My brother’s Cavalier got 220,000 miles
... and never had a serious issue. He got rid of it because of rust, not because it was running poorly. It probably burned a little oil at that point, but not enough to fret about.
I've never personally known a person with a Dodge Neon or Ford Focus, so I can't speak for those cars. I don't think anyone would recommend a Neon as a boat-hauler anyway, though I do "know of" one hard-core paddler who does that (since I don't know him personally I have no idea how many miles are on the car, only that he's had it for about 10, maybe even 15 years).
As to the Vibe/matrix, I personally don't care for a roof that is so severly curved that, unless you do some really fancy custom rigging (something few people can do), requires the crossbars to be extremely close together. I'd rather have an easy time setting up a rack that makes use of a lot more of the roof's length, but that's just me (I'm a fan of long, straight roofs for boat hauling).