Sticky handbrake leads to problems if left on a slope, or for more than a couple of days.
Headlining material sagged so had to be removed.
Slipping alternator belt problem, has been tightened numerous times, which has accelerated wear on the alternator bearings.
Distributor died so engine wouldn't start.
Increasingly annoying starting issues, sometimes starts then abruptly stops or tries to with a brief flash of the EM light.
Engine knocks badly after a day or two without being run, I'm no mechanic, but suspect it's big end related.
Front suspension knocks, suspect front suspension mount bushes.
Gearbox a pain going into first and sometimes doesn't like 3rd either. Or reverse come to think of it, often needs double de-clutching.
Rear wiper doesn't always work.
Neither does the rear washer jet.
A strange sound on start up from cold has developed, sounds like a belt (similar sound to a supercharger) touching something, but the garage claim to find nothing wrong.
Latest problem is an ongoing issue with an intermittent misfire that the garage are unable (or unwilling) to diagnose correctly, sometimes it'll be fine for a couple of days and start again. The problem is getting worse so hopefully it'll get bad enough for them to find it soon.
Service history is everything with these cars. Prior to my sisters (trouble free) period of ownership it had none, it's all telling now at it's still fairly young mileage.
The engine can be nippy at times; being an 8 valve, if you get it at about 2500rpm in 2nd, you can get a short (I mean very short) burst of speed that makes you feel like you are in a more powerful car. It's not as economical as it could be though.
Interior is horrible, in mint condition still after all these years, but it's just so drab it's unreal. I'm 6' 4" and fit in surprisingly well, though due to lack of ability to move the steering wheel, I can't have the seat all the way back, as my knees hit the wheel.
Handling wise there's not a lot to say, it used to be OK, but things have deteriorated, it makes small bumps in the road feel like mountains. It's not meant to be good though, it's a 1.4 after all, and purely designed for slow driving.
As you can see it's not been very reliable, my sister serviced it regularly at the local garage, but there was nothing prior to that which means potentially 40odd thousand miles of poor service history, or maybe even none. Either way, it was reliable for her, but not me, guess I've been really unlucky.