my brother and I have driven this since new, and it has been very reliable and fun over the past 8 years. Performance is above that of other cars in it's price range, but the car is a little rough around the edges. The paint is notoriously bad, I've been lucky to only have stone chips out of mine but I've seen plenty of neon's with most f the paint peeled off of the hood and front quarter panels. The engine is in good shape after 81,000 miles and the mechanic that most recently looked at it said it will most likely last to over 200,000 miles without a problem. Biggest complaint is the 3 speed transmission. I would have much preferred a 5 speed, it's been a fun car though for the money.
quicker than you'd think and handles well. Decent gas mileage. Looks pretty good after 8 years. more funtional hauling capability than I would have guessed. Sporty, fun and predictable handling make it a blast to drive faster than you should.
3 speed transmission really needs to go. The only possible advantage of this is that if you hammer it going anything less than 40 MPH it will drop back into 1st gear for a nice little kick, but I would highl recommend the 5 speed instead.