Overall this has been a good car. The fuel economy should be better for such a small engine and light car. My girlfriend's car is a 1998 Ford Escort ZX2. That car is bigger and has a lot more power, yet gets as good - if not better gas mileage.
The car has been very reliable, and is good in cold weather climates. It always starts - even at -25F!
The handling/suspension is very good and solid.. as is the steering. However, the car is easily manipulated by a strong cross wind.
The car is great for transporting relatively large items, because the hatch opens and you can fold down the back seats.
The stereo system is surprisingly good for an inexpensive car.
Seems to be solid, in that there are few rattles and squeaks.
Acceleration is not great. However, if you get to 4,000 rpm when running through the gears, it will get up and go.
Even though the cost of acquiring this car is not too high, the cost of ownership is. The main reason is because of the rapid depreciation and disproportionately high cost of insurance for such an inexpensive car.
The rear bumper seems to be durable. I was hit from behind at 15mph and there was no damage.