To it's credit... I got in an accident with it. A 1993 Dodge Spirit slammed into me. The Lancer left the scene unscathed. The Spirit, however, was probably totaled and I felt bad cause the woman has JUST made the final payment on her Spirit and it was now dead to the world.
The idle was always rough on the car and I could never get it to a happy medium. The ride was always rough and noisy as well. There was no way you could concentrate on anything, but the car while driving. It demanded your full attention.
It was rather reliable. It got everyone where they needed to be. I drove a friend of mine to work every morning at 6 AM and it drove the 30 miles roundtrip just fine, but it was mainly an "around town" car. But, it just didn't cut it. It is not a luxury vehicle... these days if you find an 87, just be happy it runs. Mine ran like it was 5 years older than it was.
Maybe it was the case that it was poorly taken care of -- who knows who had driven it the 12 years prior to my ownership -- but for $450, you get what you pay for.