I wish they still made them, I'd buy another one in a heartbeat
1. Hit a deer a month after I got it, but that's not the car's fault.
2. Blew a head gasket at about 130,000 miles, but I was able to replace it myself in about 12 hours with no previous experience and basic tools. It was also a minor enough leak that I was able to put off the repair for several months in order to wait for more favorable repair weather.
3. Although the car had almost no visible rust, there was serious rust-through behind the rear wheels allowed lots of water spray into the trunk. I took off the bumper and ground out the rust and installed some galvanized sheet metal patches, hasn't leaked since (and no one can see it because it's behind the bumper).
4. Had a mysterious electrical short at about 130,000 miles which kept the fuel pump from running. I couldn't find the problem myself so I had to have the dealer locate it to the tune of $200.
5. It started shredding serpentine belts until I repositioned the alternator. I put a total of four belts in over two weeks, but I could do that repair in under 10 minutes, even on the side of the road.
6. Leaking rear brake cylinder at about 160,000. I would have been able to replace it myself, but I broke the brake line off while trying to remove it, so I had to surrender and take it to the shop.
7. Leaking radiator at 176,000 miles. Replaced with a junkyard radiator.
8. Dead spot in the headlight switch, so sometimes you have to jiggle the handle like an old toilet.
9. At 175,000 miles it was still reliable enough that I drove it 4500 miles round trip to Las Vegas. I think I blew the head gasket just before I left though, so I'm about to replace it again, along with the balljoints, at 184,000 miles. It probably would have lasted longer if I'd had the head machined the first time I replaced the head gasket, but oh well, live and learn.
This car is my baby. I got it for $1900 in 1996, and it's had a few problems, but it's also outlasted most domestic cars, and the engine is simple enough (and roomy enough) that I could do almost all the repairs myself. It's not terribly powerful, but handles well, even in the snow. It still gets almost 30 mpg even in its old age, and it's only stranded me twice in six years, once for the electrical short and once for the head gasket (had to change tainted oil before driving it home).
The inside is comfortable and I love taking it on long trips. Hot heat and cold A/C (assuming that there's plenty of refrigerant and the head gasket's intact).
This car has definitely exceeded my expectations and it still looks great, and I intend to keep repairing it into the foreseeable future and into the 200,000 mile range.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd April, 2002