Good starter car/ budget commuter.
By Jg09 on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 136,000
overall rating 6 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Price, reliability, Reasonable fuel economy."
Cons: "Cheap look and feel, interior, slow."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I have the base model 2003 sedan.
I obtained this car in 2011 with around 60k miles on it.
It is now 2015 with around 140k.
I'll start with the GOOD points:
- the less than 2k$usd price point is near unbeatable.
- This is an excellent starter car or commuter car.
-It has never broken down on me, or had any major mechanical/engine issues that interfered with it getting from point a to point b. It is very reliable as far as getting up and knowing your car will start and get you 15 minutes to school/work/grocery store ect.
- I have taken this car on countless 4-20 hour round trip weekends without problem or fear of breaking down.
- The manual windows and doors leave little room for error or motor failure with them as the car ages.
- automatic transmission has had 0 problems.
- gas mileage is decent. it is not a gas guzzler.
- the insurance is affordable for young drivers or drivers with some less than ideal accident history.
- Excellent boot space.
NOW FOR THE NEGATIVE
- The car is very affordable, aka cheap, but it also feels cheap as one would expect for the price point.
- In my personal car, Just from regular seating a support wire in the drivers side seat popped out and extrudes from the back of the seat, through the cloth sticking out, and pokes a bit in the back of the drivers side seat while I am driving and can be uncomfortable.
- The cars are known for climate control issues, my air has never fully turned off even when turned all the way off, and when it is on high it causes the entire dash to shake and has since bought from the dealer.
- Understeer, it is a base model front wheel drive car, so it is to be expected.
- factory paint quality
- road noise, it has a lot of cabin noise.
- interior design - cup holders block climate control, as well as many other poor design choices.
- cheap interior, cheap seats, plastic cracks easily, everything is put together flimsily. The sun will easily crack your entire dash if you do not use a protector or garage it, console will randomly lose screws, plastic will break easily.
- electrical, my headlamps will randomly come on or go off in the car, sometimes in a strobe manner for 10+ minutes and have since I bought it, but the car always starts.
Additional NEUTRAL point.
- Slow. As you would it to be. likely a plus for first time/student driver. But if you are looking for something more than your last auto or it is an important factor to you, this probably isn't going to feel like much of a step up.
If you are on a budget and looking for a car to get to the store or work reliably or even cross country this is an excellent car for that job 7.5/10
If you are a student or parent of a student looking to get a first car, or a second college car. You are THE PERFECT DEMOGRAPHIC. The car is cheap, it is slow but will still do the speed limit, has cheap insurance, is reliable, gets reasonable gas mileage, has room for friends and enough room to help you move things from one location to another such as small furniture and boxes. I'd give this car a 8.5-9/ 10 for a first time drivers car and for a college commuter.
assuming you aren't a college kid or on a very limited budget, you can do better. It is cheap, but the interior is very cheap, the car is slow, you can find cars with a better mpg, and better handling, as an adult especially if you have children, you will probably want a car without such extreme road noise and with power windows and doors so your children can not unlock them and open them while driving or roll down the windows and you not being able to remotely roll them up or put on the window lock.
This is not a drivers car, it is a way to get from point a to point b, not to enjoy the experience between those two. with none of the comforts that are standard in modern cars, and not sacrificing them for sports purposes I'd recommend passing on this car for something a little more grown up if you have the budget to do so. and I'd give this car a generous 4/10 for you."
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