While I had my 2006 Forenza, someone had told me they were not made in Japan, but in Korea. Since I never had any problem with the little car, that didn't mean a whole lot to me. In three years and about 80K miles, I only had one little switch on the tranny go out, which the dealer replaced.
Other than that, it was a real jewel. My biggest problem with the Forenza was that it was so low to the ground, that it was difficult for me to get in and out.
But once I was in and situated in the seat, it was comfortable and it ran like a scalded dog. I probably wasn't the most gentle with it, but it never let me down.
I traded for the SX4 because of several factors, easy in and out was my first thought, then the AWD was what I really needed, living out in the country on sand roads. I also like the serviceable transmission, unlike the sealed tranny on the Forenza. I also like the lifetime timing belt/chain.
Buying a new car on a limited retirement income is a pretty big deal, so I looked the little SX4 over pretty well before I bought it.
I'm really enjoying this forum. I'm learning a lot about not only my own car, but what other guys are doing with theirs.
One major add-on that I've purchased is the 9" Seat Belt Extenders. I'm a little paunchy and had a real hard time reaching the seat belt buckle. But with the extender, it's a piece of cake. Unlike the belt extender, this is a Buckle Extender and quickly unsnaps to move to another car.
This is the 9" model that I bought (x2)
Here's one installed in a police car.
I suggest one of these for anyone who has a hard time reaching the seat belt buckle. Prices and shipping charges vary greatly, so shop around.
Happy New Year everyone!