Pros: economical, economical, and kinda sporty too
I purchased 1997 pontiac sunfire SE coupe brand new in 3/97. I chose this vehicle as it was in my price range (I think I paid 13K - only a few extras), and it was still sporty looking. Before I purchased, I did read Consumer Reports where they indicated brake problems with the vehicle. I had the car for about 6 weeks when I had to have the brake rotors replaced....and have had them replaced again twice, and resurfaced at least once a year. Brake pads replaced twice as well.
BUT....other than that, I have replaced the serpentine belt once, the tires once, and changed the oil every 3-5k miles, air filter here and there...and that is it. I now have 125k miles on the car, and the engine purrs like it is brand new. The radio display went out about 5k miles ago, and the struts are pretty much shot (but runs fine on them, just make a bit of noise). This car uses NO oil...still has original clutch that feels totally solid, and starts every time like the first time, AND I still get 30miles/gallon.
I cannot complain about the car at all. Yes, the brakes have been more maintenance that I think is normal on a car, but there is no doubt that I have gotten my $13K out of the car.