Braking feels like a block of wood under the pedal.
Replaced a couple of bulbs.
Paint dim and flaking.
No workshop manual available in print. However a pdf file is available.
Made from 1997-2002, the RVR New Shape was voted Car of the Year in 1997.
Apart from it being a four-seater, the legroom for those of us above average height is exceptional. If you're 6'5" like me, you'll find it very comfy with the driver's seat back and will almost reach the optimal driving position. If you're used to folding yourself up in impossible positions just to get into a car or 4x4, then prepare to unwind yourself from cramped driving positions to great relief for your back.
It's surprisingly quick and extremely stable in corners. The Inveccs-II tip-tronic 4-speed transmission is a dream to handle when wanting a little extra grunt to overtake, and the computer remembers your drive style so it will mimic it when you reach the threshold.
The latest incarnation of the Outlander range has an Inveccs-III 6-speed transmission in comparison. It's not as much fun to drive though.
Apart from obvious cosmetic differences, a large portion of the mechanicals and some body panels like the front doors, dashboard and seats are shared with the Chariot Grandis/Nimbus 7-seater. The engines are also shared with the Galant and Magna models.
I sometimes use this car to camp out in, especially after a long drive it's nice to flatten the seats and really stretch out. Current 4x4 and even the Outlander somehow do not have the camping out capabilities I seek in a car. My old Chariot had it, but most of the modern cars do not, however the Daihatsu Materia comes real close to that personal level of comfort.
It has two airbags standard. The tinted windows won't shatter, only splinter, so security and safety are exceptionally high.
My RVR is the All-Wheel drive version. Stands tall on 16" standard factory mags, and a year ago I replaced all 4 tires M/S tires, great in the rain and whatever else nature throws my way. Off-roading is out of the question, it's a city/rural road type car. Good thing it's a tad higher, but is still cute next to the bigger SUVs.
Workshop Manual is not available in print, however found a site that sells a pdf file format of the '98 Spacerunner. So far it's helped keep the costs down by applying the do-it-yourself method.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th August, 2008