The head gasket blew at approx. 75,000 miles. I was fortunate in that I still had 74 miles left on my extended warranty and all repair costs were covered (including partial car rental). Evidently the 2.0 and 2.2 L motors are susceptible to this specific problem as noted by dealer svc man. This is the only real Achilles heel of this 4 cyl. model.
Periodic "struggling" of motor when at idle; usually only lasts about 2 (long) seconds. Otherwise unremarkable.
Replaced blown left front brake line. Aftermarket product remedied problem of OEM brake line (mis-located reinforcement).
On the whole, the car handles well and can be pushed somewhat hard with little protest or lack of confidence. Though struts are beginning to show a little weakness at 99,000 miles (not bad, I guess).
Power from the 4 cyl. is "eager" given the car's weight and size.
Braking is sufficient with no fade. Have not yet replaced rotors/drums.
I have taken care of this car and thus has take care of me.
Generally a rather comfortable car as far as driving is concerned. Otherwise, comfortable with ample room in rear seat.
Cup holders/ash tray configuration make little sense/difference in the way of driver convenience.
Interior charcoal colour is much easier on the eyes than the beige.
The only real concerns are said "head gasket" and independent crash tests (i.e.: "no guarantee of walking away under your own power from a 35 mph corner impact" -disturbing).