I bought a 2003 XRS w/190k for $3k, fuel efficient, absolute blast to drive! Exceptional ride and build quality. Most importantly, this vehicle saved my life! I was struck from behind by a Cadillac doing well over 60 mph, I forced the driver door open and walked away unscathed!(5-star frontal and rear crash ratings) A sporty look with very practical storage options. As far is I'm concerned, one of the best overall cars ever produced. Only drawback is this engine requires premium gasoline, but with nearly 30 mpg it's not that big of a deal. A true driver enthusiast's car.
I bought my car with 85,000 miles on it from the dealership almost 3 years ago. It now has 116,000-17,000 miles on it and i haven't had any issues yet. I keep up with all maintenance. She has never let me down yet, and I have a lot of future plans for her.
Overall I like just about everything about the car, it is comfortable, drives smoothly. I really like the 8200 rpm limit and the cam change over.
Improve lower end power/ torque (takeoffs) and smoothen out the shifts. It doesn't slip into gear nice and easily, you have to put a little muscle into it.
This car was a great all 'round vehicle. Had great power for a four banger. The power surge felt great after 600 RPMs, enabling the driver to pass lickety-split. The boxy design took getting used to, but grew to love it. The 6 speed tranny was notchy, but I grew accustomed to it. Very good gas mileage considering the power, lower 30s on road. Great reliability. Had a ton of room when back seat was down, and the back was easy to clean, 'cause it was plastic instead of carpeted. Seats very comfy, even on long trips. Only reason I got rid of it was because of high payments and I needed an AWD vehicle. Still miss it.
The engine, room, gas economy and versatility
The front spoiler was too lower. On more than one ocassion, it came partially off when it scraped a parking lot barrier. Fortunately it was cheap to put back on.
Great car! 4 cyl engine with plenty of passing power. Back seats and passenger seat fold down enough to haul nearly anything I've needed including a full sheet of plywood and other lumber. The only down side to the sport model is that it requires 93 octane gas, though, I get approx 28 mpg.
Not too many cars that go from 0- 60 in 7 seconds, yet get 32 mpg on the road. Also, the fact that there's lots of room in back with the seats folded down is a major plus. Are you reading this, bicyclist and skiers? It handles great and is a pleasure to drive long distances. I regularly took 1000 mile round trip drives and it never missed a beat. The extra kick pas 6000 RPMs is addicting. It looks cooler the longer you have it, with all of the ground effects, but that did have its down side. The front spoilers were too low and I was always scraping them on curbs, sometimes damaging them. I would have kept it, but decided to get a 4X4 SUV for the Wisconsin winters. I miss the gas mileage.
The power, fuel economy, apearance, room, comfort, reliability.
The tranny was too stiff and notchy, which I got used to eventually. The front spoiler was too easily damaged because of its low height. And the beeping sound when I put it in reverse drove me nuts! I tried to have it silenced, but the process was too pricey.