Squint wrote: How's the KIA btw? Cause honestly... I'm not a fan. But maybe you can slowly change my opinion... of at least one, individual car.
EDIT: I can't spell, and I'm a literacy nazi... had to fix it...
I didn't think that I would ever be caught dead in a Kia, quite honestly, but I've been reading and they've really been on the up and up with regards to quality within the last 3 years especially. I have the stripper model, rolling windows down myself (gasp), pushing the lock switches on all doors (horror of horrors) (
), and, of course, a manual transmission. That being said one feature that I got, which isn't available on the base models of the competition: Focus, Civic, Corolla, Mazda3, is standard Bluetooth. I never thought I'd use Bluetooth, but it has been nice to have.
The engine seems smooth enough, I've had a couple V6s and can't honestly tell a difference. One metric that I pay attention to, because I'm a dork that way, is the power to weight ratio (I usually write it up as weight to power as it makes more sense to me) is right around 17.5 hp/pound which is right around where my "old" Grand Prix was, but the fuel economy is twice that in the old car.
The car is just the right size for me; I'm single with no kids and no plans on having kids. I'm of average height and weight and have tons of room. My brother, his girlfriend, and their son fit in the car well. He's 6'1" and does the gangsta lean in the passenger seat and there is plenty of room behind him. The trunk is huge, for a compact (or midsize - I've seen it listed as both), and it is a lot of fun.
That being said the clutch is a little bit goofy and modulating it can be tricky. My friend, who has driven manuals for the better part of 10 years, told me that he thought that it was off and he stalled it 3 times. The throttle has the aforementioned deadspot, which I've read there is a modification that I'm hesitant to perform due to warranty concerns, that is said to largely remove the deadspot.
I've had it going on 2 months, bought on Feb 28th, took delivery on Mar 1st, and have not regretted it one bit. If you're not concerned about badges I'd say that it is a really nice car for the price, $14,995 and I was given a $1000 rebate.
I don't know if we're allowed to post links to other websites, but I read up on this car on one website to make sure that I wasn't getting into a mistake and this website pretty much stated that it has been a good model for its 3 year run so far. It takes into account repairs (sans basic maintenance - replacing headlights, changing tires, realignments, suspension work) as are reported by actual owners of the vehicles.
Long story short, it's a great little car and I hope to get many good years of service out of it. I'm going to be working on learning my own maintenance work (once out of warranty in 10 years).