These cars are built by Kia Motors in Korea with a Mazda engine for Ford. As confusing as they are, it seems they are all but bulletproof. I know Festivas with 200K plus needing clutches and exhaust and nothing else. I know Aspires already with over 100K still going strong. Of course some Festivas are beat up and burning oil and smoking but they have been abused. You can buy a good Festiva for $1500 or so. You can get a good Aspire 94-95 for about $3000, a 1997 should be close to $5000. A good buy if you can put up with a poor driving position (hurts my calf to use a clutch in these since the pedal is so high off the floor), no power (try going up a hill with 4 people and the AC on...) and nonexistent resale value. If I was a dealer I could buy 1994-1995 Aspires all day for $1000-$1500 apiece. (Metros too). I would choose the Metro 5-speed 3-cylinder for the so much better gas mileage that it gets. It also has the bad ride and the serious lack of power, but it is just as reliable and just as cheap to maintain.
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