I bought this car as a beater that I was planning on having only a year. When I left the country my sister took it because it was a lot better than her Tempo. We haven't had any problems with it that are out of the ordinary (i.e. brakes, shocks, tires.) At 211,000 miles the engine was still running like a top. It didn't show signs of leaking oil. It even made another cross country trip. The only thing that killed it was that my brother hit a deer. Looking at these low ratings for this car, reading the background stories and having a little mechanical ability under my belt, my best advice is to drive it and see if it has been abused or sitting dormant too much. It is a great car.
Great gas mileage, good engine,
It may not have as much power as other cars in its class and age group.