I bought this car in March of 2006 with roughly 20,000 original miles (31,500 kilometers showing) on it. It is mechanically identical to the 1992 Plymouth Acclaim I once had, which was an excellent car. I expect little difference from this Sundance.
The ride quality is a nice balance of comfort and handling. The ride is firm, yet smooth and comfortable for a small car. There is not a lot of body lean in turns. The steering is quick and responsive.
The brake pedal is pretty spongy and has a bit of a delayed response. Other American cars I've driven (new and older) seem to have this same problem. My Plymouth Acclaim's brakes were identical in feel and response to the Sundance. The brakes are pretty strong though, but not anywhere near as strong and responsive as what was on my '85 Volvo 240. The Sundance's brakes are not the worst, but not the best either.
Performace from the engine and transmission is good for a subcompact. Both the engine and transmission operate very smoothly. The 4cyl. engine in my Sundance is the larger 2.5L 4cyl. For most driving situations it is plenty of power. It is not a typical buzzy, whiny sounding 4cyl. that is typical in subcompacts. It has a very deep, throaty tone. It's a much torquier engine than what most older subcompacts are equipped with (especially Japanese subcompacts) and you feel the difference. Most small cars have to constantly downshift and rev the engine well over 3,000rpm to get reasonable power for passing or getting up hills. That is not the case with this powertrain. Very rarely has the engine had to rev past 3,000rpm for me. Highway passing power is good for a small car, and never requires downshifting from the transmission. Getting up hills never requires more than one downshift at most. The transmission shifts very smoothly into all three forward gears and is a model of reliability and longevity. This same model engine and transmission lasted 182,000 miles in the Plymouth Acclaim I once owned before the car was totalled in an accident. Not too bad for an inexpensive American car, eh?
The interior is very plush, roomy, and comfortable for a subcompact car for 1990 standards and even the standards of today's ecomomy cars. Most economy cars nowadays have very stylish interiors, but with little substance and very firm, hard seats. The seats in the Sundance are very plush and comfortable and there are small touches of class on the interior that you just don't see on small cars anymore, like fully upholstered door panels and a chrome metal strip that runs the length of the interior window sills.
The ergonomics in the Sundance are actually quite good, with the exception of the low mounted stereo on the dashboard. I am a male of average height (5'9") and with my seat in a comfortable driving position I have to lean far forward to operate the stereo. Other than that small complaint, everything is pretty much where you'd expect it to be and easy to operate. My Sundance does not have a tilt-wheel and I find the fixed position to be a pretty comfortable angle. Some cars with a fixed steering wheel have a very awkward feeling steering wheel angle. The front seating area is very spacious for a subcompact car. The rear seating is noticeably more cramped, but still much better than some other small cars and acceptible for 2 average-size adults, or 3 small children.