I bought my car brand new 12 years ago and am still driving it. I wish Ford still made these, because I would definitely buy another one. This car has never let me down.
I've had three collisions in this car (none my fault) all on the front ends and stayed safe through all three. This car is very peppy- you can pull out very quickly and you can zoom uphill with no problem.
Other than some maintenance (new alternator at 90,000 miles, new break pads, a few batteries, a repair on the air conditioner) I've had no major problems. The only complaints are that it's hard to get into the back seat, but once you're there it's pretty roomy.
I love how the back seats fold down and I can even fit my double bass back there! Great for a college student since it pretty much held my entire dorm room when I moved out every summer.
For such a small car, it holds a lot of stuff.
I also love my moon roof.
The cd player and sound system are great, however the tape player broke within the first year I had it.
However, I've only recently begun to miss the tape player when I wish I could hook up my ipod through the tape deck.
The paint on my car has held up well, as well as the interior upholstery. This car is also pretty fuel efficient.