Bought my MX3 in high school, and have been driving it ever since.
I have always lived in rural areas in the West and she handles beautifully on the back roads, even in the snow...I have taken her up Mt Hood many times.
I take curves at the same speed as the rest of the highway (in good weather!)
thanks to her Twin-Trapezoidal Link rear suspension.
Maintenance has been minimal/normal: new brakes, clutch, window motor, distributor (twice), muffler (twice).
I have even fit a full size ikea couch in that car, with the hatch closed! Cargo space is amazing for a car that gets 40 mpg in summer highway driving.
Love this car.
Gas efficient, handles better than some "luxury" cars I've driven, incredible cargo space due to the long hatch back.
Be sure to note recalls, my seat belt track broke, but the factory fixed it (not before a shop tried to charge me $1300).
Also, she steams up in the winter when it is raining, so you have to use the heat judiciously...and carry a small towel just in case.
Over time, head lights are so yellow and opaque it feels like driving with two flashlights would be better.
I just haven't sprung for the new plastic.