I bought this car new as a leftover in August 1998. Now, in December 2004, with 90K miles, and after NO major repairs, it is still such a reliable, comfortable, and yes, economical car that I'm wondering if I should keep it AND buy a new one. Why buy a new one at all? The transmission gets stuck in second gear (won't upshift or downshift to first) when the car is very cold, and after five service visits to three separate dealers, they still don't know what's wrong. The new ones don't have standard ABS (cheesy!) like the '98 did, the transmission shifts roughly on the new ones, the brake pedal is too high on the new ones, the seats uncomfortable, etc. But the '98 has been a great car!
26 mpg overall, with plenty of power for normal driving. Good looking car with a much nicer interior than the new ones. Original tires are lasting FOREVER. Standard ABS. Just as reliable as my Lexus LS400 was (and MORE reliable than both of my Camrys!).
Improvements? They should've left it as it was! Take care of the transmission problems, then make the 2005's more like the 1998's.