I'm the original owner of the 97 XE 2WD pickup. I've only had to replace the alternator, otherwise it's been trouble-free and very reliable. I'm still driving it...will likely be driving it several years from now. :)
Beware of dealership mechanics. I sent mine in for F&R main seals and found, when I got home, they'd cracked the crank pulley when they reinstalled it
and had not refilled the oil in the STD transmission. . It seemed they drained just enough oil out of the trans to remove the driveshaft without spillage and replaced the drain plug fingertight. Then
neglected the oil refill. When the remaining oil leaked out the trans began to whine. I checked and found the loose drain plug and noticed the refill plug still rusted & dirty,never touched. Dealers don't care!