Sporty yet confortable mid size car
I was way too confident when I purchased the car, I did not take the time to fully inspect it.
First thing I notice was that the auto transmission needed to be fully rebuilt ($1000).
Changed the lower control arms bushings (generic brand) and they lasted only 3 months. Bought the genuine ones at the dealer, they only lasted 6 months. So I finally bought some improved urethane bushings ($80 -in USA), no problems since.
Put in 4 new -original size- Sony speakers ($75).
Last year I had to change the engine ($600): It was overheating in traffic almost since I bought the car, and finally a head gasket blew off. Seems that the older engine was at some point poorly repaired by the former owner´s mechanic.
I changed all belts, tensioners, water hoses, spark plug wires, cap distributor, coolant, cleaned all 6 injectors, etc., and the "new" used engine purrs like a kitten.
A few weeks ago the clock stopped working. I took it off, soldered some contacts and voila!, like new ($0).
Took all genuine wheels to a paint shop ($120), and the car looks great now.
The former owner beat the hell out of this car, but I did not notice because the exterior and interior looked fine to me. That's the reason for all these repairs, not because of the car itself.
Besides all the money and time invested in it, much more than it's worth, I have discovered how refined and well constructed this car is. The interior still looks like new (except for the steering wheel), all exterior panels are aligned, the engine is very discreet and smooth, but if you want to have fun, the engine pulls very strong, along with some exciting noise coming out of the exhaust...
I would recommend this model to anybody. A full inspection is mandatory, special attention to the auto tranny, suspension and cooling system. Parts can be expensive or unavailable at the dealer.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th February, 2010