Certainly a big step up from a '97 Explorer. Sporty feel in the suspension and more than enough power get off the line. Hardly any disappointments, except: no automatic headlamps, poor sound system, and sometimes the automatic doesn't respond after slowing below 20 mph. As for the lights, my explorer had them, so why not this? As for the sound system, there is no stock system that could ever compare to a decent after market system; and as for the throttle response, if it were a huge issue I would have gotten a manual transmission. As I said for the money, I don't think you could find a better car.
Sporty feel, racing style seats, overall stylish interior lay-out, great engine sound for a four-banger, 6.5" speaker housing (easy to put expensive speakers in).
Auto-headlamps, I'd like more horsepower, but then again what guy under 25 wouldn't.