A very well engineered piece of machinery
The usual things have gone wrong for a car of its age and Ks.
I have replaced the water pump, accessories belt, power steering belt, cooling fan clutch hub, thermostat, radiator cap, replaced leaking RH front strut, and had the discs machined.
In the future will need to replace a seal under the oil pump, which are known to perish and leak oil, and it's in a difficult spot to access, but that's cars for you.
I don't know where to start, as the car really is that good for its age. I will start by saying that it is the best steering car I have ever driven, and I have driven quite a few other more modern cars (although not modern BMWs or the like). It feels solid and direct, and you can for example comfortably take your eyes off the road for a few seconds while changing the radio station, and know that the car will stay smack bang in the middle of the road; there is no wandering.
The auto gear box is smooth and fast changing, although there is a slight feel of wear or slack when dropping from 5th to 4th, but nothing that would cause any concern, and it also has a very 'smart' computer running the gear changing, which almost seems to think for you.
The ride is flawless, and incredibly smooth and quiet, with no vibration at all; just the deep smooth note of the 6 cylinder engine.
The handling is fantastic at low or high speeds, with a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution over the front and rear wheels, and independent rear suspension, and it's forgiving and feels very safe. It has no body roll and seems to take so easily anything I care to throw at it.
It's not overly fast, but more than makes up for it in economy and driving quality.
The electrics are the way they were when new, the seats are extremely comfortable, and the car has back up systems for certain components if they happen to fail i.e. gearbox control unit, sunroof, petrol flap and more.
When the water pump failed, I was stranded in the middle of nowhere and overheated the car more than I should have. It survived with flying colors, and I know for a fact most cars would have ceased, yet to this day it runs like a new engine.
The only negatives I can think of are there is no adjustment of the timing of the intermittent windscreen wipers, and I found the heating system slightly confusing (and actually still do), but it does have dual climate control.
Built to withstand the rigours of Nurburgring raceway, it's overall a fantastic old car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th August, 2013