When I bought the car in November of 2005, I was told that it was in great condition. Obviously it is not. Nevertheless I love this car and staunchly defend it's honor when my friends tease my about my "crappy car."
The car is fairly quick and handles decently well for it's class. When driving to a friend's house in the mountains, I could generally take turns 20 miles faster than they were labeled (trying to keep up with his 89 BMW 325i). However, make no mistake - this car no racer.
Gas is in the mid-to-high 20's in the city, depending on how you drive it, and low to mid 30's on the freeway. Not really comparable to modern gas-sippers getting 40 mpg (even if you drive them rough), but not even close to a gas guzzler. Even when gas is 3.15 a gallon it's only $35 to fill up completely.
Good for a kid who wishes they have a fast car - the 2.0 inline 4 cylinder engine sounds like a Mustang at higher RPM's and leaves a grin on your face every time, but still goes from 0-60 in just over 9 seconds. Like I said, definitely not a racer.
The front seats are typical cloth seats, nothing really too fancy. I was still comfortable in the car after two hours. I never sat in the backseat, but I've never heard any complaints, including any from my best friends, who aare 5'10" and 6'1". I'm 5'7".
The button on the steering column that releases the key is a bit annoying, but I know I'm going to miss it when I get my next car.
This car is definitely reliable except for the hot-start problem, which I'm convinced is not typical of the 2nd generation Camry. I'm sure it's just my car.
It doesn't have a tachometer even though supposedly all Camry's with a manual transmission are supposed to have one. I think the previous owner switched out the dash.
I love this car and will drive it until it dies, which unfortunately will not be very long.