"We bought our 1995 Aspire in 1997 from a local car dealer for 6,500 with 23,000 miles. This car ran flawlessly the entire time we owned it (1997-2005). Other than the usual maintenance, we replaced the driveshafts @ 150K--timing belts (replaced every 75K miles)--that's it!!!! Really great car--great gas mileage even with an automatic/air conditioning. I would LOVE to have another one, providing the owner took as good as care with theirs that we did ours. Sorry to say it met it"s death slowly, but not too painfully--blown head gasket at 285K."
"My Aspire is the toughest car Ive ever had. I bought it 5 years ago for $225. It had 113,000 miles on it. It now has 239,000 miles on it and it still runs fine. Ive had to do some work on it such as new axles, fuel pump, struts, rotors and the regular maintanance stuff like brakes, plugs, wires etc. Its well on its way to 300,000 miles. One negative thing about it is that Ive always had a small electrical problem with the headlights. They'll go dim on me every so often. Other than that Ive definitly got my moneys worth out of this car and plan on keeping it till it dies."
"I purchased this car new back in 1997. I LOVE this car and will be sad when it dies. I paid $7200 new for the car and it has give me 11 years of trouble-free service. Other than routine maintenance, I've only had to replace the backup light switch 2 times and replace a couple of wheel bearings. I'd estimate I've spent under $3K on maintenance over 11 years. You just can't beat that.
The upsides are that the car is still getting excellent gas mileage (35-38 mpg), it's very easy to maintain, it's extremely reliable and it has a very low operating cost.
The downsides is that it can be somewhat uncomfortable on long trips, it doesn't have much get up and go and the car is pretty bare-bones with no A/C. I also had to install my own radio b/c it came only with an AM radio!
I have 109K miles on the car and hope to run it to at least 150K miles. It's a terrific commuter car and can fit an incredible amount inside it for its size.
While the fleet of Aspires is aging (1997 is the last model year), it's totally worth picking up a used one if you're looking for a city runabout that's easy to maintain, is reliable and easy to park!"