This car was beaten nearly to death by its previous owner, but with a little TLC, its still kicking
Spark plugs and wires fouled when purchased. Mechanic who replaced them wasn't careful and shorted out my horn and dash lights. Had those repaired later.
Alternator blew at 135000. Replaced that with my dad.
Interior in decent shape for its age, shift and hand brake boot are both torn.
The clips that hold the grille on the frame were snapped by a mechanic. So my car is now sans-grille.
Rear brakes went out around 137000 which caused a minor accident where I lost the rear bumper and right front fender plastic. My brother and I overhauled the rear brakes and they have worked perfectly ever since.
Short in the trunk light caused the battery to drain while parked. Spent about 5 months unplugging the negative battery terminal for long parks before getting this fixed.
Heater core just went out at 145000. I'm currently in the middle of replacing it myself.
Despite having not been taken care of by its previous owner, and the many hardships that I've suffered through, this car is absolutely amazing to drive. Its little 1.8L engine has plenty of get up and go. Front wheel drive system handles phenomenally. Turns on half a dime.
The cabin is roomy enough to seat 4 people rather comfortably and 5 for short distances. The field of view is incredible for a small car, nothing takes you by surprise. Tons of trunk space.
As a do-it-myselfer when it comes to repairs, the accessibility and incredible order of the engine compartment is first rate. No ridiculous plastic cowls to remove and get in the way, everything is easily within reach with room to maneuver tools.
Fuel efficiency! Even at higher speeds, (70+) it gets close to 35 mpg highway. My record for distance is 468 miles from Warsaw, IN to the Somerset Service Plaza on the PA Turnpike. All on 13+/- gallons!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th March, 2006