I bought this car, new, in July 2003. After 11 years and 180,000-plus miles it still runs and drives as well as the day I drove it off the lot! It has a "J" VIN number (meaning it was built in Japan) ...
I bought this car, new, in July 2003. After 11 years and 180,000-plus miles it still runs and drives as well as the day I drove it off the lot! It has a "J" VIN number (meaning it was built in Japan) so I don't know if that make a difference or not when compared to US built models.
There have been a few costly maintenance items in the last 11 years, however:
100,000 miles - the catalytic converter went out and I had to replace it for about $1,500.00.
130,000 miles - a fuel injector got plugged-up after I used a fuel injector cleaner, so that injector was replaced for about $450.00 (that was probably just bad luck).
145,000 miles - The air conditioner compressor died but I opted not to replace it since that would have cost about $1,000.00 and I figured the car wouldn't be around that much longer (I was wrong about that as this car just keeps going). At the same time, an engine coolant return line was replaced for $150.00 and front and back wheel bearing were replaced for about $800.00 .
Other than that, the only other maintenance needed has been tires, brakes and oil changes, obviously. - All the prices referenced were dealer maintenance prices.
All told, the car has been excellent. It is reasonably roomy for a smaller car and the ride is pretty decent. It drives surprisingly well in winter snows and gets about 33mpg in combined driving conditions.
Consumer Reports magazine rated this car 4 1/2 to 5 stars for safety the year I bought it ( I bought the LE model with anti-lock brakes) so that is pretty important to note as well.