Reliable, but expensive first car
The factory alternator failed within 2 weeks of purchasing the car. The expense was around 200 dollars.
Engine mounts were replaced in 2001.
Turn signal multi-switch was replaced during inspection.
The driver-side steering rack mount broke later in 2001, making the car very dangerous to drive. 250 dollars later it was fine.
The suspension (both springs and shocks) was completely replaced in 2002. This would have been extremely expensive if I had not had a mechanic friend help me get the parts and do the work. A front alignment was required after the suspension replacement.
While opening the throttle to go up a hill, the right-rear spark plug shot completely out of the aluminum head. A thread tapping kit for 100 dollars fixed the problem. The aluminum heads are very delicate, the problem most likely originated from someone improperly installing the spark plug in the first place.
The exhaust system caused constant headaches: The muffler was replaced twice, and most of the cat-back piping was replaced with the second muffler.
In November of 2003 the accessory belt tensioner decided to die. Replacing the tensioner is not a fun job on the 2.8. When installing the new tensioner, the threads stripped out of the engine. Repairing the threads would have been too costly. The car was laid to rest at this point.
The car started instantly every time, rain or shine. The engine was very reliable and no internal work was ever needed.
The 3 speed automatic transmission was also flawless. I never once changed or filled the transmission fluid and it shifted strongly up until the day the car died.
The factory radio and speakers were terrible, but when replaced with a cd player, quality speakers and subwoofers the sound stage created by the dash speakers and hatchback was incredible to say the least.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th April, 2004