An XR3i without the high insurance
Bought the car privately with full service history but a full service was required straight away, as were new discs and pads up front and drums and lines at the rear, and a new clutch (cost £400).
Next I needed new tyres for my Ford RS Alloys (MK5 RS2000 jobs), Yokahama A520's (Cost £160).
A few months later the battery kept draining, this was solved by a new alternator (cost £120).
A few months later the engine started to sound like a bag of nails, a new camshaft, followers and belt solved this (cost £200).
Another full service (every 6000 miles) was due as was my MOT, this revealed that a new steering rack was required, as was a new front wishbone (cost £350).
Nothing recently has gone wrong, but I should get some new rear springs as it keeps hitting its bump stops when I go over speed humps.
Generally this car has been fairly reliable despite all the parts required discovered during services (a good sign for anybody buying a new car, make sure it has a full service history).
The car itself has the CVH EFi (108bhp) engine from the MK4 XR3i but in the nicer looking MK5 shell (it is also only Group 8-9 insurance).
I was fairly happy with the performance when I first bought the car (a step up from an 18 year old 1.3 Escort) but to get the best from the car you have to push it hard. The top speed isn't too great either, I've only had 115mph tops although the car is often going faster than you think, it handles fairly well and with the wider tyres there is loads of grip.
The only faults I have is the very heavy steering (no PAS) and the poor fuel economy (25mpg average, partly my fault) as well as some minor electical faults.
I recommend it to anybody who wants something different and faster than a Nova, put your baseball caps away and take your blacked out windows, three spoke alloys, touring car sun stripes, shiny fuel filler caps and dodgy stickers with you.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th September, 2000