This is a great little car. I've driven it hard, beings as I got it when I was 16, I've wrecked it repeatedly, into a car, a deer, and a guardrail. And through it all... it's been amazingly reliable. Twice have I had to leave it/have it towed, in 6 years. Once because the starter died on me in winter, which happens, and once when my fuel pump went out at about 140k. The fuel pump was worse timing, but both were not terribly hard to resolve.
I was the second owner, and as much as I've abused this car, it has stayed strong. I haven't been as good with the oil changes or most maintenance as I should have been, and STILL the engine and the transmission have not failed me. The core of this car is solid like you wouldn't believe. It's not the best handling car, or the best performing, but the pick up on the little 2.3L is not horrible, it has a nice tight turning radius, and I've never slid around a corner, unless I was on something wet. I have NEVER gotten stuck in snow, even living in Nebraska now, and Missouri before that.
I also have to point out, at least back when I was keeping track, I got about 33mpg mostly CITY with this car. And I know I didn't drive it all that nice.
All and all, a reliable, lasting car. If you need something to get around without a great performance, but with good reliability and gas mileage, this is your car.