I drive 8 miles to work and around town generally but have made long distance trips on the freeway and found it no different than my large volvo as far as feeling secure in the driving experience. For a 4 cylinder it has a lot of pick up. I tend to put the pedal to the metal and I am not disappointed in its take off from a stop at intersections. Of course, my driving style does mean that my fuel economy is not as good as what is advertised. I get about 30 to 32 in town but 40 on the freeway over long distances.
My favorite features are its uniqueness and roomy interior. When friends ride with me they are surprised by the comfort and get up and go. I am getting a little tired of constantly being stopped to talk about my car but am getting used to being stared at as I drive down the street.
The engine makes the rear compartment hot and being in the desert intensifies the problem. I have to be careful with groceries.