Extremely well built car. Bought new in Feb '09. Still looks and drives showrooom new without a squeak or rattle. ONLY maintenance to date: Oil & filter changes, tire rotations every 6K miles; replaced air filter.
I ran two bottles of Gumout fuel system cleaner through the tank at 40K. At 47K miles, replaced OEM Kumho 215 45 17 tires with Continental Extreme DWS. Absolutely nothing else. Lifetime average actual fuel consumption in mixed driving is very good 30.6 MPG. Exterior look is distinctive.
It is comfortable, relatively quiet and fun to drive with 5-speed manual. Very little wind noise, average road noise. Ideal commuter. Custom Curt hitch works great on this car for hauling bikes.
This car is all about value. I'd highly recommend buying a low-mileage and well cared for loaded SES used. If you are thinking about buying one used, consider it was purchasable new deeply discounted and with rebates that made features like heated leather seats and electronic stability control available at a little over $16 grand. Excellent handling and tight steering feedback with 17 inch tires and wheels. Five speed manual has long throws but increases fun factor and performance. Sync IPOD and bluetooth phone system works very well. Night-time dash and ambient lighting really looks great.
Big trunk. Comfortable. Plenty of cup/bottle holders. An American car actually assembled in USA!
All black interior desperately needed some contrast; lots of black plastic, nothing else on the doors. Black leather seats were, frankly, drab and needed some contrasting textures. I'd go with the tan leather if I were to do it again. Unfortunately side mirrors didn't fold. Difficult rear seat access with coupe. If you ever plan to use rear seat, buy a sedan. An outside temp gauge and compass would have been nice. The heated seats sometimes heat unevenly and needed a low/high setting. Rear seats don't fold flat. On-board MPG computer is sometimes little more optimistic than actual MPGs (Appears most of these were resolved in new Fiesta and Focus.) Ignition key sometimes stubborn to go in.
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