Got a 214 SLI around 4 weeks ago so far it's been great, apart from the radiator chucked it's hand in, and the fan belt slips from time to time, not major problems. Great car to drive goes like the clappers for a 1.4 but then it is a 16v. Handling is a bit unpredictable though, steering a bit vague. So far its been a good car.
I have owned two 1995 214 SLis, and would consider buying one again in the future.
If, like me, you take time to look for a late (1995/96) 'Honda Concerto' shape SLi (try and go for one with the chrome grill), there are some real bargains to be had; My 1995 N had just one previous owner and 24000 miles on the clock when I bought it last year. It cost just £2600.00 from an independent dealer, with a full dealer service history.
I agree with the comments about performance and style - basically the 214 has the looks, feel, and performance of most 1.6L (and some 1.8L) cars, at least up to about 70mph.
In addition, the K-series engine has quite a nice 'rorty' sound above 3000 revs, but sounds like a diesel engine when ticking over from cold.
Despite the firm suspension, body roll and slightly numbing power steering means it takes some experience to corner the car at higher speeds with confidence.
The interior is a bit dated now, but the doors have a nice satisfying clunk when you close them, especially compared to my 1992 Toyota.
As for reliability both my 214s had similar problems between 30K-50K miles; notchy selection of reverse gear, exhaust rattles and rust, alternator giving up, and slightly weepy head-gasket.
Many of the used 214s I've looked at have had head-gasket problems, often caused by a faulty thermostat causing the engine to have overheated, typically around 50K+ miles.
I recently bought a 1993 (L) 214 SLi as a run around, it has 106k on the clock I have had it for a week now and find it a real fun car. There are a few problems to deal with, but hey what can you expect for £295. The body seems in very good condition, the interior is a bit tired, but the front seats are undamaged and reasonably comfortable. Like I said the car runs well and I am surprised at the strength of the engine on hills.
My biggest area of worry is the engine (has started first time every time so far) but there are small oil leaks, the power steering squeals when turning the steering wheel while the car is stationary (any ideas). I think that most of the oil is actually coming from the somewhere on the power steer. The previous owner had the head casket replaced by someone, who neglected to refit the cam belt cover, so there is some work to do there asap. Although the good point about the exposed cam belt is I was at least able to assess its condition.
As a youngster I spent many happy hours working on my Ford Anglia (105E) and am looking forward to doing a few jobs on the latest edition (time permitting).