I bought this car used around 3 months ago for $2,200 & with 109k miles on it. After paying for it, I took it to a mechanic who told me that I need the transmission flushed and timing chain (belt?) replaced, as well as a few other reg. maintenance things. Total costs will be around $700, so it will have to wait a little while. Not a big deal, but I wish the previous owner would have told me when I asked if there were any mechanical problems. Other minor issues include:
1) For a subcompact car, the gas mileage isnt impressive. I seem to go through gas as quickly as I did with my 2003 Oldsmobile Alero, and that car had much more room and power behind it. Could just be the things I need fixed/replaced that is causing the car to perform inefficiently.
2) Interior rattles when accelerating, usually at speeds around 30-45mph. Sometimes its the lid on the console, which stops when I place my hand on it, but other times it sounds as if its coming from inside the Air Bag compartment. Not sure if I should be worried.
3) Brakes squeak a bit at low speeds, but still have good amount of pads left.
4) Sliding sunroof squeaks sometimes, both when up and when down. This can usually be stopped by simply raising it and lowering it again.
5) Leather seats are cracked and torn a bit. I attribute this to the previous owner. I plan on having seat covers installed as the leather is too cold in the winter anyway.
6) Power windows in the front squeak as theyre being rolled down.
7) Rear-left door handle is broken. Again, previous owner said nothing and I just happened not to notice it before the purchase. Found replacement on Ebay for $12, so will be fixed soon.
8) Idles loud/rough in park.
Despite the few annoyances previously listed, I still really like this car. Its 12 years old and still running very well. Engine always turns over on the first turn of the key. Power windows/door locks/ etc still work. When I bought it, it had an Alpine single-disk CD player installed, and sound quality is good with factory speakers. From what Ive read/heard, crash-test ratings are very good, but I hope Ill never have to find out first-hand.
The car accelerates pretty well for a 4-cyl, which makes it easy to pass in heavy traffic. Its the LSi model, so it has a 4-speed automatic, instead of the 3-speed base model. Before I bought the car, I had heard that the interior handles and knobs were cheaply made, but with the exception of the previously mentioned door handle (which could have been the fault of the previous owner) I have to disagree. I had also heard that the back seat was rather crowded and uncomfortable, but again I disagree. We have comfortably fit 2 adults and an 11-year old in the back seat on a moderately long trip. The seats are comfortable.
I also love the huge trunk space in this small car! It has to be about as big as the trunk of the Alero, but without the hanging hinges that get in the way. This car is also a dream when doing a U-turn as I can easily maneuver into the closest lane.
I plan on giving this car to my daughter as soon as I find a newer car that I like for myself, but I might find it hard to give this one up!
Note: All apostraphes in this review had to be removed to pass spell-check for some reason. Just in case you were reading and noticed!