I was given this car for my 16th birthday in the early 2000s. when I got it it had around 75,000 miles on it and I drove it up to 130,000.
Car has been a great car, no major repairs needed. I have been in 3 or more low speed accidents with it and it has kept me safe and keeps on rolling. Gas mileage was around 26mpg averaging highway and city together. I kept up on maintenance and oil changes and the car have been great!
I like that the engine is fairly easy to work on yourself for those DIYs.
The car is inexpensive to fix.
The 3300 engine I'm told is a pretty solid GM engine and that holds true to my experience.
The things I don't like, the doors are really heavy so beware if you open one and it comes slamming back into you.
If you don't mind forking out $800 a year on maintenance you can keep it going for 235,000 or more. I commute (for 12 years) 28 miles each way (I know, I know, should move closer to work) & this car has never left me stranded (knock on wood. I drive in - 30 degrees F in the winter and have never had a problem. I guess I got lucky with this series of 4 cylinder engine. I run with synthetic oil. Hope it makes a difference. Engine burns no oil. Yes, be prepared to have your brakes replaced every couple of years or sooner.
If you maintain it diligently this is a reliable car. There are a few electrical things like the dash warning lights going on and off randomly but once you get to know your car you realize that you can put up with these little things. Exterior styling, seal and paint durability, interior quality
Improve the brake sytem. It must have been under designed (save building costs I guess). Improve the elecrical system.
I bought this car about 3 years ago, it had 160,000 miles on it. Since then, no real problems other than an oxygen sensor went on me. It runs fine, gets pretty good mileage, and is reliable. The only problem are small things, like it leaks water when it rains, coins easily fall into the lighter and blow fuses, the front passenger door stopped opening, and my rearview mirror fell off at one point. It's annoying stuff, but hey the car runs.
I purchased this car new and have driven the wheels off it. I have changed the oil faithfully every 3000- 3500 miles. Other than a head gasket about every 160,000 miles,and routine brakes about every 70,000 miles I have had nothing but superb reliability. After 340,000 miles I still have original clutch, stater, master cyl, fuel pump, all signal and brake bulbs, air conditioning still functions as new. I wish all of my cars could have been this reliable. The only breakdowns I have had in all those miles is a failed crank sensor ,2 times.
The Quad four has plenty of power on hills and gets anywhere from 28-34 mpg. with mostly highway and backroads driving.
Engine is noisy under acceleration. Ride a little harsh .