A very reliable compact car
All factory scheduled maintenance performed until 75,000 miles; tuneups, brakes, lubes,...etc.
Air conditioning compressor replaced at 30,000 miles.
New battery at 30,000 miles. This car was not started regularly for a few years.
Outer CV joint boots replaced at 60,000 miles.
The exhaust system (from the converter back) has been replaced twice.
Currently the car needs the following repairs (at 80,000 miles) :
Replace CV joints (half-shafts).
Replace drive belts.
Replace front/rear brake pads/shoes.
"Major" tuneup needed; it wouldn't be, if the mechanic who did the last "major" tuneup actually adjusted the valves (they rarely do, unless they are ticking.) I know this, because I was a dealership mechanic myself.
Body was small amounts of rust-through at rear wheel well corners. This could have easily been prevented by installing mud flaps, and more trips through the car wash. Rest of body is excellent.
I know the entire history of this car, as my father bought it new. He religiously had scheduled maintenance done, but do to his advanced age he did little for the car's cosmetics (wash, wax, interior cleaning.)
The motor starts and runs flawlessly in all weather, never leaking or burning a drop of oil. Power is adequate, but it doesn't belong at the drag strip. Transmission is a 4-speed (overdrive) automatic, and it functions perfectly.
The suspension travel is a little short, and it can bottom-out rather easily. It is not noisy otherwise.
The steering and handling is much better than most other small cars of it's vintage. It is responsive, but also forgiving enough. It's very easy and relaxing to drive.
The body and related hardware is above average.
Electronics are reliable.
I'm 6'1". The front seats are usable, but I could definitely use more leg/head/butt room on long trips. Rear seats are best used by (small) kids.
For a reliable, cheap to operate commuter mobile, this car would be hard to beat.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th February, 2003