This is one of the greatest sport compacts from the age of sport compacts, and still competent today
My 02 sensor is dying
Cracked valve cover (replaced under warranty)
Failed piston oil seals (replaced under warranty)
Ran over large rock which dented oil pan (replaced under warranty)
A true modern classic.
I purchased this as my first car and still love it, and am actively modifying and tinkering with it.
It is great fun to drive, although it does drink a lot of fuel when driven with "passion." The engine is great, with a lot of...grunt. For those of us with the automatic model, the tranny lets you turn off the overdrive giving more aggressive shift points. In addition, there are several excellent upgrades on the market that bring the AT's performance up quite a few notches. The engine has little turbo lag, although the stock turbo is limiting. With regard to upgrades, very large turbos will increase the lag by a lot. Out of the stock turbo, one can get 15 psi with a boost controller--this is the limit of the stock fuel system and the turbocharger itself.
The exterior styling is gorgeous, and soemthing I won't ever ruin with idiotic body kits and the like, although I do reccomend new wheels... the stock ones are easily damaged. The large wing fits well wit the car, although it does add a blind spot.
The interior falls in line with what a sports car's should be. By that, I mean the car wraps around the driver once he/she enters. The controls are simple and easy to use, and it is quite comfortable up front. The back seats should not be used for anything, but a briefcase or napsack.
The awd aids in poor weather and snow, and eliminates nasty torque steer that its gs-t and current relative suffer from. It is great fun to drive fast, and still holds it's own today. Also, it is quite rare.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th March, 2006