I bought my 5-speed Lanos hatchback brand new in 2000 and have not had any problems with it at all. The car has started every time and handles well. I made sure to get all my oil changes every 3000 miles and I replaced my timing belt at 55,000 miles. There was a recall involving one of the sensors back in 2003 or so, but aside from that and buying new tires and a muffler, I haven't put a lot of money into this car at all. It's good on gas, has cheap insurance, is easy to park, corners well, and even has a bit of speed to go along with it. I think this car has served me so well because I've taken care of it as far as maintenance is concerned. Even if it died tomorrow, it's been worth it.
The rear folding seats allow for lots of storage space. I also like the simplicity of the dashboard.
There are a few quirks with the car, such as the passenger seat which mysteriously reclines on its own. The middle cup holder is also useless. A tachometer would be nice for those who drive 5-speed. But these are all minor issues. It's a cheap car, so I wouldn't expect lots of power features.
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