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.