Within the year I have owned this car, absolutely nothing has broken on me.
It had a very slight problem with stalling after turning on the car and idling for less than a minute when I bought it. It happened once a month. After putting in new spark plugs and other various parts the problem disappeared.
Engine seems fairly strong - transmission is perfect.
It's been good to me so far.
The stock tires are a good size, so for a small, cheap car, the handling is pretty swell.
The seats are fairly comfortable, but the design of the interior is pretty bad. it's my only complaint with the car.
The 2.2l engine provides plenty of power up hills. it's adequate, but nothing great. I put on a cold air intake, exhaust, an underdrive kit etc. and the car is almost sporty :) in the morning, right before the emissions system kicks in, this car hauls a**. There is definetely power hiding in this engine.
For a small economy sedan the gas mileage sucks. I've got the 3-speed (what a mistake!!) transmission and I've recorded 26-28mpg on the highway *before* I started modifying the car. I'm sure a 4-speed or 5 would change this. I really wish I would have sprung for the later ecotec engine.
Not my dream car, but it's stuck by me and does what I want.