Fast and fun, just get it checked out first
Battery died @ 208,000kms.
Shifter (5spd manual) came away from its mounting and the shift knob dropped 3 inches. I could still shift, but it was difficult. Easy fix.
Distributor died @ 212,000kms (lots of $$)
New driver-side CV shaft @ 214,000kms.
Ran on only rear bank of cylinders for a few weeks, turns out I needed a resealed front valve cover and new spark plugs on the front cylinder bank.
Various cosmetic things inside and outside, ie: cheap paint job with contamination and some runs, some interior panels painted silver? UGH.
Currently, its idling weird. It'll idle fine (600 rpm) at one light then at the next it'll idle at 1,300 rpm. In those cases, I tap the gas once to rev it up to 2,000. The revs rise then fall down to the proper 600 rpm.
As well, its using up oil lately. Possibly leaking, but more likely burning.
The handling is amazing. Even with the snow tires I have at the front and all seasons in the back, it corners very quickly and confidently. The turn in is very crisp and instant even with the high profile 205/60 series tires. Tap the brakes in mid-corner and the back doesn't even flinch. Nothing upsets this car. I can thank its short wheel base and quick steering ratio.
Gear ratios are close together and perfectly spaced, but I think 5th is a little short, ie: 3,500 rpm @ 100km/h. The engine is fairly powerful (128 hp @ 6,500, 115 lb-ft. @ 4,500), revs very quickly and smoothly. I've gotten it past the 7,000 rpm redline up to 8,000.
The few things that have gone wrong I can probably blame on me not having the car checked by a mechanic. However, I am a little upset that I overlooked the hideous interior "mods" someone before me made and the cheapo paint job.
Overall, a very agile and quick car that rides decently and is VERY tossable and fun to drive. I would recommend one only after having it checked out.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th August, 2005