I have the 5 speed and it is amazing! I bought it for the fuel savings and I could not be more pleased. It does get a few looks and some funny comments, but when I tell them it gets 50 mpg, they all want to know where they can get one.
Seats let way back. My 6'3" husband can drive with no leg cramping. It also has plenty of headroom to be such a small car.
I have worked a lot with this car in the past, and the similar Geo and Chevy cars as well. It is a dependable car that I drive on a daily basis and have no trouble with it. It is very easy to work on compared to many other modern cars. It has a lot of space in the engine compartment, which makes working on it a breeze. It has a fair amount of power for its size, and is overall easy to drive.
I like how it has a better power to weight ratio than the Geo Metro because of its 4 cylinder engine. It is a better balance in my opinion. Also, it handles better than the other cars, as it has better shocks and a sway bar.
If I could change one thing about the car, I would give it a better top end gear ratio. You would get better highway gas mileage if you didn't have to rev it as much for 65 mph. Power steering might be another feature they could add.
You get what you pay for. I paid $1,500 for this car two years ago. I get 36-38 mpg and not had to repair anything on it. New tires and oil changes are all it has needed. And the tires where cheap, because there so small. It only cost $100 for them. All the parts are cheap on it so repairs are minimal, especially if you know how to do things yourself. It's been the best car purchase for the money I have ever made. Granted, there is nothing to it, it's small, loud, uncomfortable, and lacks a/c. But those things aside, it was cheap and it's cheap to maintain.
The gas mileage is unbeatable. I love hatchbacks too. I can fit my entire drumset in it with the back seat folded down.
If it made it more expensive?... nothing. The best part about it is that it is cheap. Improvements would only jack up the price.
This is a great little car. I drove it from Fla to VA, no problems. Great fuel economy, Transmission is very noisy and car Could use power mirror and rear defroster could use an automatic cut-off switch. Now my main complaint is the A/C. Since purchasing this car I had replaced the compressor twice.
Gas mileage, fun to drive, easy to park.
Side rearview mirror could use remote adjustment. Small trunk. No handle to open or close hatchback. Noisy transmision. Air compresor not very durable