My limited experience:
(Car is a 2000)
Once you accept that you have to undo the two brackets holding the pipework (one on the subframe and the other much further forward), and that this will still only just about give you enough room to remove and replace the filter, it is possible. It is fiddly and requires minor contortion, jiggling and a smidgen of patience, though.
I undid/tightened the filters with my arm between the exhaust and the pipework. However the filters ended up going out/in between the pipework and the subframe. Removing the exhaust was not necessary.
Oil will go everywhere when removing the filter - arm, pipework, subframe and floor. Next time that I do it I will have cardboard / newspaper and kitty litter. You'll clean you arm and then get it dirty again from not thoroughly cleaning the pipework!
Watch out for the exhaust, it stays hot for a long time and you will be very close to it.
I actually found the sump plug disconcerting too, as it is tapered resistance varies as it is being removed and refitted. Either that or a previous 'mechanic' did some damage!
Last edited by Orange78; 16-07-11 at 07:53.