Cheap, but you're aware it's cheap
23k - Heater would only push out hot air (part replaced).
23k - Driver side wiper blade came loose, colliding with the passenger side one on the motorway (Bolt tightened - still needs done every month or so).
24k - Rear passenger side spring snapped (part replaced).
26k - Heater would only push out hot air again (part replaced - again).
37k - Gearbox making rattling noises and crunching slightly changing gears. Local garage recommends running it until it dies.
In addition, there is some rust around the base of the rear wiper and the top of the petrol filler neck.
The good points :-
Cheap. We paid 3k from an independent garage for this 23,000 example when it was 4 years old (with a full service history). Couldn't find anything nearly as new for the price.
Economy. We usually keep tabs on the MPG from tank to tank, and it's never dipped below 40mpg. Usually hovers around the 46/47 mark.
Easy to drive. Bought for my wife, she finds it nice and easy to drive with good visibility, a light clutch, and decent enough brakes.
Seat comfort. Perhaps subjective, but we drove to London and back in it (500ish miles each way - we're in Scotland) and didn't experience any seat discomfort.
The bad points :-
Reliability. Although the majority of issues we've had have been niggly or common, we are disappointed with what looks like some sort of gearbox failure. Especially considering the car is only used for a 30 mile commute to work along a dual carriageway, and barely sees any town driving. My 21 year old MX-5 hasn't broken in any way in the 3 years I've owned it; I wouldn't have expected so many problems with a car just under 5 years old.
Rust. I wouldn't expect any rust on a 5 year old car. Probably should have done my homework before hand though, looks like a common problem.
Road noise. At 60mph+ road noise does become fairly apparent. Not so bad in the front seats, but not really possible to hold a conversation with people in the back. I am however, aware this is intended as a town car, so might not be an issue for some people.
Probably alright for low mileage, around town work, but I wouldn't subject it to anything more than that. Feels like with age, it will become a real problem. We're already tempted to sell on and go for something a little older, but with a better reputation.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 21st January, 2011