Dec 21, 2012
Reviewed By Tony Piff
Price as Tested $23,575: 2.0-L DOHC CVVT 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed automatic w/Active Eco System and Premium Package: Navigation, pushbutton start, leather seats, heated front seats, automatic climate control
Likes

Small footprint, easy to park and navigate. Feels roomier inside than it looks outside. 2.0-liter DOHC 4-banger is surprisingly adequate and downright zippy. Continuosly variable transmission is one of the best I’ve driven — feels solid, decisive. Colored illuminated trim rings around the speakers pulse with the music and are irrepressibly festive. (And thankfully, turning them off is easy.) Great sound system. Touch-screen navigation is well evolved and intuitive. Leather seats are well crafted and comfortable.

Dislikes

A love-it-or-hate-it styling exercise. Despite EPA 23/28 mpg rating, I never averaged above 23, whether driving in town or on a three-day highway road trip. While the touchscreen navigation and knob-controlled stereo were effortless to manipulate, the smooth buttons for the climate controls required my full attention. Bulkier than a traditional wagon, with almost no storage behind rear seat.

Verdict

An undeniably fun ride when you’re behind the wheel, even if you’re not crazy about the exterior appearance. Plenty of pep from the little 4-cylinder engine, although fuel economy isn’t mind-blowing. The powerful stereo and lighted speakers add excitement to the cabin. For less than $24k, I can’t deny that this is a lot of quirky, usable fun for the money.

Fun to Drive
3.5 rating
Fun to Look at
1.0 rating
Overall Experience
4.0 rating
Stats
EPA Mileage 23/28