* Three transmissions (on my 4th now)
* Replaced shocks/struts when purchased, and will probably replace them again soon.
* Hole in the intake tube causing idle surge (89000 miles)
* Mass Airflow Sensor (89000 miles)
* Tie Rod ends (85000 miles)
* Alternator (85000 miles)
* Replaced the capacitors in the ECU (85,000 miles)
*Replaced tires (Firestone Firehawks hydroplaned at the slightest hint of water; replacement Pirelli HP's *ROCK*!)
* Timing belt worn (50,000 miles?)
* Multiple repairs to rear window defroster (broken currently--wire won't stay attached to heating element)
* Broke the valve cover while replacing the PCV valve (suspect corrosion rather than a defect in the part)
Owning an Eagle Talon has been a love/hate kind of thing. It's absolutely a kick in the pants to drive, but has needed a lot of maintenance.
I strongly suspect my Talon was abused before I bought it; it spent the first six months in the shop more than on the road. It needed *LOTS* of suspension work, two new trannies (the first replacement was a poor quality rebuild and never worked right), etc.
Once I worked the bugs out, though, fell in love with the car. The handling is by far the best of anything I've ever driven. While I *really* would like the TSi AWD, my non-turbo is still pretty quick and there are plenty of after-market mods available. I replaced the stock air filter with a K&N FIPK (highly recommended!), added an aluminum intake tube when the stock snorkel developed a hole in one of the accordion pleats, added a front upper strut tower brace (greatly reduced wheel hop on acceleration in snow and ice).
While the Talon (and it's sister DSM's, the Plymouth Laser and Mitsubishi Eclipse) does require more maintenance than anything else I've ever driven, it's also very easy to work on. The engine compartment is large and open, most of what you need to access is visible through the hood, and there is lots of information available about DSM maintenance on the Internet.
Good--performance, handling, ease of maintenance, available modifications, looks.
Bad--somewhat maintenance intensive, parts can be a little expensive ($3000 for my last transmission--ouch!), drive train doesn't seem to be strong enough for a care of this nature, later models (esp. 2nd generation turbos) are susceptible to crankwalk, prepare to spend money on speeding tickets :)