Nice to drive, but very costly to repair/service
* Hoses continually rupture, even after replacement.
* Air con needs re-gassing.
* Clutch/pressure plate broke.
* Power window motor broke.
* Cracked wheel bearing.
* Mystery ignition timing problem.
* Central locking didn't work on driver's side.
I bought this car in December 2006 for about $2000 (AUD). I bought it because it had low kms, and seemed a bargain.
I bought it with the knowledge that the drivers' side power window motor didn't work. I sourced a 2nd hand one and installed that myself. The part cost $450.
The driver's side front wheel bearing started emitting a "woooo" kind of noise, so I replaced all wheel bearings myself. $150 for a wheel bearing kit and took about an hour or so.
The car had not had a timing belt replacement so I had that replaced. It was surprisingly cheap. Only $400 including labor.
The engine temperature began to rise one day while driving. Hose burst. In Sydney (aus) there are only a few places where you can get spares for this car, and they are quite costly. I've replaced about 4 hoses and they cost a minimum of about $60 each. Due I think to a high engine running temperature, some of the brand new hoses I've recently put on have burst again.
Problem developed whereby the car would not start on rainy days. Or if it did, the idle would be lumpy and the engine would cut out when you try to accelerate (and if that happened you would not be able to start the car again for hours). I took it to about 4 mechanics who had no idea what it was. I retarded the ignition timing just a little and it appears to have fixed the problem, but the car chews a lot more petrol now and has lost a lot of power. It now has power comparative to a 1.3 litre. Not so good when the car is 1.8L.
The pressure plate apparently came apart. That cost $1380 to replace including a new clutch kit + cable & labour.
Now that I have fixed all of the immediate problems, I think the car isn't too bad at all. It is a very comfortable drive, feels smooth on the road and the steering is beautifully light. The red dash is attractive when illuminated at night. It has a spacious interior and a massive boot. Though I would have preferred if the boot was hinged at the roof (like a hatchback), instead of at the rear windscreen base.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 3rd April, 2008