Excellent Japanese engine combined with average English assembly
Except consumables (filters, belts, belt pulleys, etc.) : I've revised all the front suspension, changed disks & pads, changed rear wheel-bearings, changed rear shock-absorbers. Although much of the changes were done proactively it weared to the metal threads front tyres during last year (2007) vacation trip, now fixed.
Front lights mix short and long range.
Aircon leaks slightly coolant, needs to be re-filled every summer.
Rust starts to appear on several places.
The only strong thing is the engine (engine code CD20) - no sign of wear, no oil spots, sounds pretty silent and potent for an 12-year old diesel, I suppose it will go another 200K without any problem, meanwhile the everything else will collapse.
I'm also driving a 5 year old Mazda 626 GF & a 15 year old Mazda 323 Station Wagon (built in Japan) and I can compare the differences. Japanese vehicle built outside Japan loses at least half ot its advantages.
The interior is pretty comfortable. The trunk is big and well shaped - I can fit a big TV box right from the trolley.
The car is heavy for its atmospheric diesel engine, quite slow on the traffic lights, but once on the motorway cruises fairly good and economical. You had to adjust your driving behaviour to it though.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 15th May, 2008