Got this car used with 65K miles, since I couldn't afford an Accord or Solara Coupe. Overall the car has been pretty good to me. No major repairs, just maintenance. This car is NOISY. Ford really cut a lot of corners when it came to quality and craftsmanship. Wind noise intrudes at high speeds and it feels like a shopping cart on rough roads. The power-steering wines, but this seems to be common. The seats are a joke, they offer little to no support up front. This cars goes through brakes fairly quickly. My driver's side windows sticks in hot weather, paint has faded, and the engine rattles at high RPMS. Transmission seal leaks are common as well, but that's been the most of my problems.
Man, this thing is a beauty, especially with the 20 inch chrome wheels i added. I also added dual exhaust, to give it a better note. Power is adequate, but there could always be more. Parts aren't overly expensive and there are tons of modifications available.
Build quality seems to be improved on the 05 and newer models. A tad more space in the back wouldn't be bad, but then again don't buy this car if you plan on hauling people around.