I bought the car used at 44k miles. The dealer put on brand new tires, and yet, the car is HORRIBLE in snow!
The tires spin/slide not only on a mere coating of snow, but something even on wet roads.
It's not a small car problem, because my old Geo Prizm was a champ in snow, and my fiance's Nissan Versa is also quite good.
I'm going to have to get winter tires, even though I live 1.5 flat miles from work, because frankly I don't feel safe driving this in any amount of snow.
Otherwise, it's OK.
The handling is not great.
It has a very poor turning radius for a small car, and it's herky-jerky: the gas and brake pedals are too sensitive; it takes quite a lot of finesse to drive smoothly.
I was in a hurry to get a car because my previous car failed safety inspection, and I admit I bought the Scion mostly because it was cute.
It's cute all right.
That's about all I can say about its good features.
It's been reliable, sure... it starts.
It's OK on gas but not as good as I expected for such a small car.
I get 30 miles to the gallon city in the summer if I drive super carefully, but only 27-28 city in the winter when they change the fuel mix (I'm in New England.)
My V6 Pontiac Grand Prix got 21-22, so this is not a great improvement in gas mileage for such a reduction in driving enjoyment.
There are weird front end noises that no one can diagnose.
I prefer automatic daytime running lights for safety, and to ensure I don't accidentally leave the headlights on, although it does warn you if you try.
the gas and brake pedals are TOO sensitive, not a smooth ride.
There's a lot of engine/road noise.
The aerodynamics are messed up; you can't just open a front window or you'll get a weird interior air vibration (my fiances Nissan Versa does this also).
You have to crack a back window also to avoid the weird weird tunnel buzz.