For basic cheap transport this car just cannot be beaten. It behaves like a large go cart on the road, so I'd like to think I could avoid accidents in it, but I wouldn't like to be hit by a large vehicle. It gets outstanding gas mileage (35-45 mpg) even with an automatic transmission. Ford doesn't support it well (It is 14 years old after all). It is a cult car of sorts, because it has a small(er) carbon footprint, is cheap and yet is acceptable all weather transport. If more of these were produced I would buy several. It would be nice to have more luxury features. It is basically a "hybrid" car at 1/10th the price.
Reliability. Simplicity. Virtually anyone can understand if not fix this car. Fuel economy. Handling. Surprisingly large cargo hauling ability. Low cost per mile. Low(er) carbon footprint. Cult car status.
Corporate America needs to bring cars like this back into production and sale.That is the most important thing. The car could use better soundproofing. There are a few stupidly engineered parts of the car. Parts supply needs an upgrade.