We bought our Esteem in 1999 but it's an 2000 GLX model. I got the car since my father passed away 6 years ago and now in 2013, it still runs like a champ.
I did the brakes pads once and then later on got some aftermarket drilled and slotted rotors and ceramic brake pads and new shoes and drums for the back.
In all these 13+ years the car has never broke down on the road but once it didn't start in the garage. it was just the CMP sensor and that's about a 15 minute job for this car. Replaced the Idle Control Valve once, alternator and the struts and besides the regular wear items, tires, battery, belt, It keeps on going.
My A/C never had problems since new and always blows cold.
Great A/C unit, easy to drive. It's just a great dependable car to take my child to school and me to work everyday and don't have to worry about it breaking down like a lot of more expensive brands.
Has a timing chain and not a belt so no replacement or pre maintenance care. Change the oil every 3 months and add gas and go. Great little car.
Could use a smoother ride and a quieter interior. A little more pep in the motor. A little higher stance since I'm a tall guy. Sorry can't find too much on a car that is suppose to be simple and reliable because it is.
Car was two years old and had 30,000 miles on it at purchase. I'd read good reviews, but my expectations were low. I was just looking for a cheap little wagon to drive for a while. I tested a 1.6L, but it was underpowered. The 1.8L is way better. I liked that the 1.8L wouldn't need timing belt replacement, since it has a chain. Well, I've been surprised by how much I love this car. It's cute, extremely peppy, and fits a ton of stuff. It's amazingly reliable. In five years, I've put 30,000 miles on it, mostly vacation driving. We've taken it out on the road for weeks at a time without a worry. It's been from sea level to Colorado mountain tops. It's a champ.
Everything works! No timing belt, A/C is cold, runs strong and smooth. And it was CHEAP! These cars were a well-kept secret. Too bad they stopped making them. I'd get another one for my son.
I'm a car gal. I've owned at least 20, from Porsches to SUVs. We bought this car used with 30,000 miles on it. Our expectations were low, we were just buying a cheap car to drive around town. We love it! We have taken it on road trip vacations for several summers in a row. It is peppy, reliable, gets good mpg and holds a lot of gear. I'm glad these cars weren't "discovered" because it allowed us to pick one up cheap. The GLX package is packed full of features that make it comfortable and pleasant to drive. (AC, CC, moonroof, 6 CD changer, roof racks, etc.) I think this is one of the most under-rated cars I've ever owned.
Peppy little engine, sleek styling, and good value.
I wish there was a shoulder belt and head rest in the rear center position.
here we go......this is the same car as in the review above. Now, it has 140000 miles on it(I commute 100 miles toand from work each day). I cannot say enough about this car. In 130k miles, here are my repairs: 4 front brake jobs (including the de-laminated brake pad), replaced front rotors once, 2 sets of tires, I had a stalling problem at around 105k that was the ONLY repair that was not wear-and-tear related. It was a throttle control valve or something. I am on my ORIGINAL rear brakes. It has only not started for me once, so I changed the plugs.this was at 120k. New plugs also cleared the check engine light. I really beat this car. Simply, the best car I have EVER owned.
Space galore in a small package, RELIABILITY,RELIABILITY,RELIABILITY!!! big glove box, 27-30 mpg when gas is $2.00/gal.
since they dont make this model anymore, this is a moot point. The Aerio is a cool little wagon, but I think I'm moving up to a grand Vitara next.
Since I purchased my Esteem Wagon in July of 2001, I have had one problem. About a week after I purchsed it (it had only 10k miles), the passenger seid front brake pad "de-laminated" itself from the mounting surface. The dealer covered it under warranty and not one thing has gone wrong with the car. Although it has a propensity for blowing brakelights. I have put 12K miles on the car since purchase and it has been a pleasure. Better than any US brand I have owned in the last 10 years.
Love the fold-down rear seats, storge compartments under the rear floor.Huge glove box.
Improve interior materials, Hyundai uses better stuff.Maybe a light under the hood & crossbars on the roof rack.