I was recently hit by someone who ran a stop sign; t-boned the car, and it was slammed tail first into an electric pole. We walked away from the car with soft tissue damage; if it'd been a lesser car, we would have been badly hurt. No side air bags--I LOVED my car. Filled up each Sunday, got me around for the week with 40 miles a day average, with manual transmission. Had a problem with the gas tank, but it was just an annoyance. Car was NEVER a headache. After 6 years, it still had a beautiful exterior, paint held up well. Seats stain a little too easily, imo. Drove well, only had to replace the clutch, NEVER had any serious engine problems. FUN TO DRIVE, just check my mileage, lol!
Great car for small family. Intuitive placement of controls. Great on gas, adequete space. Had cruise control on manual, was incredibly safe even w/o side airbags.
Might want to up-grade the tires, seat cloth was not "wipe clean" as stated by dealership. shoulder and lap belt on center backseat instead of lap belt. GAS TANK problem! Had to fuel up very slowly in order for car to take gas; dealership actually made problem worse, so might be unique to car.