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
I love driving it, I like how fast you can go but have not been over 85 in it. I don't know how hard it was driven before me but March 2008 the transmission went out. June wheel bearing went bad, replaced it and again in July. And in September gotta replace again.
Sunroof and the fact you can put 20" wheels on it.
That the transmission lasted longer than 4 years. And that a replaced wheel bearing lasted longer than a month and a half granted it was from napa but still 2 in 4 months is ridiculous. Going to try one from Toyota and see if it fixes the problem.
Bought the automatic CE model new in late 2004. 4 yrs and 131,000 miles later it has exceeded all expectations. For its size it has the most trunk space, interior room, gas mileage (always more than 33 and as high as 42.5), pickup, and best overall handling. Comfort is so-so but I'm 6'1" and my head doesn't touch the headliner. Some wind noise at highway speeds but far quieter than previous car ever was (1997 Saturn SC1). A/C works superb even on a 105 degree day. This car has never stranded me and aside from tires at 40K and 100K, brakes/plugs at 60K and 125K, and O2 sensor at 34K no mechanical failures or parts whatsoever! Toyota built this one right!
Doors automatically unlock upon ignition off. User-friendly controls, tachometer and A/C standard. Accelerates well for a 1.8L automatic. Handles sudden stops quite well.
I wanted the manual trans but to get any options (pw, pl, cruise, tilt) Toyota makes them all automatic unless I ordered an XRS for $6K more. Toyota should not cluster so many options into their highest trim level. Leather seating option for the S and/or XRS would also be nice.