I bought this car new in 2004.
It was February, and the salesman was discouraged as he walked me to the lot, and the car was under a pile of snow.
He said all he had was a 4 cylinder with standard transmission... I didn't let on, but that's EXACTLY what I wanted.
The car has been a dream to own.
I have performed regular maintenance with my own mechanics.
I never went back to the dealer, and never needed to.
Oil changes every 3000, and regular timing belt changes were the bulk of maintenance.
Also plugs every 60k.
I replaced two tie rods, and recently an axle (after 189,000).
Two sets of brake pads.
That's about it.
I love this car, and I don't want to part with it.
The interior of the car is well laid out, and stands the test of time.
It's now 2011, and this car looks as relevent on the inside and out as any car on the road.
The paint has held up remarkably, and the performance has been great.
It's been a fun car from day 1.
The hatchback trunk is generous, and Mitsubishi definitely put some thought into the engineering.
Mine was built in Normal, Ill. with a plant engineered by the Japenese... of course.
What a great balance; American work force and Japanese engineering.
I think the brakes on the car could probably use improvement.
They have never felt really firm, but to be honest, if you drive a standard transmission properly, the fun is in the down-shifting.
Brakes are optional! :-)