Got my first one in 2002 with 120k on it, drove it for another 100k when the transmission finally crapped out. Liked it so much, I found one on eBay with 100k on it, bought it drove it cross-country (PA to CO) sight unseen and had zero mechanical issues with it. Had a timing belt fail about 6 months later, but other wise it's been great. It has a persistent oil leak (dunno where), and the A/C pooped out a while ago but that's pretty minor for a run-around/short-distance commuter car. I wish it has cup holders (tired of spilling beverages), but it still runs strong, no other mechanical issues. VERY pleased with the quality/longevity of both of these vehicles.
I would say this is the most reliable thing on the planet earth (manufactured in japan). There's only been small things that had gone wrong with the car that could be done myself. The radiator started leaking at 145,000 and bought a new one did it myself (extremely easy to do). It also burns a lot of oil. I beat the hell out of this car and its still running I was able to get it up to 115 mpg with a/c on so the car is very fast with 115 hp rating. Its also good on gas and has excellent acceleration for a 5-speed 4-banger. It now has 167,000 miles and it runs quite and doesnt shake at all. Will this car ever die?
A good student car. The exterior design ages well, and does not look too obsolete after 13 years old. People would believe it if I said it's a '96. The 2.2-liter engine is powerful enough in most situations even with automatic. Reliability - so far so good for me. I can take this thing in a cross-country road trip with heavy load, and I don't have to worry about the car. Recommended maintianance for fellow owners - seal up the "accordion" air intake thingy with an electric tape: Improves mileage and smoothes idle. Flush the radiator before things go horrible. AC convertion to R134a helps to keep the cost low and it also puts new compressor oil in there.