Gear box needed replacement - expensive.
Front wheel bearings became badly worn and needed replacement.
Struts became badly worn and needed replacement.
Inner plastic on door handles cracked and window seals beginning to wear.
Water pump and thermostat housing has begun to leak and requires replacement - expensive.
The Excel is a good first car for teens and early twenties. It offers good fuel economy and most of the basic creature comforts - with the exception of power steering, which is quite apparent when attempting to park.
The 1.5 L engine offers quite reasonable acceleration from the manual gearbox, particularly in first & second gear; third and fourth gears are a bit of a non-event, however, and you may want to turn the air conditioning off to get any decent performance.
Interior passenger and luggage space is surprisingly competent given the small body, but the seats are narrow so drivers or would-be passengers who are on the larger side of average may want to steer clear of it. The air conditioning is adequate, but heating is either all-on or all-off, with little in-between, so I'd be wary of considering driving one in a colder climate.
A major issue with comfort is noise - both road and engine noise are very noticeable, particularly in city driving. The chasis has a tendancy to scrape at any change of grade, despite the vehicle's base having reasonable ground clearance.
Maintenance issues have been an issue, but these have all been of a non-emergency nature, so as long as you have it serviced regularly and keep a little bit of money in the bank I'd consider the Excel fairly reliable.
A few problems are beginning to occur with the vehicle now - inside and out - and given it has been well looked-after since its genesis, caution is suggested when considering the purchase of an Excel that has more than 150,000 km (95,000 miles) on its odometer.
Resale value seems reasonable for a car of its age.