A great car that I would drive to hell and back!
O2 sensor (regular maintenance item).
Exhaust rusted out (I live in the "salt belt").
Wheel bearings (rear) at 100k.
Wheel bearing, front passenger - $44 part.
CV axle, driver, split boot, joint ruined- $60 for the entire axle.
Radio burned out (my fault).
This is a fantastic little car. It's easy to see out of, gets good gas mileage, handles surprisingly well (the steering is heavy but precise; you get a very good feel for the road), and has an extremely roomy back seat.
This car has never let me down, even in sub-zero weather with a so-so battery. The car is easy to work on, and the parts are dirt cheap. I've had some problems with the car, but I would consider everything except the CV joint to be essentially maintenance items.
The car has some scratches and dings, but is in very good shape for a 16 year old car. No major rust issues, just some surface stuff in the couple of scratches she has; overall less than the size of a half-dollar if you added it all up.
These cars are as tough as nails if you take care of them. The 2.5 with the 3spd is pretty much bulletproof.
The performance is so-so, I've made a couple of tweaks to improve it, like a cam timing advance and running full synthetic, so she has just enough pep to break the wheels loose for a little bit when I stomp on it. Fairly low and fairly wide, so the car feels like it's glued to the ground in turns.
The interior is utilitarian, not a whole lot of electronic junk to break. Feels well-finished, simple, boxy and dated, but functional and easy to take care of. Gauges are large and easy to read. Controls are simple and intuitive.
Excellent stereo, I now have a Pioneer, but the Infinity sounded nice before it fried.
People are surprised at how big the back seat and trunk are; my friend has a Grand Am, and I would say they're pretty close to equal in terms of interior room.
Easy to park; the boxy design lets you know exactly where the corners are at all times.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th April, 2011