite a few problems popping up that shouldn't be something a car with this low of mileage should have to deal with...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 11th February, 2011