Great, reliable, mechanically-sound car with some rust problems
The head gasket leaked probably since I bought the car at 90,000 miles, and I finally had it replaced at about 115,000 miles. This is apparently a common problem with GM's 2.2 liter engine.
I had to have the left front axle replaced around 110,000 miles.
A motor mount came loose and needed to be tightened.
The rear brake cylinders started to leak and had to be replaced.
My car has started to overheat at highway speeds when the temperature is 70 degrees or above, I suspect the radiator is clogged.
Rust has formed in MANY places, including at the bottom of the doors, the outer part of the drivers side wheel well, the rocker panels (almost rusted apart), bumper reinforcement (pretty much disintegrated), and much of the sub-frame.
The has been a great car for commuting and I always have been confident in driving it any distance, even in the winter months.
The engine has enough power for what I need it for, and I feel comfortable merging with traffic or climbing hills, although it is about as weak of an engine as I would want to have in the car.
The handling is fair, and I have had relatively few problems driving in the snow, but I think it does slide around in wet conditions more than most cars.
I am happy with the overall mechanical durability of the car, but the body is far below my expectations. The drivetrain of this car will FAR outlast the body, as the car has rust that I have fought, but will not go away. GM's paint job on these cars was sub-par, with the paint fading and wearing away badly on the horizontal panels.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st December, 2004