"I purchased this car new and have averaged 35000 miles a year on it. I regularly drove it from ri to ct and have driven it through two blizzards and have never gotten stuck. The mpg is the best feature of this car and it's reliability is a close second. Aside from brake pads, battery, tires, and a light bulb I have put no money into this car. I do agree with other reviewers that the interior is kinda tight and the window cranks and cup holders are cheaply made and are prone to breaking. I feel that there are small inconveniences that come with owning this car but the pros out weigh the cons by far. I would recommend this car for someone who is willing to sacrifice power and a tiny bit of comfort for the reliability and cost effectiveness this car has to offer."
Cons: "Bad in winter. Hard to get tires they're R13's."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This car I bought in feb of 2007 for $8,795. I live in an area where this is a lot of hills so my ave. mpg is 26 mpg. More on the hwy of course around 35. It is very compact if your big don't sit in the back. Comfort is fair for the driver. Features of the base model which I own is very stripped. If you live in snowy weather I advise studded snow tires, it will be the only way your gonna stay on the road unless your a rally driver. Also keep in mind the tires are R13's so most places don't carry them anymore. My car has 162,500 miles on it now, and the 2nd transmission has just went. As being a volunteer firefighter I have put my transmission through everything so it is kinda expected. A used one runs around $1800, and it is worth right now as a trade $1000 so I'm getting rid of it. And going back to a Ford Focus. The only other thing I found is wrong if you have to get studs or nuts for the tires make sure you get it for a 2005 model because some reason it is wrong for an 2004 (spent a week and 15 different shops to find this out.) I would recommend this car for a college student or highschool student. Because the gas is cheap (only 10.9 gal tank), a lot of parts are cheap. And is fairly easy to maintain. Takes 10w30 oil which runs around $3 a quart. and is 4.5 quarts to fill. If I wasn't so hard on my transmission I bet I could of taken it past 200,000 miles."
Cons: "not a very smooth ride at higher speeds, loud"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I drive A LOT, all over the place, in all kinds of weather, and this car has never broken down or left me stranded. I bought it brand new in 2004 and racked up over 180,000 miles since then, but always had oil changes done every 3k and kept up on routine maintenance. I have never had any problems with the trans and it is actually, amazingly, still okay at 180k. The gas mileage is just as good as it was new, and it still doesn't leak oil. The AC and heat still work, as well.
It is loud, and not that smooth of a ride (especially on the highway), but if you want an affordable little car that will get you anywhere and last for a long time, this is definitely that car.
The only issues were minor - the car eats headlights and I had to get the exhaust pipe repaired twice (not terribly expensive).
Also, there can be more space made than you think in this car, I have three 100 lb dogs, and if I put the back seats down they can all fit nicely in the hatchback, believe it or not."
"I bought this with 41000 miles on it in 2002. After 11 years, the engine is still strong. There has been some maintenance done, but its been a lot better than the Nissan Sentra I had before this one. It is zippy, fun to drive, and fuel economy is excellent. Very reliable and dependable. Its not a luxury car, but it has arm rests and a fully adjustable drivers seat which for me, is more important than leather and chrome trim."