I bought this car for my 16 year old daughter as a replacement for another car she totaled. I got it for a great price. It is the 2 Dr model, and very sporty looking for a teenager to drive. She likes it because it doesn't look like something I would drive :)
It is totally the base model. No power windows, door locks or cruise control. I don't mind not having power windows - given that there are only two windows that can be lowered. I have to add that this car is one of the nicest cars to drive with the windows down I have ever seen. While driving most cars with the windows down gives you the sensation of a tornado trying to blow your eyebrows off, this one is different. It is very pleasant. My daughter seems to have both windows down all the time, she loves it. I do NOT like the back wrenching stretch that is involved to reach over and unlock the passenger door, however. Power door locks and the auto-locking feature should be standard.
It is a manual transmission model, and my daughter thinks it is pretty cool that she can drive a stick, while her friends are stuck driving their parents 10 year old 4 door sedans with an automatic transmission. The shift is short and precise, surprisingly slick for such an inexpensive car. I have to admit that I think driving it is fun, and the acceleration is sprightly.
It gets excellent fuel economy - about 30 mpg for our combination of city/highway driving, and pure highway trips are around 34 MPG. For such a basic car, it does have a trip computer, tire pressure monitoring system, an outside air temperature display, which warns of the possibility of icing conditions, an oil change reminder, XM radio and a convenient way to plug her Ipod into the car stereo. It has a nice climate control system and comfortable seating (at least the FRONT seats) Rear seats are a nice looking cargo shelf in my opinion. Teenagers don't seem to mind, however.
Trunk/cargo space is good, and front and side airbags are standard. Ride is a little harsh, but the handling is secure.
This seems to be the perfect car for a young driver. Sporty looks set it apart from the other cars in the high school parking lot, while being cheap to operate and inexpensive to purchase are what all parents are looking for. It seems that wherever my daughter and friends go, they want to take her car. I like that I can afford to give my daughter a reliable car with modern features (safety and otherwise) that she can be proud of. It has a great warranty, and I believe that this car can take her through college, and get her on the road to financial independence.