Head gasket started leaking at 45000 miles, a common fault caused by poor engine block design (one of the oil bores is too close to the side of the engine block, leaving only enough space for a small section of gasket). It also got plenty of revving since I've had it, although now I only go above 2,500 rpm after the engine is warmed up.
It failed to start one day, after which a tow-start got it going. I never found out the problem, but it may have been a stuck valve. Some petrol additive (lubrication) seems to have solved the problem.
Other owners have reported problems with headlights and blown fuses, but I've had no electrical problems.
Drivers seat has lost its firmness, the car now feels much better from the passenger's seat.
Although its only a 1.4 petrol engine, there is plenty of power available if you need it. The engine is a bit weak at low revs, but at about 3000 rpm it kicks in nicely. There is plenty of power in fifth for cruising and overtaking, but you may want to drop down a gear or two to get past just that bit quicker.
The engine is quiet enough to not be intrusive, although at 70 (miles per hour) it doesn't sound as comfortable.
Lovely comfortable car to drive, nimble around the city, but big enough to be good for a long drive also.
Handling is excellent - a very safe car, I haven't got it badly out of shape yet, despite a couple of fast drives in wet and icy conditions.
For a 1999 car, it really should have anti-lock brakes as standard.
Cabin is OK, a bit "black plastic city", and the glove-box rattles a bit, a fault which also happened on the Kadett which I had before it.
The cabin ventilation is quite poor - with a couple of passengers on a cold wet day, the rear door windows will fog up.
Same applies to the door mirrors. Whatever they have made the mirrors from (its some kind of mirrored plastic), they seem to fog up in no time, and no amount of wiping will clear them. I am considering changing the mirrors for electric heated ones.
Despite all of the above, I like the feel of the car compared to the likes of the Focus, or Almera etc. There's something a bit more solid about it, and it feels like a safer car. It has just enough useful room without having the higher purchase or running costs of a bigger car.
Overall a good workhorse.