I bought this car new at the end of 2001. Because it was an XE with a 5sp manual it was still on the lot. For the first 100k it had very few problems, and they were covered under warranty. A new catalytic converter and a fuel pump were all that went wrong. The clutch lasted until 115k. Now that I have 140k on it, I've had to replace the rack and pinon steering and needed some engine repairs for rough idling. Overall, I love this car and for the mileage it has needed few repairs.
When I drive it nicely I can get 32 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway. The base car (XE) came with enough features to keep me happy for a commuter car.
The trunk is a little small and the back seat can be cramped. There is a fair amount of road noise from the tires, but my bank account is still doing just fine.