Would serve as a good first car, but nothing more
Belt tensioner disintegrated about 47000 miles. I think 87 was the first year of the automatic tensioner and the design probably was been faulty.
Water pump replaced about 100,000 miles for $90.
Transmission NEVER shifted right. Very annoying. Especially when the car was not run in hours, it would shift out of first gear WAY LATE and slam into second. I had to always "trick" the transmission by starting out in 2 then when I felt like it should shift into 2nd, I would shift into D and usually it would pop into second, well before it would have by itself. Also, somewhere around 60k miles I noticed that in cold weather highway driving, the transmission would constantly pop out of overdrive into third. Seems that if the transmission was cold, it would not stay in overdrive. Did I mention that the transmission problems stated above were VERY DISTRESSING?
Alternators had to be changed constantly. However, I used lifetime warranty Discount Auto alternators and since it was so easy to change out, I did it myself and this problem was not that big of a deal.
Valve cover gasket leaked from day 1. Constantly spilling oil onto exhaust manifold and burning, leaving behind a smelly remembrance of the car.
Exhaust muffler replaced about 1993.
Wires going into throttle body on top of choke always were loose, and if you giggled them while the car was running, car would almost stall.
AC evaporator replaced. $600.
AC compressor replaced. $600.
Headliner replaced about 50k miles. $60.
Car was a nice upgrade from my 1980 Chevy Chevette 5 speed, but soon was discouraging when transmission problems were noticed.
Nice boxy, roomy car, but slightly underpowered, especially with the AC on.
Car had been stolen, then recovered while I owned it. Prone to theft, esp. in Miami, FL area. Easy to steel - pop out door lock, bust up steering column and there it went. Thief caught and prosecuted!!! I recovered all losses!!
Car was finally WIPED out when an out of control driver smashed into it while in the parking lot of apt complex on busy highway. Sold car with HUGE front end damage for $150, AND collected about $1400 from insurance company!!!
Overall, made out well financially given the above incidents, however, somewhat of a problematic car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th October, 2002