That swaybar is not stock. Also I don't recall the tubs being blue on that model year. Either that or my age is catch up with me. (EDIT: Apparently I am going blind. Those are just covers. Ignore me like everyone else does.)
If you are down to 1/4 tank I would probably just fill up with 93 octane and drive it easy until your next fill up. That should take care of the issue with poor performance.
The exhaust smell may be from a possible exhaust upgrade that was brought back to stock, and installed poorly. Maybe without a gasket?
I would get that checked out though. Other than that I guarantee you will love your car as you become more educated about it.
You have come to the right place though!