I have been driving this car for 2 1/2 years now and have had a few minor problems. The OEM Bridgestone tires needed replacements around 25,000 miles. The brakes also went around the same time. I had the pads and rotors replaced free of charge at a local dealership. The cable for the trunk/gas lid also broke and was replaced under warranty. I got the car at a bargain price and have been extremely pleased with it. I did add two rear speakers (wiring was already set up). The car does not have AC or PDL's like the LX, but you really cant beat its value. It is pretty peppy for a 4 cylinder.
I love what they did with the interior. Center consol and Gauges were very stylish for 2003.
Any improvements would add to the sticker. You get more than what you pay for in this car.