A rugged, reliable, comfortable form of transportation
108,500: ABS light came on - never repaired - brakes work fine, just no ABS. I have driven accordingly.
121,000: Front struts were shot. Replaced with aftermarket (non sensing suspension) - $300.
122,000: Fuel filler neck rusted through (northeastern car) - $70.
127,000: Brake pads all around - $100.
138,000: Battery - $120.
142,000: Ran over an exhaust pipe, new tires all around - $380.
155,000: Front end work, replaced tie rod ends, hub assemblies, front and rear brake pads and rotors, and got an alignment - $650.
162,000: Leaking oil from cooler line fitting, fixed with teflon tape - $0.05.
165,000: Starter went, first time it left me stranded. Installed a new starter - $212.
172,000: Needs two tires (broken belts), rear coil springs, and sway bar end links. Estimated cost - $700.
This car has been astounding. Purchased in Maine from the 5th owner (ouch!) for $1,200, I've taken it down 65,000 miles and it's ready for more. I purchased this model to avoid the Northstar engine, my father-in-law has bought 4 since I bought mine, all with the Northstar, each one has blown a head gasket.
Somewhat neglected, many of the initial repairs were expected. There are running costs with any vehicle, but for the total this car has cost me, I cannot imagine much better on the road today that is this comfortable and cheap.
The A/C still blows cold, the heater could use some help, but it's 20 years old, so I only ask as much from it as it asks from me. The seats are quite comfortable and the steering easy, however, the steering does transmit a lot of feel for the road and this car handles marvelously.
The V8 has plenty of power despite being the base model, and efficiency is not as bad as many expect. I achieve 17 in town, 20 mixed and about 23 highway (I've had tanks as high as 27). The transmission still pulls strong, and if I'm not careful, smoke can be emitted from the tires as well as the tailpipe.
The car has great visibility, the only downside being it sits low enough to be in most headlight ranges. Baby fins help guide you into parking spaces or out of them. The rear window is a massive improvement over a 93. Cornering lamps are a wonderful feature; if you don't have them, try a car that has them. Cruise control is exceptionally accurate.
This car comes equipped with an 8 speaker stereo and it sounds magnificent! Just enough bass and treble; if you disagree, you can adjust it at the touch of a finger.
Onboard diagnostics are a life saver, learn how to do it and you will never have to have the mechanic turn off your check engine light again.
My original road sensing suspension shocks were replaced with Arnott suspension parts with great success. I have had no issues with their parts, and it still rides like a Cadillac.
Passenger cabin is roomy and has room for 6 (yes, I have put 6 adults in the car). One of the last bench seat passenger cars. My wife enjoys riding in the middle right next to me. Trunk is 20 cubic feet of wonder. You'd be amazed how much you can lose back there.
Rust has been minimal on this car (body and underbody), but some is starting to show through under the gas cap.
Only gripe is the compact spare tire. It is VERY tiny and will give you about 2-3 days to find a new full size tire. Make sure to double check the pressure on your spare!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd March, 2014