Was looking for a small car with a big trunk. Got a small car that thinks it's a truck. Seriously, how many compacts can take a love seat or a full sized recliner, and close the trunk? Guys at the furniture store were shaking their heads in disbelief after we loaded two boxed bunk beds (four beds total) into the car after flipping down the back seats and front passenger seat.
Originally, the performance was adequate and the handling was good. Since I can't leave well enough alone, I increased the power from 150hp to about 200hp. Torque now is wonderful and the power band is low and wide. Car is driven on the track, and easily tops 115 with no turbo. Total cost of engine modifications was less than $1,000.
For handling, the suspension was lowered with new springs and dampers, and was balanced with matched adjustable sway bars. Car is now set to neutral, with trailing oversteer and power understeer. Sticky performance tires top it off to make a great handling car. All this was for about $600 excluding tires, and the car now handles so well it scares people. How about doing a u-turn at 25mph without squealing the tires, or hanging the tail out at 90+? Yep! Have even left Jaguars and Bimmers behind in the corners, and that's not unheard of for these. A friend has out-handled a Viper in his PT, and it was officially documented on a racetrack. Rear suspension borrowed from F1 racing helps ;)
Interior comfort is good. Plenty of leg room, and the back seat will accommodate adults, not just children with removable legs. We have three basketball players in the family, and I drive team members to games several times a week in reasonable comfort. No problems with leg or head room.
Build quality seems better than most American cars, Chryslers in particular. Just feels like it's screwed together with a bit more care.
Reliability is excellent. My warranty expired and I could not even find an excuse to take it in. 130,000 miles and it's never been to a dealer for repairs, just oil changes. It should be noted that the control arm bushings are soft and wear a bit early (80k miles in my case). I was replacing mine with performance models anyway, so it was a planned replacement.