Bought this in July of 2020 (or very late June, can’t recall), was supposed to be my winter car (so I could get my Civic off the road for the winter) but my parents divorced at the beginning of the winter and my mom was left with no car so I gave it to her until she bought one, but she only bought her car the following spring when there was no snow left. Thought about keeping it as a small offroader and lifting it, but I figured out I would need to buy new tires and rims, a lift kit (because it hasn’t got a ton of ground clearance) and a front skidplate (since the front overhang is fairly long), and I’d still be left with something that has got no low range or lockable diffs. Lowering it was also possible but it would have been stupid since I bought it to be for winter and it had a lot of milage (around 250,000 km).
Ended up selling it in June of 2021, pretty much a year later. It had surprisingly little rust though, none visible, but the power steering pump exploded and it cost a ton to get it replaced, only for the belt to start slipping and making the steering heavy at low speed (unless I revved the shit out of it at low speed), so I figured I’d get rid of it since I didn’t really use it anymore after I moved. It had a ridiculously low autonomy (45L fuel tank, same as my Civic, but 200 kg heavier, bigger and more powerful engine, AWD and much shorter gear ratios), maybe 400 km at most, and not really good on fuel, so it wasn’t much use anyway for long roadtrips, although it would have been a good car for a roadtrip to western Canada.
Fun car to drive, quick steering with good weight and road feeling, fairly precise and very nice stickshift with surprisingly short throw. Pretty well built too, and although not very luxurious, it’s solid. Dimensions are weird: it’s bigger than a Fit/Jazz, but smaller than a Civic. Still has got a fair amount of space inside, and relatively comfortable, although the suspension is pretty firm. In my opinion, a very good alternative to other more popular cars from the same category, and very, very versatile (fun to drive on small backroads but also usable in light offroad conditions). With good tires, stiffer suspension and a swaybar, it’s got a ton of potential. Only needs more power and a fix to the god awful by-wire throttle (Apexi sells something for that so it’s fixable). The aftermarket is small but there are options for whether you want to lower the car (and get a fairly rare platform to mod) or lift it. All in all, a very good car if you can only have one and want to do a ton of different stuff.
Bought for $2,600 CAD and sold for $2,200 CAD, so not too much money lost from it.
- 2.0 inline-four J20A engine (petrol)
143 hp@5,800 rpm, 136 lb-ft@3,500 rpm
- 5-speed manual transmission
- AWD (three modes: FWD, Auto and Lock)
- 1,270 kg
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