Owned this car for almost 10 years before having to sell to upgrade to something family-sized, and loved it. Absolute blast to drive. Mechanically it was a beast--never did more than the recommended preventative maintenance, and the only trouble I had in over 100k miles (and some harsh New England winters) was having to replace the A/C compressor. Different story on the electrical issues, though. Great car for college or for getting around the city, or as a daily driver for folks without kids
Handles very nimbly. Tons of fun to drive on windy back roads in New England. Steering is quick and responsive. After ten years of owning, still handled like the day I bought it.
Very responsive automatic transmission that gives acceleration quickly and on demand. With this huge engine Inside this pretty small car, you can really make it fly when you punch it.
The leather seats are very nice-looking, and the front seats are very supportive and comfortable. The hatchback is great; you can fit a pretty good amount in back, especially with the rear seats folded down.
Plastic trim pieces are cheap and can break easily. The fold-out center cup holder is a terrible design and also breaks. Virtually no rear seat room.
Controls and instruments
German car = electrical issues with some frequency. Shorts, grounds, and electronic malfunctions. Most are more annoying than anything else, but a pain to get fixed sometimes.
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