I had a '96 Camry that was totaled and my mechanic was selling a 2000 Solara with 125k on it for the right price. I had to put in a clutch and repair suspension the first year (as can be expected at 130k plus miles), since it has been amazing. I've put 50k on the car, and it drives smooth, the steering is tight, and it gets great gas mileage. I highly recommend it.
Stick shift, handling, ride quality.
A little more room in the front seat, I'm 6'4 and can feel cramped occasionally.
I have had this car for 4 years. I bought it as a compromise between mpg and comfort as I commute over an hour to work. I have only replaced the battery and tires in those 5 years and have put 200K+ miles on. Performing past my expectations.
Bought in 8/2002 with 36k miles. Now have 85k. Have replaced window regulator motor. All other items have been regular maintenance - oil, filters, brake pads and rotors, timing belt and water pump (at 84k). This car is a wonderful machine.
Reliability. Comfortable ride. Low overall cost of ownership. Beautiful. Did I mention that the car is super reliable!
bought it used in 2004 for 12k with 76000 miles. 6 years later it has 169 000 miles. changed a radiator few years ago for $400 and a sensor for $180 last year. oil change every 3 months at $19.99. been in 4 accidents - 2 rear, 1 front and back (changed front bumper for $600)