I purchased this car in '01 (it's now 06) and I am very happy with the value. I have experienced no powertrain issues, as are common with automatic transmission models. I average 32 MPG on highway. 4-cylinder has plenty of spunk. The ride leaves a bit to be desired. Engine noise noticeable - air noise noticeable - not as smooth as my 16 YEAR OLD Lexus LS 400. Very easy for my local $40/hr mechanic to work on - or if I'm feeling brave I have tackled a few issues. Plenty of room in engine compartment to manuver. BUY THE 4 CYL!!!
Gas mileage is great - manual transmission seems bulletproof - original clutch - controls are logical / easy to use. 4cyl has plenty of power. Honda USA provided good support for out of warranty claim - fixed problem.
Power accessories are sub-par. 2 out of 4 power locks no longer work (which means security doesn't work) Better wheel bearings needed (went out at 50K.. typical, but Honda should be better) minor paint chips. Radio underpowered.