Bought this car as my go-getter in Feb 08. The previous owner had neglected this car so I got it at a steal knowing that I would have some work to be done. Whew, $2000 mechanical bill and a $1200 paint job later this thing is awesome. I added some new wheels, projector headlights, LED taillights, and a window tint and now I get endless comments on how good it looks. The stock engine is peppy and seems reliable now that maintenance is up to par. No matter how you drive, this thing never gets less than 30 mpg either.
Great MPG even when the wheels are switched to 17" hoops. Very economical, parts easy to come by and relatively cheap. Comfortable interior. High fun-to-drive quotient. Handles better than the car's stature implies.
Noisy at highway speeds (even with stock wheels/tires). Slider-type climate controls gotta go (they did on later models). Body seams need more sealer, found water leaks to the trunk on my car (I understand many 96s had this problem but were later corrected).