OK, I've had my ti for about 6 months now. the first time I drove it, I fell in love with the precise steering and fantastic engine note.
Now I've had time to get used to all the characteristics of it, I absolutely adore it!
It isn't the most comfortable car in the world. I'm 6'2 and it took me a while to get used to the short leg driving position. Also having size 12 feet doesn't help when it comes to the close-together pedals. Also, the drivers seat never seems to go low enough. But these things are all forgiven after a few hours driving this car.
The first time you take this car out at about 4am, when the roads are deserted, on a nice cool crisp spring morning, round a nice fast B-road, you'll want to marry it.
You pull away gently, creeping up to about 3800rpm in first gear, then nail it just as it enters the power-band! Before you've had time to think, your at 7000rpm shifting into 2nd with the rifle bolt gear-change, being thrown back into the seat once more. 3rd gear, 4th gear 110mph, corner coming up, blip the throttle, down to third, you turn in slightly with the quick rack, holding the line, steering with the throttle. Christ what a buzz! The noise, the torque, the agility, it leans into the bend with the slightest body-roll, then just seems to stiffen. Fantastic!
Must watch out for lift-off over-steer in the wet though!
In all seriousness, it's not the best car in the world by a long shot. Or the best built. And it can also be twitchy on the motorway due to very tight, sensitive steering.
The interior can be flimsy, most notably in my experience, the door cards and interior door handles surrounds become brittle.
I haven't had any major problems really, just niggly electrical gremlins like the electric windows packed up then after a week, decided to work again for no reason and have been fine ever since!
Also, I lost the use of all dash instruments, electric mirrors, reverse light, and windscreen washers. After tearing the car apart looking for the cause, managed to trace it to 1 single wire that provides live feed to dash pod was shorting out on the bodywork. replaced wire and bingo!
The engine is a cracker. 2.0 16v twin-spark. 150bhp as standard. All I've done is put a Pipercross panel filter and cold air feed pipe into airbox, and the car was rolling roaded at 156bhp. Best £30 I've ever spent.
I raced a Saxo vts and beat it. Say what you will, but their pretty quick little cars so I was pleased.
Most of the RS turbo and saxo boys don't know what the 146 ti is, or capable of which is part of the fun.
So, would I recommend one?
Definately! But for god's sake, look after it, and change the oil regularly.
Do this, and you will have one performance bargain that I guarantee will put a smile on your face every time you get a clear road in front of you.