Cheap, Cheerful and Ultra-Reliable
The transmition is wearing out with considerable slack in the diff and second gear syncromesh not doing its job properly when cold.
The first and biggest point I want to make is that the KE Laser simply has to be one of the most reliable cars around. Nearing 300,000km and the engine has never had to be opened up. Of this I am certain as I have known the car since it was a wee whipper snapper.
Its economical too, averaging around 9l/100km. While being by no means a slouch around town. Keeping up with modern traffic is no problem.
The fact that it has IRS (the rear struts are the same as the fronts) helps handling, but when it comes time to replace the strut inserts (also known as shocks) there may be some bill rage. Approximately $1000 will cover it. That's one quarter the value of the car. Luckily they last for a long time.
The occasional expensive part aside, my laser has served me extremely well, it doesn't complain when deprived of oil or driven hard, or loaded to the roof and driven non stop through 40C heat for 2500km (during my interstate move).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th October, 2002