The best car I ever owned
The leather steering wheel has been replaced twice (under warranty - $1000 each time) I now wear gloves when driving.
I had a problem with the car engine suddenly stalling... On days when it was cold in the morning (-5 to +5) then warmed up fast (by noon +20 to +25 Celcius) the car coolant temp would hit 91 degrees and the car would stall. I would have to wait 5 minutes for the coolant to cool down and then restart and drive. The dealer could never make the problem appear because even though I brought the car to them at 07:00am they would only go out and drive the car late in the morning...
Finally at 96,000KM check-up (timing belt changed) I asked them to replace the thermostat since the engine was comming apart anyways and replace the coolant. The thermostat that came out was open all the time. problem solved forever.
Suspension bars in the front needed replacing more times than I would like and they changed a gasket in the read differential 4 times (twice each side).
Always under warranty and the suspension bars when not on warranty the dealer offered me genuine parts or jobber parts (usually 20% cheaper).. The jobber suspension bars seem to last longer :-)
The CD changer is mounted on the roof of the trunk with skrews... It has fallen down twice so far. In fairness I did drive it over some rolling hills both times.
First time I brought it to the dealer who gave the changer to a "certified" radio place to fix the jammed CD in the machine... 1 week and $120.
Second time I took out the CD changer myself and brought it to a local radio place (Vitro-Plus) they fiddled with it for 10 minutes and charged me $10.
The AWD on this car really does make it handle like it's on rails. I've hit 90 degree corners at 90km/h without the tires even making a squeak.
My tires of preference Firestone Firehawk SZ50 225-50-16.
This is NOT a winter car. 50%-50% power front rear makes this car handle like a rear-wheel drive car on solid ice. I dented 2 mags "testing" the car my first winter. I got studded winter tires the next year.
This car is a machine! Just as fast as a mustang GT, just a civilized as a BMW, able to carry 2 adults and 2 kids in perfect comfort with all their camping luggage in the trunk.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd September, 2004