This was my first car, and for $500, I'm not complaining. I bought the car with 77,000 miles on it, and it has now 87000 on it, but not without a few replacements. Alternator, starter, distributor, and some front end work was all the major repairs. But I cant' complain about the 30+ mpg! A little more horsepower would be nice, mostly for passing on the highway. But she still does 75 mph with ease on the freeway. Highly unrecommended for a first car!
I bought this car with 71,000 miles on it. Now, 3 and a half years later, it has almost 103,000 miles. However, I have spent over $1,500 in repairs in the years I owned it. (Bought it for $1,200). I have replaced a ball joint, the fuel pump, spark plug wires, starter, brake line, and the throttle. When I replaced it with a Nissan, the exhaust (at the exhaust manifold) was going bad. Good car, but only if you want to spend lots of money in repairs, and only if you want to be in the shop with it every other month.
After 160,000+ miles it finally started to lose or burn enough oil that I was afraid it would not pass emissions test. Even then, always started on first try no matter what. On original clutch and transmission. Only engine work was head gasket at 130,000. Original ignition module. Hope my new car gives me the same life.