Stay away from those wrecks!
My repairs journey started at km 500! The engine was shutting off by itself at any random moment. I went in for repair and they gave it back to me the same way, as they couldn't figure out the problem. The same day, the engine shut off again so I brought it back. After a bit of arguing, they did further research and they changed a part. It was fine for another 20,000 km. I don't remember all the mileage on the car when things happened, but here's the list of what has gone wrong on the car.
- Coolant turned into jello; lead to car overheating.
- Engine shut off by itself (serviced 3 times for the same problem).
- The rear wiper hose broke for no reason.
- Car is overheating again. The thermostat have been changed.
- Car is not warming. They put a cardboard shield over my rad and sent the car home. Brought it back again and then they changed the thermostat a second time.
-Coolant is leaking. Been told its normal. Brought it again at km 76000 as the coolant had leaked out of the engine. They changed a gasket of some sort.
- 2 front wiper arms are very stiff, which means they don't wipe the window (very useless when it rains!) the drivers side happened earlier and got changed under warranty. The passenger side hppened this week, and they told me it was fine and got lubricated. Still not working well.
- The gearbox (manual) now feels worse than my old car. It's weak and squeaks when I put in gear. The first gear has an hard time getting in at higher than 12 km/h. I have to force it in. (I can set my old BMW over 30 easily)
- One of the projector front lights died yesterday ($$$).
Overall I like my Optra 5. It's spacious, and runs well. I like the suspension, the road control, the steering, the radio system, the look and the comfort. The controls are easy to access. The dash is well made. It's roomy. I do doggy day care and I can easily fit 5 80 pound dogs in this car without problems. The car performance is nice for its size. I like the look of it. The headlights are strong and the fogs are pretty useful. Being 6' tall, I can sit in the back comfortably. The driver's seat has a nice back support, but I feel not as comfortable on the passenger side. The car has nice equipment, too. The upholstery is nice; soft and comfy, without being weak. Easy to clean up if you have kids or dogs. The carpeting is not so easy to clean, 'tho. I like the footrest in the car, too.
BUT that car is a wreck. I bring it into service for repairs every 4 months on average. No wonder it got discontinued! I think they hate me at the garage!
I used to own a '96 Toyota Tercel that I drove for 5 years, doing only basic maintenance on the car. I got it in 2000 at 111,000 km and sold it to my sister at almost 300,000 km. It is still on the road and running well. I loved the car, and although there were some weak points out of it, this car never failed to bring me anywhere, in any weather condition, and for as far as I wanted. It's a big deception to get a bigger new car that can't even reach the old Tercel work.
I'm not safe driving the Optra further than going to work and back home. I never go more than 2 hours drive with it, as I don't know what will happened next with it. I drive 80 km per day, and it left me in trouble a couple of times. I have a love/hate relationship with this car, as I like all of it except the mechanic, which is the weakest I have ever seen.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 23rd January, 2008