Bought this car brand new in 1998. First year it was incredibly smooth and quiet. Very surprising performance for a small car. Ours has the 5 speed, so mileage is GREAT. Recently (2005) I drove 412 miles on 10.67 gallons of gas. That is 38 MPG! This was not all interstate miles either. It was mixed, city and highway miles. That was pretty impressive considering the car just passed 138,000 miles. The AC is great, and so is the heat. The channel preset buttons on the radio are all falling off, which stinks. The cup holder in the rear seat was placed in a bad spot. The cloth seats are adequate and are durable. The interior panels are resistant to temp extremes (no cracking so far). Great car.
Engine reliablility, and gas mileage. Sporty looks. At 138000 miles, it still has the original clutch, pumps, alternator, AC compressor. The only thing I've replaced is the starter, plugs, tires, brakes, filters, and oil.
Cup holder in the back seat location bad. When left out, it is at "foot level" leading to getting kicked by kids entering/exiting car. It broke the first year. The dome light switch has gone bad, twice. Currently the fixture isn't working. Clunky to use. Steering wheel is starting to crumble with age