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Does it give the heavy resistance turning both directions?

Does the car have any tendency to pull to the right?

things to check:

Fluid level and condition in the transaxle.
seals at the transaxle.
check for side play at the spindle.

if all of the above check out good, the next thing to do is remove the spindle from the half-shaft and try turning the spindle and shaft separately. if the spindle is still hard to turn without the shaft connected, it's spindle bearings, rebuild or replace the spindle. if the spindle turns freely, but the shaft does not, it's probably a differential bearing. (a bitch to fix)

If the transaxle fluid appears dirty of smells burnt, drain the transaxle across a CLEAN magnet. If the magnet collects more than a pinch or so of fine dust, or particles larger than a grain of salt, you have bearing/gear problems and the transaxle needs to be rebuilt or replaced.
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