November 8, 2018
So I owned this car from brand new through its first 37,000 miles (across five years). I got the version with 4WD and an automatic transmission. It doesn't shift when you want it to, leaving the acceleration feeling sluggish. I wish I had bought the standard transmission. I would like to give the "exterior styling" another star, but that 90's era whip antenna is an eyesore. The interior has all the comforts one would expect from a mid 2000's car, including an aux socket, iPod holder, and sufficient storage cubbies. However, it suffers greatly due to the pitifully cheap seat fabric, which stains too easily. By comparison, older model Fords have stain resistant upholstery. I had to feed this thing mid-grade gasoline, otherwise it would drag. During freezing weather, it barely moved unless I warmed the engine for five minutes. On the plus side, it maneuvered well, especially through snow. For such a light vehicle, I was disappointed by how under-powered the 2.4 liter engine was. The fuel efficiency left much to be desired. You'd think such a weak engine would at least get good gas mileage. The reliability is exactly what I expect from any brand new car: Zero problems during the first 37K miles (I even did all of my own maintenance). However, I can't give the reliability score more than three stars because 37,000 on the odometer is nothing.