I've had this car over four years and it's been 100% reliable, best handling car I've driven, great performance, and the seat gives my fairly seriously messed-up spine the best support I've found in a car seat. Mileage is very good - the only vehicle I've owned that used less gas was a Suzuki/Chevy Swift/Sprint. I'd buy this again without hesitation and have recommended the model to other folks since I got mine.
Purchased new with a 5 speed. Never have had it back to the dealership with any problems. Has enough stuff to get up to freeway speed safely (with some to spare). Road noise noticeable on chip- seal surfaces, but otherwise quite good. Put brakes on @ about 160,000 miles. Have never had to align vehicle and tires still wear evenly. I change oil/filter regularly (about every 5,000 miles) and don't use more than a 1/2 quart between changes. Will pass 200,000 miles this week. My driving is 70/30 freeway/city and I consistently get 35 to 37 mpg. Have gotten as high as 42.5 mpg on long trips. The epitome of function over style. Will buy another one after I have 300,000 miles on this one
I bought this car w/10k mi. Likes: Fuel economy, 38 mpg (70% hwy). Comfortable seats, roomy interior, good trunk room with fold down rear seat back feature, good acceleration & power w/5 speed manual trans, & good ride on most roads. Dislikes: OEM Gdyr Integrity tires were worn out at 20,000 mi. Replaced with Gdyr Triple-Treds. These seem to be wearing much better but are noisier. Road noise is annoying,especially over coarse pavement. Wind and engine noise are also very noticeable at highway speeds.The radio sound distorts at higher volume (cheap speakers) and is nearly useless at highway speeds when competing with the road noise. The CD player sometimes skips when I hit a bounce.
Comfortable ride with good handling, good engine power (with/AC off), nice styling (front end looks like a Lexus IS), good fit & finish. Excellent overall fuel economy (beats a lot of smaller sub-compact cars)
Telescoping steering wheel. Add more road noise insulation,better door seals to reduce wind noise,and under the hood to reduce engine noise at highway speeds). Add better quality radio speakers to base model. Upgrade the seat material. It is already showing wear at 2 yrs & 45k mi.
I bought a Toyota because I'd heard good things about them. I can only hope they're reliability exceeds build quality. At 54,000 or so miles there began a pronounced rattling under the dash. By 56000 or so miles, there were more along with rattling in the rear of the cabin. The car I traded in was a Mitsubishi Eclipse with 310688 miles. The Toyota has more rattles at 56000 miles than the Eclipse with over 310,000. I did contact Toyota about this. By how their response read, they couldn't help because my car wasn't a Certified Pre-Owned. My next vehicle WON'T be a Toyota.
Overall it is a great car. Fun to drive, a lot of pep for a car this size (without A/C, and only driver). Good design, holds up well. Got the car Feb 2005 - and it has 90,000 miles on it Sept 2008. No Major complaints, would recommend to anyone. Had to get the ECU changed within the first couple of months because it was hard to start. The tires wore extremely bad on edge even after Toyota Dealership aligned them Only 16K on 60K tires. Got them aligned recently and it has been much better. Passenger window rattles at any speed. Also the idle/tensioner pulley makes ticking noises and has been replaced 5 times, yes five times. Without the extended warranty I'm sure this would probably be costly.
6-CD changer is awesome, overall looks and dependability are high
Mechanical issues (idle/tensioner pulley), better noise reduction from road noises and rattles/and other various noises