Okay, but not great
The day I picked it up, the panel on the tailgate fell down on my head -- as I was showing someone my great new car (I thought). The dealer fixed it right away (broken clips), but the clips were obviously broken already, several of them.
On the first long drive in the fall we turned on the defroster and the fan made some horrible screeching noises and quit -- a big problem since we were miles from anywhere and couldn't see out the windows. We idled for a while wondering what to do, and then tried again and it was fine. However, it was noisy from time to time, although never as bad as that first screech.
One morning after the car was parked outside overnight, there was a touch of frost on the windshield, and the wipers were still on, so when the car was started, the wipers tried to go. The driver's side wiper managed to screw itself up, or off, so that it even though it was freed up of frost right away, it just hung off the side of the car. We managed to tighten it up somewhat, and went to the dealer, who suggested that I didn't do the 'maintenance' on the wiper arms!! I've never heard of such a thing before, but they suggested that I should be tightening the wiper arms regularly. I pointed out that I'd only had the car about two months and it hadn't rained very much, so I could hardly expect serious wear and tear on the wipers. The floppy wiper had screwed up the wiper blade as well, but that was replaced by the dealer.
The driver's side window has been hard to close -- as it closed it would miss the rubber gasket track, and on a windy night recently it caught enough of the gasket that it pushed the gasket inside, all lumpy and noisy. I fixed that myself with a lot of swearing and determination.
The engine is very noisy, although you do get used to that after a while.
The 4wd worked very well to get through a very snowy winter, but I generally kept it in 2wd for normal use.
The inside was pretty comfortable, except that when the back seat was put down for cargo, the front seats were quite uncomfortably close and upright. I bought this car with the idea of using it to go camping across the country, and it would obviously be way too uncomfortable to fill with camping gear and drive any length of time.
It is impossible to fill the rear window washer reservoir unless you have two people, preferably left handed. No matter what we've tried to do, we've always soaked the inside of the car and ourselves. There's a small floppy flexible filler tube in an inconvenient spot, with a small opening. You'd have to be able to hold it (and a funnel) with your right hand and pour the washer fluid with your left hand, and accurately guess when to stop.
The tailgate piston supports are very weak, and as soon as the weather is even slightly cool, they hesitate, or only go up part way.
Serious control problems if you happen to hit a patch of potholed road -- the car just bounces all over and it feels VERY unstable.
The spare tire thing is hard to latch and rattles the whole time.
There's enough power to cruise the highway with no problems, and once it's going, it's quite responsive.
However, after only ten months, I've just traded it in for a Civic sedan. I'm taking a bath financially.
Overall, not a bad little car, but definitely for someone who has kids and/or pets, and I have neither.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 22nd April, 2003