Great car... Can't kill it... I believe mine to have multiple lives!
Headlights, grille, bumper.
Most things were simple to replace, and most were my own fault.. not the car's.
I'd still take it cross country, even with all it's been through.
Sadly this car been in 4 accidents throughout the course of its life, two of which were quite major, and only one of which was my fault. I pulled out of side road onto the main drag, and I unfortunately misjudged the speed of an oncoming mini-van, which ended up slamming into my left front fender at approximately 40 miles per hour.. The damage was what 90 percent of people would classify irreparable.
At 56 thousand miles though, I couldn't bear to see the car head for the scrap yard. My front bumper was blown completely off.. taking the headlights, signals, grille, and radiator with it. The left front subframe was bent at a 90 degree angle right underneath the battery box, and the right front subframe also had a considerable bend. All three motor mounts were broke, and the motor was twisted enough to where the power-steering pump pulley was rubbing against the firewall. Also, the hood was blown up against the windshield on impact, and the airbag did deploy. The computer (which is tucked in along side the battery, nestled right inside the left front fender) was cracked in half.
I ended up buying a parts car for 20 bucks that had no tranny and a butchered wiring harness. Although it had some impact on the right front, the left front was good shape, and therefore I was able to get the majority of the parts I needed.
It took a friend and I about two weeks to fix it, working every single day after school until about 10 o'clock. It required tons of work with the torch and sledge hammer, as it was extremely difficult to straighten the subframes once again.
Also, I had to weld a whole new front end on as there was nothing to bolt my new fenders too or to put my new radiator in.
There is still a large crease in the left front subframe, but I was still able to get it straight enough to get the bumper on. After all work was done, she fired right up! Nothing really lines up perfect, but all in all, it really was a miracle how it all came together.
People still disagree with me deciding to fix it up, but hey, as long as you have the appropriate tools and an empty garage stall.. what is there to lose. The experience was worth everything to me.
I put anyone who questioned its reliability to shame, as I took it on an almost 200 mile round trip on the interstate the day I finally got it all together. I even got it to pass inspection 6 months later.
My alignment is still a bit off, but I'm not too worried. It's three different colors now and certainly isn't pretty, but it gets me around, and I'm real proud of it.
The day I saw that odometer turn once again after the accident, was quite possibly the happiest I've ever been.
Just last week I hit a deer with the left front at about 30mph... now my once undamaged fender is slightly folded underneath the hood and dented. A few more sledge hammer whacks and she's once again serviceable.
61 thousand miles now, and I plan on keeping those digits turning!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th February, 2007