I drove the SE model for almost 5 years. Much better built than my 1999 Camry. Good power and handling. The car was reliable but far from perfect. First it was one of the noisiest cars from the wind I have ever driven, wind leaked in from everywhere. Second was the 1 wheel drive. The front right tire drove the whole car. Third was the steering radius, the longest of any car made.premium unleaded is not necessary., no pinging with regular and the same gas mileage.
The GXE has a way better turning radius. I've owned two 01 SE's, a 03 SE, & now a 03 GXE. The GXE is the best one. No sunroof to add heat & a turn radius that's good in the city! Get a GXE! Also, add a front-strut tower brace to get more power down to both front wheels & improve steering. Then add Eibach pro-kit springs, & the car will handle like a dream.