We got this car brand new back in 2006.
6 years and less than 33,000 miles later (wasn't used often until the second half of ownership), this car is quite the joy!
The 2.3L engine has plenty of get up and go w/ a perfectly sensitive throttle and brake pedal. Brakes bite really well, but seem to fade kind of quick with repeated use. 5AT works well, but don't expect it to be butter smooth. The ride is firm, but not enough to make lunch run back out. I've gotten 26 city/34 hwy.
Handling is this car's best trait! Turn-in is EXCELLENT, with plenty of steering feedback and response. But I don't like the "floaty" feeling when taking corners spiritedly and there is a bump/ridge mid-corner.
- Handling, handling, handling. Grips like a madman!
- 2.3L is more than enough for getting around town; enough grunt; Manual mode on 5AT adds to the sporty factor.
- Interior is nice for the price; speaker system is very good - especially for bass fanatics
- Steering feel/response/feedback is what I enjoy the most; it doesn't feel numb, overly light, or buttery.
- Stock 16" Toyo tires have a short life; poor grip in rain; OK grip in light snow
- A/C compressor clutch engages at odd points (ie. starting from a red light and it engages, causing car shudder)
- "Floaty" feeling from the rear when taking corners spiritedly on bumpy roads
- Rear brakes wear out quicker than front
- A/C doesn't work as good as other cars I've been in...