Fun, funky and utterly reliable, but not as cheap on fuel as you may think!
In the 3 years of ownership so far, the only thing which has gone wrong was a split radiator pipe. Cost £11 to replace it (held on by a couple of jubilee clips - a five minute DIY job)!
Apart from its annual service - that's it!
Mine was bought simply as a town runaround, and to strap surf boards to it for going to the beach. Took it for an initial test drive, and was grinning from ear to ear with its almost cartoon-like on-road performance, and haven't stopped grinning even after 3 years!
I find it fun to drive and easy to park in town with its excellent all-round visibility. Also love the driving position, fairly comfy despite my being 6ft3, and the styling is spot on - despite the age, it still looks rugged and funky, unusual for such a small vehicle.
You certainly don't buy this car for the on-road performance - the engine is underpowered to say the least, and the auto gearbox is slow to kick down - but I have found off-road performance to be excellent. The 4wd system is a simple one, but works exceptionally well. In fact, it can embarrass the off-road performance of many larger and much more expensive 4x4's!
All of this comes at a price though - fuel consumption is pretty heavy considering the size of the vehicle and engine. However, these Junior's are very cheap to buy and are solid little vehicles, so you shouldn't lose much money on things going wrong or depreciation!
Seating is fairly tight in the back - about the same as what you get in sports coupe - so you wouldn't want more than 2 people in the car for any great distance. However, the trump card is that the rear seats fold completely flat, so it is deceptively spacious for lugging things around.
In brief, I love this car. I've owed all sorts of different cars in the past, pretty much all of them have been MUCH more expensive than this one, but I have struggled to find anything which will put such a smile on my face. And the fact that it has been so cheap to buy and maintain means it'll take a lot to take that smile away!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th April, 2012