Let's just say that my mechanic *really* looks forward to those 30k intervals...
Really, this car is no more expensive than any of the american or japanese cars I've owned. It may be less so. Here's how I figure it: aside from scheduled oil/fluid/filter/belt changes (and one brake job and one new battery), my daily commuter has cost me *nothing* over the 90k miles on the clock. Let's see, my Mazda ran about $600/year once out of warranty and the Exploder no less than $2k/year on part failures (can you say lemon?!), so I feel pretty lucky.
But that 90k service ran almost $4k. Here's what I got (most of it preventative and early-replacement for parts that still had 10-15% wear remaining but as I hate visiting tech every month just 'had it done'): replaced suspension (incl bushings), steering dampener, motor/tranny mounts, all hoses and belts, timing cover re-seal and chain rail guides, some kind of belt tnsioner, brakes, H2O pump (prevent.), P/S pump (buzzing), heater PVC valve, one lagging window motor replaced, about five bulbs replaced (dash, hi-beam, random etc), O2 sensor, alignment, steam clean, wheel bearings re-torqued, thermostat upgrade, flex discs and the "standard" fluids/filters/body/interior/tune-up 90k service.
Wish I had the tools and the knowledge to do most of this myself as I paid slightly more in labor than parts to have it done. But that works out to about $500 per year, outside of regular oil changes. And the car rides, handles and runs better than new.
That's worth it, IMO.
[Edited by makakio on 05-21-2001 at 06:12 PM]