100% Excellent Car
Mostly just minor things have gone wrong with the car. The car was almost 20 years old when I bought it, so take that into consideration. Also note that I live in a climate that goes from -40°C to +35°C, and this car was driven year round.
The gas trunk shocks did not hold up lid ($70 ebay).
The trunk release did not work very well. Key had to be used in the trunk keyhole.
Key was also difficult to make copies from because of tiny teeth design. Duplicates had to be wiggled into ignition.
Driver's door keyhole got stuck sometimes, and door handle did not always open door properly. But I always got it open on the second try at least.
Clutch cable snapped around 160,000.
Each winter a piece of exhaust needed replacing (40-70 dollars a year)
Drivers seat began to fray on the edge, but no holes. Seat belt also wouldn't retract after unbuckling without some help back into the wall.
Shifter became very hard to move at -40. I assume this is acceptable as most cars would do this?
Passenger side washer sprayer stopped working.
Tail lights cracked in between the lines, and some moisture drops can be seen inside. Still cool looking and functional however.
A single oil leak lightly persisted through the time I had this car, which was never fixed. It wasn't that bad.
The decorative black trim on the drivers door fell off one day and had to be put back on. ($5 double sided tape).
Rust was a constant problem with this car. This it is partially due to the climate and the fact that this car had holes in it when purchased.
Car never did drive straight, so I had to hold the wheel at an angle.
Back struts/shocks sometimes groaned when people were in the back, or while the car was turning.
One headlight would take over one minute to pop up. At first it was a few seconds, but then it grew to the point where I would simply leave them both up 24/7.
Fuel door was sometimes sticky, especially in winter.
Rear defrost quit working.
The car in particular would frost up heavily on the interior glass. Even when nobody was inside of it. I used a spray bottle full of rubbing alcohol to remove the frost quickly.
Do not be discouraged from what I said went wrong. Many of these things are routine maintenance. I just want you to know things I encountered.
If you can find this car with minimal rust, buy it. My car was written off in an accident or I would drive it until it died (if ever.) It still drove after the accident too, and the front end was mashed up bad. Quality automobile.
VERY RELIABLE. Drove this car nearly to the arctic circle, over several big curbs, with six people in it, 190km/h speed tests, 900km day trips, and in extreme temperatures differences.
There is storage space if you plan carefully and don't need to get your spare tire out of the trunk haha. Also note there is considerable extra space in the spare tire compartment in this car.
I once transported all at once (excluding small stuff) :
3 Fullsize suitcases
1 Carry-on suitcase
2 Duffle bags
1 Full garbage bag
1 Full laundry bag
4 King size pillows
1 Queen inflatable mattress + quilt, etc.
24 Cans of beer
9 Boxes of shoes
The car always started, even with 16 hours outside with -40 temps.
I was only stranded ONCE when the clutch cable snapped.
Do not ignore rust on this car. Get rid of it fast because it will spread like cancer. They don't even use salt here, the metal is just thin or something.
Use caution on speed bumps, the bumper is low.
Wrap your T-tops in towels/blankets in the trunk so they don't get scratched. Or use the hidden compartment by the spare tire.
Speaking of spare tire, the ugly stock hubcaps took extra force to get off. They did not break, they are just held on by a quality steel spring ring. Not like the garbage hubcaps that fall off of Fords.
YOU MUST BUY THIS CAR! (if you can find one)
They can last at least 300,000km if cared for. This is an excellent car for a new driver, or college student. Way cooler than a junk Sunfire/Cavalier and more reliable. The one I bought was in rough shape and it still performed well.
The acceleration will not win you any trophies, but the gas saved would win you some. About 30mpg city and 35mpg highway if you shift under 3k.
The T-Tops are a blast. The hatchback lid can come off too. You get a truck, coupe, and convertible all in one package. Totally sweet. You can have a mini El Camino and move big items in the back. Or have people stand up while you are driving at their own risk.
Parts are difficult to find. The junkyards have crushed them all. However some parts are interchangeable with the Sentra / Stanza.
The backseat will be next to useless for adults on trips over 20 minutes. Too cramped. Would be nice for children maybe or just groceries. Also, there is only two seat belts in the rear, not the usual three.
This is not a family car. It is however a very nice car for daily transportation for someone with a max height of maybe 6'2". Very versatile and fun for all ages. Be sure to not buy a rusty one and get a proper inspection done. 100% recommended. Pick one up if you find one or I might beat you to it. Be sure to examine the t-top seals for leaks, and check for rust formation where the bottom hatchback glass meets the trunk. The rain doesn't drain well here.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th May, 2009