Great reliable affordable drivers car with utility
Had to replace starter in 2005 - but I drive mostly errands with a lot of starts per short mileage.
Can see wear on Drivers seat door side bolster where my back rubs with each entry and exit.
Rear interior panels tend to creak, partly due to stiff suspension and jarring.
The point and shoot handling of the car is telepathic. The most accurate steering car I've ever driven. Its addictive and has made driving a highway cruiser with light steering and soft suspension difficult to adjust to.
The accurate steering requires more effort at the hands and arms until you find just the right amount of input, but almost always you must use both hands.
Lack of power assist in steering at parking speeds can be a bit tiring.
Biggest complaint is the lack of horsepower (about 115) - that, mated to very short gears 1 through 3 means you must shift a great deal. The very short gears allows you to carry heavy loads without strain.
Very large hatchback hauling space with rear seats down - a great utility vehicle.
The payoff with the small engine is that I get 30+ MPG in all types of driving and never really worry about gas prices.
At street speeds you can make turns without braking and never lose grip, it turns flat. At highway speeds, hard turns suffer from lack of torque.
At speeds above 90mph the car looses its feel due to air getting under the front of car and the steering becomes too light, and about 105mph it feels as if its lifting off the road and about to go airborne.
Cockpit, angle of instruments and other controls is excellent. I like the fact that pedals are not too close together and feet don't get tangled up.
Serious lack of after-market development.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th March, 2006