I bought this car as I was in the UK and stuck due to the volcanic ash cloud - Easyjet offered to put me on a flight 7 days later. I was at the Premier Inn. I am sure you'll understand my desire to escape.
So a quick go on autotrader.co.uk, found the car - a bright red 1997 GLX 1.8 - £450 later (ad for £495) and I was cruising down the motorway to Dover. 48 hours later I was pulling up in my driveway in the south of Spain (about as far south as you can go) - 1,600 miles from whence it came. The car has already done 163,000 miles. You would expect with a small engine it would be rattling smoking mess. Far from it. Smooth at idle, smooth at speed. No ticking, no smoke, no knocking - sounded like a 50,000 mile car to be honest. Body a bit rough, few scratches and dints, but generally presentable. Back bumper broken - obviously!
What a completely rock solid reliable car. I chose it since I had a few Mondeo's about 5 years ago and they were cast iron reliable. This was no different. Very impressed. Reasonable performance, good brakes, reasonable handling - given I drive a Porsche 911 X50 and a BMW M5, as well as a 740i as my daily driver, this is praise indeed.
I would recommend one of these cars to someone who needs a cheap, reliable, low cost run around or work machine. Very good car indeed.