I had one of these for 4 years and 35,000 miles until someone hit me and tore the front end off, spinning me around and deploying the airbags. I walked away unscathed, The car surprised me by taking a hit that well. Tough little car. Was fun to drive, cheap to maintain, great MPG. Interior held up well. Not the most comfortable for highway cruises, to be expected.
The car only left me stranded twice, a tie rod end broke at 100,000 miles (that could have been bad) and a loose grounding block on the negative battery cable kept it from starting (thought it was the fuel pump at first, phew) Lots of good forums and info out there on these cars, take advantage.
Folding rear seats, Liked the simplicity... Roll up windows, manual door locks, stick shift, i.e. not much to go wrong and no "button overload"
Bought brand new in 2001. Great value, decent gas mileage, but you get what you pay for. Several issues with this car. First off, there is a terrible vibration at idle, which from what I have found is a problem that cannot be fixed. Due to this, there are cracks in the dash and even the bumper, which will need replacing soon now. At around 50,000 miles the blower went out, around 80,000 the cruise control went. Have also been getting an intermittent service engine soon light. Have changed oil and rotated tires every 5000 miles. The car only has 3 cup holders, two of which are placed in front of your A/C controls and one that is not usable if you are using the DC outlet.
Price, gas mileage. Sporty looking.
Fix vibration issue. More cup holders with better placement. (there is ample space in the doors) Center console would be nice, although I know that deters from the sporty look. Also radio is designed so it cannot be replaced with an aftermarket.
I love this car alot. i bought it for cheap with low miles. i did have some problems such as misfiring when cold but after a tune up, pcv valve replacment, fuel system cleaner, new fuel filter. the car runs great. shifts great with pennzoil synchromesh in the trans. Its just a great car al together for the money. Better then any old rusted civic that is for sure.
more power, better design of rims, different spoiler.
The car far exceeded expectations. No mechanical problems, has all the bells & whistles-moon roof, etc. I have gotten over 40 mpg on trips. The only problem with Fords is the cars develop a rattle that Toyotas do not have. I love this car, fun to drive and handles well.
Bought my 02 in 2006 with 17000 miles on it for $4500; it's loaded with every option. Now there are 58000 miles on it with nothing other than oil changes. This car can't be beat for the price, performance, and reliability. The lowest mileage I have ever had was 29 and that was in Houston traffic. On the highway 37-40 isn't unusual. Hands down, this is one of the most reliable models Ford has produced. There have been no recalls, yet Ford never really marketed this car at all. If you get the chance at least take it for a test drive. I never thought that I would end up in a four cylinder coupe - I was driving a 79 Bonneville - but I really love my car.
This is my first car that has had every option available, I love the leather seats, the moonroof, the manual tranny, and the CD player.
Fix the windows, every time it rains, even a little bit, the water runs inside. Other than that I have no problems.