Being a 17 year old, I was looking for a car that would get me from home work and school, nothing fancy, so I saw this little blue beast on the side of the road. I picked it up for a couple hundred bucks and expected to have a little beater that would last a month or two. I later found out that its a pretty solid car, its pretty quick for a 2.2 and its pretty dent resistant. I was amazed at this little car and I wish I would have bought one sooner. Driving it as much as I did I learned it can park in any spot and can keep up with my friends' eclipse and grand prix.
I got this car in 2001, for my 17th birthday. It had 80,000 miles on it and ran me wonderfully for the next ten and a half years. I kept up with the maintenance and fluids and all that, which may have contributed to its lasting so long. It did have an almost bulimic hunger for motor oil, it went through it very quickly. Finally sold it in January of 2012, it had started demanding larger repairs and I decided to just upgrade cars. Good car, though. I always felt safe driving it, the pick up was surprisingly good, it was decent in the snow and it never once left me stranded.
My brother in law passed this car on to me after the dealership only offered him a couple hundred for it. Boy, he's now missing out! He went and bought a new Ford focus. I think I got the better deal. This car now has 160K on it and does noit look to stop. I have had to do repairs such as radiator and general maintenance but I did not expect to have this car long and I'm pleasantly surprised!
Like the Energizer Bunny, this car just will not stop. I have had to rarely put mine in the shop for surprise repairs. The only major component that has been replaced is the compressor; but what do you expect living in Houston and those awfully hot summers. The gas mileage gets better as the car gets older. One trip from Texarkana to Houston I had the car fully loaded down, with the tail dragging I only used half a tank a gas. Mind you I was doing roughly 80 mph the entire time. This car is like a good wine, it gets better with age. I'll never get rid of mine.
I HATE THIS CAR. It was the first car I ever owned (which I regret). My parents got it used in 2004 with 115,000 miles, and I have had nothing but trouble with it. The air conditioner doesn't work (a sin in super humid southern Illinois), the back left speaker is blown, the driver's side window doesn't roll down, the paint is literally peeling off, I have a rust hole clear through the front of the hood, and the passenger side door doesn't open from the inside unless you hit against it REALLY HARD -- my brother bruised his shoulder. It is not reliable AT ALL. I wish I could tell you how many times I've been stranded on the side of the road, but I don't remember anymore.