This was purchased for under $2,000 at an auction. I had decided to take my chances on an unknown slate of problems. Fortunately, my gamble has been rewarded with nearly three years and over 70,000 miles of reliable driving. This vehicle has never left me stranded.
I give it high marks for the interior craftsmanship. Those designers made it so conservative, so high class, that no other vehicle I have driven can match the enjoyment of being behind the wheel. The exterior is equally understated and does not draw attention to itself or its driver. The driver's side door hinges are beginning to show wear, and it lets some water in when going through the car wash.
There have been no little rattles, squeaks, or broken plastic things as you might find in so many vehicles with 170,000 miles. The transmission had some roughness when I bought the vehicle, but after changing the ATF and filter twice, it has settled right down.
Performance is nothing to complain about unless it's a leadfoot doing the talking. General Motors really struck a home run with the fuel efficiency. On long highway trips (600 miles or more) I always rate well over 30 MPG. In “average” driving conditions it is around 25 MPG. This is significantly better than the Ford Taurus (a similar vehicle, but one which I despise).
I have to mention the intake manifold problem, and it's one which I had repaired by preventative maintenance. The vehicle started to lose antifreeze, and this was right after replacing the water pump, so I knew what was the probable cause. I used a re-engineered part from A1 Automotive in Pepperell, MA, which is designed to correct the original component's flawed design. The escaping coolant had also ruined the Oxygen Sensor and caused the Check Engine light to come on. On the bright side, this engine does not leak oil, even after 170,000 miles.
Mud guards should have been standard on this vehicle, as the rear wheels direct salt and sand directly underneath the rear bumper, where it collects. Even with frequent washing, the rust is growing worse. I am located in the Rust Belt, after all.
The air conditioning system is a major problem. The compressor replacement cooled it down (not enough), but soon after, the freon began discoloring the windows and I knew that an internal leak had developed. This summer I will have it repaired, but only to salvage what I spent on the compressor.