Owned since new--11.5 years now. Only lightly used, but fun and peppy engine with manual (Mazda made I think.) Had brake recall and exhaust repair made under warranty. Other than that, only had to replace old battery. Some of the interior fittings are a bit too cheaply made, but if you take care of it, it will take care of you. Very inexpensive to own; costs almost nothing to insure. I have read that due to relatively high HP to weight ratio (125 HP vs 2400 lbs.) some convert this model to rally car. You could not find a less expensive platform than this one!
Engine and manual transmission. Lots of fun to bang it through the gears. Tan fabric interior holds up well over years, as has paint.
Body sheet metal needs to be thicker. Wind noise fairly severe. But remember, this was among the least expensive cars in the U.S in '98! About $7500 new.