Great 4-cylinder car with 145 horsepower. I bought the car new in October, 2001 and have driven it ever since - 113,000 miles so far. Fuel economy has been good the whole time, and is the same now as it was when I bought it (26 city/30+ highway). The only upgrade I've added is a K&N Air Filter Charger for about $40 (improves fuel economy and horsepower a little bit). Only maintenance other than routine has been new brakes, new tires, and new spark plugs. Handling is great. My only complaint the whole time has been the road noise - it's pretty noisy at highway speeds. Didn't like the "premium" sound system that came with the SE model, so I added an aftermarket system.
Reliability (fantastic!). Fuel economy. Exterior appearance. 16" wheels. Decent power for 4-cylinder. Comfortable seats. Great handling.
Noise dampening/insulation to cut down on road noise. Add a 6th gear to the manual transmission for cruising at highway speeds. Better stock sound system. Back seat is pretty cramped for tall people.