Timing belt snapped from sitting by previous owner. 120,000 miles (ironically the day we bought it).
Exhaust - 149,000.
General electric problems. Power locks randomly will lock the car. No more auto-unlock from the outside via key (have to use interior unlock).
Seat belt alarm continues after the seat belt is engaged (the seat belt headlight indicator tone is downright annoying).
We felt some buyer's remorse when the timing belt broke the day we bought it, although that's strictly because the car was still for 9 months, but we're very glad we have it now.
For a 2.0 four cylinder, the car has very good pickup. It responds quickly, especially for a 14 year old car, but it still manages 40 mpg. We have taken it to Florida twice, and it handled the trip very well with no problems.
The GT trim is a very nice trim, with the spoiler, fog lights (which are extremely helpful), and the sporty little touches in the car. The car has a classic German design that makes me want a 1997 more than a new one. Plus, there is an endless amount of customizations you can add to make the car your own.
Reliability has never been an issue for us. The car is comfy, affordable, and very reliable. It was well worth the purchase, and I would buy another one any day.