In surprisingly good order for an 8 year old vehicle
Number Plate lamps intermittent.
Appears to be a fault somewhere in the loom or possibly a bad ground. Still investigating.
Pressure washed the engine (I do this to all my cars when I get them). No leaks of oil or other fluids apparent and it started immediately despite a good soaking. However after it was parked after a short drive home, when restarted it was apparent that some water had penetrated something as it ran very rough and kept stalling. A 15 min drive at speed dried it out and restored normal operation.
Blaupunkt tape deck has a flutter problem despite a recent belt replacement.
Bonnet is a little low when supported by the stand, it's at *just* the right height to bash my head on. (I'm 5'11")
Vehicle seems engineered for 'shorter' people, my wife (5'2") finds it very comfortable and she doesn't need to put a cushion under her to see properly)
Easy to grate gears when shifting down until you get used to the 'feel' of the gearshift.
Gauges appear to have an intermittent fault, mechanically sensitive, probably a dry solder joint on the back of the cluster. A sharp tap on the cluster restores normal operation.
When it gets sufficiently annoying I'll pull the instrument cluster out and mend it.
Mechanic warned me to replace the cam belt if it was not done at 100,000 as failure will usually lead to engine damage.
Water leak in the boot. 5 minutes with a rubber mallet to the body where the seal contacts it fixed this. Apparently present since new as there is no evidence of accident damage.
Very pleasant to drive. Handling is predictable, turning circle is good.
Interior is comfortable and the heater and a/c work well.
Engine always easy to start and responsive. Quiet, no rattles or clatters.
Very well appointed interior, many items that I would class as 'luxury' such as the electric remote control on the exterior mirrors and the adjustable headlamp height.
Fuel economy is good, particularly on long trips, at around 40 miles per gallon at average speed around 100 - 110kmh or so. Bit hungrier around town, but this is consistent with most injected engines.
Finish of the vehicle, trim, carpets, door seals etc is very good, even at 8 years of age. Minor scratches and nicks in the paint, no evidence of rust visible anywhere.
Having read some rather negative comments on these I was pleasantly surprised by the condition of this car at 8 years old. Possibly the units exported to Australia have better components/quality control?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th July, 2003