Other than replacing the O2 sensor at 79K, I have only replaced items that are maintenance related. The car is also sometimes hard to steer when on a very windy highway, but that's because the car doesn't weigh that much. That's why it gets such good gas mileage. I rated it an 8 on comfort only because mine doesn't have air conditioning, but then that's why it never overheats.
This is the BEST car I've ever owned. I have previously had two Hondas - Accord and Civic (elec. shorts/engine problems, gas tank fell off, etc.) and a Pontiac Firebird Formula (had many transmission/elec. problems, bad air cond. and was a gas hog). All 3 were a nightmare. My Excel is very reliable. It starts when its -25 below, never gets stuck in the snow and never overheats in the summer. I have taken road trips from Minnesota to Florida, to the east coast and Pennsylvania, to top of the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee and many other trips. To drive from Mpls to Chicago and back it costs me $20.00 - a lot cheaper than a plane ticket. I love my little Excel and it's still going strong.