I bought this car new in 06. It now has just under 75000 mi on it. The price I paid was extremely cheap, it is great on gas, and dependable. Mechanically there have not been a lot of issues. However, ...
I bought this car new in 06. It now has just under 75000 mi on it. The price I paid was extremely cheap, it is great on gas, and dependable. Mechanically there have not been a lot of issues. However, mine is an automatic and the transmission shift sensor has gone out twice! Once 2 years ago and I just had it replaced again. At $300 bucks a pop and only 75000 mi on the car, I find this to be an unacceptable expense. As others have said, past about 55-60mph the car starts to shake and is noisy. It also doesn't have much power at all. I know it is only a 2L, but I shouldn't have to turn my AC off to have enough power to accelerate onto the freeway.
As far as durability goes, it leaves a lot to be desired. The body is easily damaged and the paint job is AWFUL! Within the first year, the paint began chipping off of the door handles. At this point there is no paint left on the door handles. Even the back doors, which are rarely used. A couple of years ago when my area got hit by a hail storm, the car was left covered in dents. It received much more damage than the neighbors. I think this had more to do with vehicle construction/materials, rather than luck.
Oh, the cup holders! I HATE the cup holders in this car. I don't know if it is their placement, size, depth, etc, but whatever it is, they are poorly designed. Any shape/size of cup I try to put in it will tip over when I take off or brake. I've resorted to using leak proof bottles and thermoses.
If I had to do it over again, given my circumstances when I bought the car, I would buy this car again. It has been a reliable form of transportation for the most part. Even with the transmission problem, it can be put into 3rd and driven with no problems. It gets me from point a to point b with great gas mileage and was cheap enough I can't really complain too much about the few minor problems. Just don't expect anything but basic amenities (even cruise control is not standard) or high performance.