14 years flew by so fast. I clearly remember the day I purchased this car. A day after my 22nd birthday. Just a few weeks ago I was talking about how I want to keep this car forever but on Oct 26, 2007 with over 182000 miles on it, a deer abruptly ended it. The 30+ miles to a gallon with an average maintenance cost of less than $600 per year will definitely be felt and missed. If there is a Hall of Fame for cars this one no doubt will be inducted. I am not saying this car is perfect, just like any mechanical device it had its malfunctions but none of them major. It stranded me once due to a blown computer chip but overall it met my expectations of reliability, build, and economy.
Body design, interior lay out, stereo/sound system (when it was new), unexpected power, surprising rear passenger leg room for an average height person and hauling ability. Smooth manual transmission and easy to reach controls.
Coin pocket placement. Antenna placement and technology. Make Air conditioning standard. Tougher stereo and sound system and vent fans for 1 and 2 settings. They're both crappy after the 10th year.
This is my first car, as an early driver I have little experience at the wheel, however have driven many different cars, from different manufacturers. And I can say with utmost confidence that this is by far the best econo car you could buy at the time of manufacture. It outperforms, neons, cavaliers, sunfires. A few races with people with these cars has shown me this clearly, by blasting by them with a smirk on my face as they struggle to keep up. Handling is very sharp, however there is a tad bit of body lean, and brakes are really sharp and when properly used, stop surprisingly fast.
Acceleration, handling, braking, exterior looks.
Little less body lean in the corners would be nice. More traction to the front tires would be nice also especially when launching.
this car is so good on gas, i average 6.5 litres per 100 km, mix of city highway. the interior is very roomy, good head room for 6'2" driver. More rear seat room than most big cars. I put a trailer hitch on it; pulls a single seadoo no problem. little 1.5 liter engine is nice and quiet. The car is quick, goes over 180 km/h. manual tranny is nice, precise shifting, if your not after status, this can't be beat.
rear hatch back, swing up window and fold down tailgate, great design
I notice that the road noise can be unusually load particularly when driving in the rain. also opt for a rear window wiper.
Purchased new for EPA rating of 48/53 mpg. Still getting 40+mpg in combined driving. Currently 201,000 miles. I stuck to major maintenance schedules, and still have original radiator, clutch. Paint and interior still in great shape. GREAT little car, get a Honda only if you value a reliability, resale value, smart design, comfort, and want a worry-free ownership experience.
Purchased this car used in 1999 with 80K. Drove it daily and never any problems - and I don't maintain cars until 150K. Loved it! Unfortunately so did the thieves - they stole it from my drive way. Can't say enough good things about my car.
Great room even in back seat, tailgate hatch, fold down seat to get lots in, wonderful gas mileage, great visibility.
Lights on warning - more than one dead battery, original stereo didn't work well, make it harder to break into