I've had a '98 4 cylinder 5 speed five years now, purchased with 100K miles on it, now 150K. Plenty of power.
AC works great (Arizona), best of all my vehicles, stock AC, I've never had to touch that. I relocated oil filter with Perma-Kool kit, maybe $55, as oil filter was hard to acess, now near my right front tire. I did replace the starter. I replaced a broken 2 inch vacuum hose above EGR which gave me an error code. I did have an ignition switch go bad. I replaced the speakers in the doors as the heat had torn/killed them, with aftermarket ones from Checker Auto. I just replaced the water pump (leaking), very straightforward. Other than that, routine maintenance, belts, upper radiator hose. So quite reliable, my daughters drive it.