I bought my 1991 Grand Am for my son when it had 146,000 miles on it. There had been several previous owners.
I bought it for him, but he gave it back to me. To resolve oil leaks, and running problems, I had the 2.5 L engine rebuilt. By the time I finished repairs, A/C, brake cylinders, paint, carpet, starter, Rt front wheel bearing, I was getting about 33 mpg on the highway (w/out AC on.)
i had spent about $6,000.
The car now has 235,000 miles on it, and the only problem is a slightly weak reverse gear. I'd rate the interior and exterior higher except
for plastic, and poor trim.
Oil filter hard to change w/out getting leaks, but the engine is all metal. No plastic manifold to crack!
Front passenger seat moves forward all the way for rear access.
Solid sheet metal wall between trunk and back seet for body strength and less noise.
Radio can be lifted out through the front panel so that it may be serviced or upgraded by owner.
Gauges are easy to read.
Car is peppy enough that I don't need to stomp the pedal just to get on the freeway, or go up and down hill.
Trunk is a large square box that stuff goes into
and out of easily w/out getting stuck on the
bottom of the back windshield.
Cast aluminum wheels that are factory; thus not a thief magnet.
Headlights are bright because headlight socket pod has a glass front on it, that doesn't get opaque with age.
Better window moldings.
Rear windows frames that are not plastic (cracks can happen!)
Stronger and more sound console glove box.
Side molding to prevent nicks. Snazzy molding just below belt line does not catch all door nicks -- especially from giant pickup trucks.
Optional metal bumpers.