Reliable but buggy electronics, and plenty of things to break
written on 07-08-2013
The 3.8 has a great transmission and engine, decent mpg, great performance, incredibly smooth, fun to drive but comfortable on the highway. Always started for me. I owned it from 90k to 140k. The problem is the electronics around it. Power steering rack leaks, gas gauge bounces around, traction control stops randomly, power windows love to break. Brake cylinders seize, the led on the radio like to dance sometimes. And nothing is $250 or less, everything is at least close to $400 or more to fix. It still works if you can live with the flaws as it is extremely dependable. Home mechanics go for it, but after 120k avoid it like the plague if you can't fix it yourself.
So this is the first, and thus far, only car I've owned for my 3 years of driving. I'm the 6th owner, and it was passed down from my dad at 130k miles. It's now at 210k miles, and I can say with pride that this car has never failed me. Aside from when the battery was dead (the battery was 12 years old at the time and an easy jump got me goin'), it starts every morning as I begin my commute. Whether it's the usual 30, the frequent 100, or the occasional 1000 miles, it's always ready to go. Most of my maintenance has been regular, with a few big replacements such as the axles and brakes. The transmission and the engine still feel fantastic, despite the dust and age.
Bought this car with 200k on it and it runs and drives great. Just starting to show a little rust but love this car and the supercharged engine is awesome. 208k and still going strong. After putting on about 2000 miles the car now quits and may or may not start again. Pretty much have it sitting and collecting dust now. Read on the internet that this was a common problem. Not sure if I want to stick money into it.
Beyond the annual trips to the mechanic to fix a leak or a rattle, we had a to have the entire steering system replaced at 75000, the AC redone soon thereafter. Then the fun started. The dirver's side window motor broke, the driver's side seat mechanics broke, and the door panels are constantly popping out of place. Last week, the light for the radio and clock went out. Now we're replacing the radiator and selling it ASAP. It's fun to drive and handle's well, if only the roads to the mechanic's were more windy we could have more fun!