I purchased this car for my wife and wanted good handling and 4 wheel disc brakes. Had wanted a Civic but the disc brakes only came on the Si. This has been a great car - fun to drive and no problems at all. Engine not as sweet as a Honda but it has a lot of pickup around town and on the highway as well. Not as smooth in the higher RPM range as a Honda but that is not really an issue. Highway mileage is 31-32 so it gives up a bit to a Civic but much more of a sporty ride. I prefer driving the ES to my Accord V-6. I have an auto transmission and it still has a lot of Zoom Zoom. Did I mention great handling with a good highway ride? You cannot go wrong with this car. I don't like the 3.