I bought my car used in 2000 for $5k. Best $5k I ever spent! Previous owner didn't take care of it, so I had a few problems at first (plugged catalytic converter, bad belt, etc.), but once I got her cleaned up, she just ran and ran. I don't know how many miles she has, because the odometer died 4 months after I bought it. If I had to guess, I would say over 250k. (I drive a LOT!) It loves the open road and gets wonderful gas mileage.
It has had a few mechanical problems. I've replaced the alternator 5 times (!), and in the last three years, I replaced the clutch plate, a control arm, and the fuel sending unit. And the motor on the driver's seat belt died LONG ago. Still a good car.
That's easy: Reliability, marvelous gas mileage, good looks, and so fun to drive!
Parts under the hood in weird places, NO backseat passenger room, and parts often have to be special ordered (even when GM was still making Saturns). And (mine, at least) thinks alternators taste like chicken.
I have no idea how many miles I have on this SC2 (auto, not manual) as the odometer stopped working a few years ago. I'm guessing 155,000. I have had to replace a few things on it, most significantly the motherboard for $500. I have a crack in the windshield (sat it in the hot Cali sun for years), the seat belt thingy is cracked and will probably fail sometime, replaced the coolant tank ($10 from junkyard) and the timing belt made me nutty for years until I found a mechanic who fixed it (FINALLY). New brakes and tires last year (2011) - it's now 19 yeas old and still drives like a dream. My sons want to drive it off a cliff to force me to buy a new car but NOPE. Bot it for $4,400 10 yrs ago!
Zippy. Cute body. Pop up headlights. Fold-down-to-flat back seats - haul the dog in there - roomy in that space. Love the shifter, stock radio still good, E brake great, handles great in snow/slush, climbs up my snowy driveway effortlessly. Hate that the wheels are pitting and lost the A/C two years ago. Power windows failed once but somehow fixed themselves! Eats a little oil but cannot complain at all.
My first brand new car purchase 17 years ago, so I got to pick all the features I wanted. I would still be driving this car but my husband and son don't fit in in comfortably kids do grow up and get tall. So sad to see it go, I bet it would last another 92,000 miles. My mechanic bought it because it's a great car (and I took care of it). Anyway, had to replace the alternator, the odometer cluster, brakes and tires. But not bad for 17 years. Interior was in beautiful shape too (cloth), they knew how to build cars then, wish they would put those great big windows in today's cars, they were a lot easy to see out of the rear view mirror. Happy driving, I'll never forget that car!
Automatic seat belts, big easy to see through windows, a lot of get up and go. Cruise control worked great.
The drink holder was flimsy. Broke two of them, but easy to replace at least.
Bought car new in 1993. I am finally going to put this car to rest on its 17th Birthday. It has been aweome. It currently has 527K miles on the originally engine. I got the 5 speed std and have replaced the clutch once at almost 300K miles (Wierd). I drive lots of miles but mostly freeway. I have performed standard maintenance on the car from day one. I changed oil every 5 or 6K but I have used only synthetics. 17 yrs major repairs are 2 timing chains, three upper engine mounts, one fuel pump, two catalytic converters, mufflers, two wheel hubs,front seat and one AC sys conversion. She Needs valve job (Repair Cost 1700, bought the car for 12K) last car payment 12/1996. Outlasted 6 other cars.
Fuel milage, Only left me stranded once with a flat...The spare had dry rotted in the trunk. Still makes me laugh.
Never liked the interior plastic. Dash board craked from Heat of sun at 400K miles.
This little car have been very dependable as I am able to maintain 36 - 38 miles highway in the warmer months and 25 -27 city. Besides from normal wear and tear parts are easy to replace Alternator, Brakes, Radiator and suspension . However as it is a 4 cylinder you will have to add oil on a regular basis. Another thing to watch out for is the crank sensor which can make you think the timing has jumped but the timing chain on this model last forever. Nice dependable plastic car