A reliable, compact, somewhat sporty mode of transportation
The water pump went at 138000.
I replaced timing belts at 138000 as a precaution.
It burns oil and smokes, about a quart every 800 miles.
The brakes could use a little work, but driveable.
I bought the car as a senior in high school to replace my aging Buick. It has proved to be very reliable in all sorts of conditions.
My gas mileage for this 1.8L, automatic was upper twenties in the city and mid to upper thirties on the highway. I can get over 400 miles per tank if I drive conservatively.
The engine is a bit sluggish off the line and when cold, but is very quick on the highway for it's size. All of the power is in the top end. (3000-6000rpm)
The car handles well, and the tight suspension hugs the corners with ease. The car is also balanced well. I live in a very snowy, cold climate, and I find it does well in the snow, except that it's so low to the ground. Also, the car has large blind spots because of the thick pillars in the back, so one has to be careful when changing lanes, etc.
The interior is very nice and very futuristic for the time it was made. Comfort is average. The driver sits with his or her feet forward, and I have just enough leg room for my frame. (6'2, 265lbs) I still have a couple inches of headroom to spare. The back seats are pretty much a joke for anyone larger than a 10 year old. The space is better used with the seats folded down. A lot of cargo can be carried this way. This car is pretty much a two seater.
The car has been in the Midwest all of it's life, and there's hardly any rust. The paint has faded in the back a bit, but it's still a beautiful, blue paint job.
The main complaint with this car is the oil consumption. The car smokes if it's been idling without movement, but it's not so bad on long distances. A thicker oil like 10w-40 and oil additives like STP oil treatment help it not to burn so much. It's not that bad, however, as long as one keeps a quart of oil in the car for longer trips.
Besides the water pump, I haven't had to replace anything out of necessity. This is a great car for a single person or a college student. It's reliability is hard to beat, and it still manages to be a bit sporty. Don't think about trying to race any souped up imports, however.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th October, 2002