The main reason I bought this car was because I was in the right place at the right time to get a great price on it, and the car checked out well mechanically and cosmetically. I am generally not a Ford fan, but I liked the styling, and this car is similar to the V6 Camaro I owned for many years, and was very happy with.
Initially and overall, this is a very fun car with a lot of good qualities and nice street appeal. It handles very well (though not as crisp as the Camaro) and has decent power considering how economical it is to run. The engine has good torque, although it is not high revving, and the 5 speed manual is geared perfectly for the engine's characteristics. I had to move the power driver's seat back 3 inches on its frame to make the car comfortable for me to drive, as I am 6'5, but after that it was pretty decent for long distance trips.
The gas leak and door lock problems were cheap to fix, but the computer misreading the IAC valve is a dilemma. The IAC valve functions properly, so the car runs fine, but having the check engine light on most of the time due to it, could keep me from being warned of a more serious problem arising. The computer would be expensive to replace.
The real problem with this car is the 3.8 engine head gasket problem. It turns out that this is a major defect with these and the 4.2 Ford engines. There have been thousands of complaints, and basically, Ford is doing everything it can to avoid paying for repairs. Some models and years have had extended head gasket warranties offered by Ford, only '94 and '95 for the Mustang, but most people are stuck paying for the repairs themselves.
I can't recommend buying from a company that knowingly puts out a defective product and won't stand behind it. Go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to see hundreds of complaints regarding this issue.