First of all, don't expect this car to be a Ferrari. I bought my Prizm in 2004 with 32000 miles on it, and it has served me well since then as it has 77k on it. The engine was PLENTY of power to get you merging onto that highway or to pass the annoying driver in the city or highway. As for the transmission I do have the 3-speed auto and I would have liked to have the 4-speed auto or 5-speed manual, considering the 3-speed is quite noisy on the highway, but that not too much of a problem for me, as I turn up the music a little bit. Additionally the 4-speed does a little better in gas. I'm averaging 27mpg city and 32mpg highway (interstate 72mph) and 36mpg U.S highway (60mph).
1. Great gas mileage even with 3-speed! 2. Extremely smooth shifting transmission. 3. Awesome turn circle. Makes parallel parking a breeze. 4. Auto headlights 5. Perfect engine power 6. Of course reliability..it's the same as a Toyota Corolla!
1. Make the 4-speed auto standard 2. Better factory struts. I had to change mine at 40k. Originals are oil charged, and leak easily. I replaced them with gas charged struts, now there's no more shimmy on the highway, and its more comfortable 3. Bring back the Prizm! I have two (other is a 96')