A nice concept ruined by poor execution
Though the car was very new, it suffered from noisy and clunky engine or transmission mounts, squeaky brakes, terrible radio distortion and occasional hiccoughs of the central locking system.
I had this car for a month as a rental, and drove it on many types of roads.
For good points, it has a fair amount of passenger space given the exterior dimensions. The seats are fairly comfortable on long trips (but lack sufficient side bolster support). Most controls are fairly intuitive. The front cabin provides many options for storing stuff.
As far as roadgoing, it has good handling balance in curvy situations (though a good sized bump can unsettle the rear end which lacks independent suspension). It has a nice set of standard features such as a trip computer for gas mileage and distance to empty, exterior temperature etc., and a few sweet touches such as a door lock remote that rolls up the windows. The radio controls on their own stalk take some getting used to, but work well.
As for the bad... The radio sound is pathetic and distorts even the slightest bass. The controls for the dash light dimmer require needless aggravation. The engine is noisy, though smooth enough. It lacks power. The shifter is rubbery and resists rapid gearchanges. Over 150 kph the car looses composure and wants to drift all over the road. The suspension allows too much road and bump noise to permeate the car. The turn signal canceling device is overactive requiring multiple engagement of ones turn signal in certain situations. The fan is very loud at higher flow settings. And as some people have mentioned the anti-glare coating (or something) on the information center readout prevents legibility with polarized driving glasses. The locks sometimes automatically unlocked themselves while we were away from the car!
Overall, the car is not a bad concept and looks nice. But I would never buy one for myself until the noisy suspension, floaty high speed behavior and loose transmission engine mount issues are addressed. I would also opt for a quieter, smoother and more capable engine.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 4th November, 2003