I invested in after market air intake system, platinum spark plugs, premium wires and true duel exhaust. After doing so, I received 30% increase in power alone. Sounds much better and saves much on gas, rear end fluid and gasket (pain).
I believe in maintenance care, so I fixed and repaired the following:
Struts and shocks, trans filter and fluid, oil and oil filter, exhaust, brakes and rotors, stereo system (only cannons fit well in trunk), aftermarket front and rear lenses, trans cooler, and rear end oil and gasket.
I purchased this car used. As long as you don't beat it and take time to fix things before they are broken, it is fine. This may be lots of things to fix, but at least the trans and motor are perfect.
I am probably in the $1500.00 mark as far as investment. But I figure the car would have been more expensive.
I have owned previously a Mitsubishi Eclipse and Laser. I was all about the need for speed thing, and hooked those cars up, but I noticed the cars felt fast because they were small. Those small engines have to run harder to stay up, which leads to many other problems. More bolts seized, not including all the calipers.
My Eclipse was ended after switching to synthetic.
I got too old for that, and got no respect for those all American guys on the road. It seems that either way you go, somethings going to be fixed. Either save gas and get smaller, or go larger and pay less in repairs. I don't miss those cars quite yet.
I have heard insurance is high on this car, but if you have a V6 and a clean record, it's not bad. Mine is $650 for 12 months full coverage. And at every light it gets serious looks that almost distracts other drivers. I rarely would purchase a used sports car, but I noticed it was clean and wasn't modified... yet.
The main thing is pre maintenance. Get it fixed before it breaks. Change it before it needs to be changed. Add a few toys to keep it running as cool as possible. Even take out the thermostat in the summer. Spray the under body once in a while with WD 40 (brake part area, etc.) And all the fluids. And you will have a well running car.
If you don't, prepare to be disappointed. I have owned 13 cars in my life, and they have all had problems.
A car is like a well cared female. If you stop bringing flowers, taking her out to dinner, and for getting those anniversaries, you're gonna pay for it or it will divorce you!!