I've had this car for going on three years and only a few minor problms. The air flow sensor was bad when I bought the car (recalled but I was over the milage - $80) and the brake light switch wasn't working correctly ($15). Other than that I haven't put any money into the car except regular upkeep. Oil changes (using synthetic) don't have to be done but every 10,000 miles which will save a few bucks. The only improvement that could be made is with the auto transmission. The auto doesn't make good use of the torque the car has and RPM's go too high before shifting for a diesel engine. If you're looking to buy get one with the 5-speed manual transmission.
Torque, fuel economy, little upkeep, reliability, and huge trunk.