This car is not perfect, and anyone who would tell you so is far too biased to be writing a report on it. I have loved the car ever since I saw it as a child in the "Back to the Future" movies, and at the ripe old age of only 22, I managed to get my own at the cost of about $18,000 US. Though I love the car, I must say the following:
You will no doubt appreciate this car greatly for its looks. Truly, there literally is nothing else on the road that looks like it. It is no exageration that people driving Ferrari's and Lamborghini's will pull over to take a look at it. You will attract a huge amount of attention, cause accidents, and suffer numerous greasy hand prints all over your stainless steel exterior.
With regards to the stainless steel, it is both exceptionally difficult to clean thoroughly, and scratches easily. Simply washing the car as one would a "regular" car will still leave it looking dirty, and greasy. A good quality stainless steel spray-polish and buffing is needed to make this car shine - and shine it does. It will look beautiful for no more than about a week, given optimal conditions, before needing cleaning again. With regards to scratches, the steel is as aforementioned, very easily damaged. The good news is however that apart from "deep" scratches, nicks, marks, skids and any other truant abrasions can be taken out by a common heavy-duty Scotch-brite pad by rubbing the steel in the direction of the grain. Tedious it may be, but it does allow you to fix any minor blemishes. Be forewarned though - unless your car is a "trailer queen" you will indeed pick up a few irremovable scratches - though these are often times only seen under certain lighting conditions, making them much less of an eyesore than one might think.
Mechanically, and in terms of performance, this car does score well - far better than many of its critcs might have you believe. Its problems are certainly almost never of the major kind - they're more of the minor type, but the number of them can sometimes be annoying. A small squeak here, a little rattle there. A small part like a spedometer gear, or an engine thermal switch. All easily fixed, but their preponderance can at times be annoying.
The engine is a rock-solid motor, being a Peugeot-Renault-Volvo (PRV) hybrid. Much like any Volvo, it definitely takes a licking, and keeps on ticking. Ones installed in Volvo's sedan's have been known to last well into the hundreds of thousands of kilometers range. It is fairly basic, and no more expensive to fix and maintain that your average 1980's Volvo. It does however lack in power, as all DeLorean owners know. This car is by no means slow. It's not even average. It is certainly "quick", but given the luxury and exotic taste of the car, the engine really is the least impressive feature of the vehicle, and does not live up to the GT/Sports car image as well as a slightly beefier block could have.
The transmission is smooth shifting, and one never hears the grinding of gears. Parts are readily available from almost any European car shop (though fortunately I've never needed any).
Handling is the car's true strength, and it does indeed corner exceptionally well, riding on its Lotus-designed suspension. It also stops exceptionally quickly, and has superb traction with the engine being directly over the rear driving wheels.
Overall, the Delorean is as much an experience as it is a car. It evokes memories not only of a certain famous movie series, but of a old-fashioned vision of what a "futuristic" car would look, and drive like. The car performs well, is safely designed, cannot rust, is quite reliable considering both its age and its pedigree, gets more than acceptable mileage per litre/gallon of gas, is exceptionally stylish and unique, and truly is a privilege to own and drive. While I feel some people take their DeLorean's a little *too* seriously, and are exceptionally hostile when it has anything poor said about it, this car does deserve a great deal of respect.
I do not believe there is any other car that can be had for under $20,000 that is as unique, attractive, and enjoyable.