I bought this car in 2008 looking for a sporty hatchback on the cheap. At the time there wasn't much in the offering, unlike today where it seems like hatchbacks have caught on again. It's a great car for most occasions with plenty of "get-up", lots of room with the seats down, and a great exterior (imho). Unfortunately it's not without its problems: anything exhaust related (EGR valve for instance, the fact that it has TWO cat. converters that like to fail!) and of course the headlights, as most other reviewers have mentioned. All in all it's a fun car, but if I had to do it again I might have spent a little more money and gone for a Mazda3.
Sporty feel in an economy box! Seriously that's what it boils down to. It's a cheap car but it doesn't feel like one, at least most of the time.
Change the fuel mixture or at least make the ignition/exhaust system more robust. I've spent over $2000 on a new EGR valve, new cat. converters, and tune-ups, and I don't drive it like a race car. That and the headlights - who the heck needs to change 3 headlights a year?!?