Purchased in 2007 with 30k miles, just sold with 66k miles.
Overall a great daily driver.
Got between 28 and 32 MPG in mostly highway driving.
Reliability was above average - only items I replaced were front brake rotors and sway bar end links (a common problem?).
Otherwise, I only performed routine maintenance at the intervals suggested in the owner's manual.
Good braking and cornering feel with decent acceleration.
Complaints include strange options (had PW, PL, power mirrors and remote keyless entry, but no cruise control or tilt steering column), and everything under the car was rusted at the time I sold it.
Overall, though, a great value.
Remote keyless entry on a very inexpensive car, decent sized trunk, good gas mileage, peppy acceleration with very good brake feel and handling (for the price).
Reliability was above average compared to other cars I have owned.
Shifter feel was well above average.
This car was actually fun to drive with the 5-speed.
Can't believe that tilt steering wheel and cruise control were not standard equipment in 2004 - jeez.
Could never get the seat/steering wheel position just right, so this car was painful to drive on long trips.
Would suggest getting a Focus that has the tilt and telescoping steering column - will be much easier to find a comfortable seating position.
Improved corrosion resistance on the underbody would be helpful - seeing an engine oil pan completely covered in rust at 66k miles is scary.