Fast. Sexy. Cheap
The A/C freon was at half pressure, which is apparently a common problem. Had the dealer top it off at the first oil change and now it works fine.
Also, since then the other common problem, "popping" in the glass roof has developed. Haven't taken it in to have that fixed yet, but that's just a problem of two bolts in the glass roof needing some lock-tight.
I love this car, especially for the price. It easily blows away it's competition (civic).
Performance-wise, it's quite good for a 4-cyl. One thing to watch out for is if you stomp on it out of a stoplight, the front end drifts. No limited slip differential. It's no big deal, but it is a surprise the first time. I have laid rubber in both 1st and 2nd gear, didn't have the guts to see if it would break the tires loose in 3rd, as I was already over the speed limit and can't afford another ticket. I think it would, though.
The handling is excellent, due to the low-profile Ponteza tires (taken from the Lexus) and the european suspension. I read online on a message board somewhere where a guy that got the dealer installed TRD lowering kit with TRD racing shocks said the handling was then comparable to his MR2!! Can't confirm that, don't have the kit yet.
The interior is excellent, what you would expect for a car that cost $10K more. Also it's surprisingly roomy. I'm 6'3", and fit in it just fine, albeit that I have to have the seat all the way back and lowered in order to clutch (it's a manual). Even more surprising is that the rear seats on this little two-door have more leg room than my previous car, a 4-door Jaguar XJ-6.
Gas Mileage is OK, about 23 mpg with about 90% city driving.
One thing that I have found to be irritating -- no trunk light. Also, make sure you never, ever curb-check. It will scratch those nice rims, as I found out : (.
I've had it for about ten months and 7000 miles now, and really love it. It's a really good car with a really great price. A magazine review I read sums it up best: You're buying a $20K car that looks like a $25K car for $16K.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd September, 2005