Fantastic car for the money. It's hard to have more fun for 20k. When driving hard, it just begs you to drive harder and punish it more! DON'T SHIFT!! Keep those RPM's climbin!!! Torque only kicks in after 5000 rpms which is its major and pretty much only flaw. 6spd manual is smooth with short throws and ability to slam gears with ease. Handling is a little snug but I experience a small amount of understeer at higher speeds. Steering firm and precise. Sound system caught me by surprise (standard sub-woofer) is actually good and ipod hook-up makes me forget about the 50lb cd case to lug around.
Engine noise, the transformations from nice low hum to growling beast @ 6-7000 RPM's is exhilarating. Ability to drive as hard as I can without worry.... Seats are snug and comfortable for medium commutes.
TURBO TURBO TURBO, without this improvement in the torque output makes me think that this may be my last SI, unfortunately because if the future models have 200+FTlbs of torque I'll stay forever. Plus a 5/6th gear worth something. Sorry, but a longer 5th would relegate 6th for better fuel mileage (HWY).