Good reliable, well made compact car that gets very good fuel economy. A couple of things that bother me having taken so many long trips: the seats are not very good and I use a cushion to make things more comfortable. The brakes are average at best and you have to plan your stops. The car is really not that quiet on the highway but it is an economy car. The engine works well but the last year is making a droning sound that we thought was coming from the front end or tires. I changed the tires and had the front end checked, but not luck. The body is starting to show signs of rust on the hood of all places. You clearly need winter tires for traction in the snow because the car is so light.
The engine is the best part of the car- good pickup and very good fuel economy. A little noisy when you need to pass or get away quickly. The transmission is a low pressure quiet unit that is hardly noticeable most of the time. Car handles quite well for a regular everyday hauler.
I think many of the improvements have been made to the new '09 model that I would suggest. Better seats, thicker windscreen, better tires and better brakes on some models. Only the styling leaves me cold. The tranny could use another gear for the highway - say 75 mph.
I have had this vehicle for over five years and haven't had one problem with it. It is snappy off the line and gets great gas mileage (32-34 mpg around town and 36-38 mpg on the highway). I would recommend this vehicle to anyone looking for a safe, reliable car with good gas mileage.
I loved this car, meant to keep it many more years, until a drunk driver totaled it and left me without it. It was great on fuel economy, mostly highway driving, a great 35 to 37 mpg. It was comfortable and easy to handle, excellent braking. Reliability was excellent, nothing wrong in the 5 yrs I owned it. Now trying to find another comparable is turning into a nightmare, as prices have been hiked up for these great cars, and no 2003 or 04 models out there with low mileage.
Cruise control, tilt wheel, daytime running lights,and good warning gauges. Loaded with features for a small car.
I would add more cup holders and ashtray! But a small improvement as it was a great car.
Loved this car. Bought it brand new. There was no other compact sedan as stylish as this at the time. Car felt much more expensive than it actually was. I totalled the car less than a year after having it. Ran head on into a telephone pole due to road conditions. Airbag deployed, I was completely fine. From inside the vehicle you would have never known it was wrecked (except the airbag and cracked windshield). Very solid!