So far, fantastic car considering the age.
May 14, 2019
It's definitely a lot more reliable than my broken Taurus. I was shopping for a cheap vehicle so I didn't have much of a choice, but I was lucky to find this 4 cylinder manual. That small engine has a lot of power even without pushing the RPMs. It only becomes obvious that it's a little 4 cylinder when accelerating over 60MPH or so in 5th gear. It still gets up there, but it does so a little more slowly than my 6 cylinder Taurus. This may also be because, being a manual, I keep it in 5th gear on the highway and the automatic Taurus would downshift a gear for heavy acceleration.
It shifts well and starts off easy. Starting in second is nice for flat roads but 1st is still my friend when I'm on a hill. The engine and tranny has held up well to the years and miles that are on this thing. If I'm not mistaken, it has 4 wheel disc brakes, which is a plus. It's a lot easier to do brake work on discs than drums.