I bought this as my first real car 5 years ago and have since put 50,000 miles on it. It doesn't have much power (having the manual lets you strangle every ounce out of it), but it gets you there in the end. Reliability has been almost perfect, the only thing I had to change was the starter motor. It burns about 1/3 quart of oil per tank, but I can live with that. My biggest complaint against the car is that it is not good for tall drivers, I'm 6'4", and on long trips it destroys my back. It has only been recently that I have been driving a lot, I got a new job where I drive 500 miles a week, so sadly the car had to go. But if you're just looking for a basic car that doesn't break, this is it.
Gas mileage!! With normal driving I averaged 36-38, if I was really gentle on the throttle I could squeak out 43. Also the almost perfect reliability. Everything you can expect in a great but basic car.
Keep in mind this is a very basic car but there are always the standards, more sound proofing, more power, more comfortable seats, more leg room.