I bought this car when it was 5 years old with 67k miles. It did well for me the first year I owned it, but then I started having all kinds of problems: The vibration of the SOHC is so intense, I had to replace the motor mounts twice; the factory fuel pump went out (which I heard was a common occurrence for these cars); a power window cable snapped; the CD player started skipping, even with new CDs; and a valve seat fell out of the engine at 95k miles. Considering the age and miles of the car when I bought it, I didn't mind so much of the repairs though it did pull a chunk out of my wallet having been a college student at the time. The engine finally died at 137k.
Gas mileage was fantastic avg 31mpg highway with automatic transmission, tight steering, low road noise, cargo space, and stereo sound quality.
I was never crazy about it's huge rear exterior, but that may be just because I'm picky. Also, SOHC is a rare and expensive engine to maintain.
Bought this new in 2001 and now use it as a second car. Much more fun to drive than my Camry. Takes the Western Pa hills and curves with ease. Very reliable. Only had to replace the spark plug wires after about 70,000 miles.
Responsive handling, roomy interior, easy access to all areas, visibilty.
Engine is course when cold. Road noise. Could use flanges on wheel wells to prevent stone chips on the sides.
I bought this car brand new in September 2001. It has been a very dependable car. Replaced the fuel pump once under the recall, had both back window gears replaced. Took great care of it. The engine blew up last week with nearly 144,000 miles on her. Due to depreciation it's not worth putting a new engine in her so I've moved up to a 2007 Focus. The 2001 was a wonderful vehicle: fun to drive and fuel efficient before fuel efficiency was cool. I'm going to miss my blue beastie.
Fuel efficient, style, comfort, good sound system.
Wish the would put the cup holders in a better location. Even on the 2007 they're in a bugger of a spot.