Bought an LE (Touring) in 1998. 30 seconds out of the showroom, it started making this HORRIBLE grinding noise. Dealer fixed it under warranty (a loose lug nut in the front aluminum alloy wheels), but entire new car experience was compromised. Then, for the first 20k miles, the car made a squeaky old mattress noise -- turned out the Goodyear Integrity tires had uneven wear. Goodyear disagreed, so did the Berkeley, CA dealership. Bought tires (Pirellis) out of own pocket. Noise went away for a bit, but came back at 40k. Bought new Yokohamas, and has been perfect since. Back seat had enough barely enough leg room - - it is a total joke. Auto. tansmission pickup is pathetic. Still LOVE IT!!
Handling, especially in wet and emergency manuvers; low rpm (only 2,600 at 75 mph) on freeways; smooth transmission; awesome OEM wheels; lined trunk; bone-chill A/C; comfortable seats (better than 98 Camry); white-faced (touring) guages; mechanical reliability; fuel economy; electrical system.
Where are the front driver and passenger window defoggers? Did Toyota forget to put them in? I mean, even rental car Geo Metros have those! Rear seat leg room is pathetic: when the driver's seat is slid back, the clearence between seats in 3". Pick-up stinks - been out-gunned by old Sentras.