Bought this car for my wife as a daily driver, and to serve as a fuel efficient road trip vehicle. The vehicle came with an aftermarket HID kit, which I pulled to go back to the standard halogen headl...
Bought this car for my wife as a daily driver, and to serve as a fuel efficient road trip vehicle. The vehicle came with an aftermarket HID kit, which I pulled to go back to the standard halogen headlamps. Word of advice: Don't spent money on expensive headlamps for this vehicle. In 6 months I had gone through three pairs of $60 bulbs, and was at my wits' end. I opted for the $7 cheap bulbs, and in the last 18 months have only replaced the pair once. Maybe it has something to do with the temperature of the bulbs or the load placed on the electrical system, but the cheaper bulbs last longer in this car. Speaking of which, the headlamps are difficult to reach; you have to go in through the wheel well. Strange, but effective in keeping out unwanted grime and moisture.
Other than the headlamp issue, the only complaint I have is that the lumbar support in the drivers' seat is not as adjustable as I'd like in the trim level we have, but may be in other trim levels. Fuel economy is fantastic, we average around 28 mpg. Trunk is very roomy, and the back seats fold down to allow for longer items to fit in the vehicle. At one time, we transported two full size electric keyboards in hard cases and had room for a passenger in the rear seat (60/40 split bench). The handling is crisp, but the vehicle does tend to dive under hard braking. The acceleration leaves a bit to be desired (would like to see what the 4 cylinder engine could do with a turbocharger attached) but is what you would expect from a 4 cylinder engine powering a full size sedan. The manual mode is fun, but ultimately useless, as the car likes to make decisions for you when decelerating.
The key fob presented a quirky issue, in that the battery is somewhat difficult to find if/when you need to replace it. I ended up buying a 4 pack on Amazon cheaper than I could get a single battery, and good luck finding one in a store. The spring that releases the key from the fob sticks at times, with with a small tool or some gentle fiddling will generally come out.
As far as maintenance goes, this car is relatively easy and straightforward (compared to the Saab I owned). I have used synthetic oil since the day we got the vehicle, and it has responded well when changed every 6 months or 6,000 miles. I did have one rear caliper start to seize on me, which caused some headaches, but it was a reasonably priced fix, at around $200 for a new caliper, rotors (both rear) and pads (rear). I also did the front rotors and pads at the same time, the total was less than $400. The one word of caution I will give about the front rotors: spend some time with an impact driver, a sledge hammer, and some PB Blaster spray to get the set screws out that hold the rotor on. The only purpose for these screws is to hold the rotors on while the vehicle is on the assembly line, but they are a real bear to get out. Once they're out, the rest of the job is a breeze.
To summarize, I would certainly buy this car for a new driver, or for a young person looking to make their way into something a little nicer than their first vehicle. My wife likes it well enough, but is now itching for something with more features and luxury. It's fast enough to do what it needs to, but isn't fast enough to get into trouble, is easy on maintenance and gas mileage, doesn't look too bad, and offers enough room to haul a fair amount of people and/or things.