I've had this car since it was nearly brand new and I have never had anything major go wrong with the engine. However, various stupid things go wrong with it, instead. Design flaws include: The back wheel wells were designed so rocks chip the corners of the back doors and it rusts like crazy, the security system will randomly cut off the fuel so it won't start, the exterior mirrors will break off if a light breeze blows past, there is something in the front doors that scratches the windows, and the brackets that hold up the power windows are flawed and break easily. Also, many parts are flimsy plastic that break. Other than that it's a solid vehicle that's a good size and drives well.
If you take good care of it this car runs very well. The turning radius is good for a car of its size. Great acceleration. Stops well if you keep the tires/brakes in good shape. It gets decent mpg if you don't drive it like a moron. The climate control is really good. Fairly roomy.
It would be a great car if they had just fixed the major flaws. My friend owns a 2000 and hasn't had nearly the number of problems that I have. The dealer was none too quick to do any work under warranty, so I think they knew it was a crap car from the start. Good performance, unreliable. Get a '00.