The auto 1.6L is underpowered & poorly insulated from road noise, but is VERY RELIABLE
Valve body changed on the transmission. Cost was $600. Not a big issue.
Premature wear on the edges of the tyre (much more than any other vehicle I have owned over the past 25 years). Some time ago I read that this is not unusual for this car. Considering the repairs over the course of my ownership have been relatively low, I really don't mind changing two front tyres prematurely at 30,000 - 35,000.
Just a comment regarding the ignition coils. One of the other reviewers here said they changed the ignition coils at 185,000km. The previous owner had also changed the ignition coils just before I bought it at 178,000km. Not too far from the other reviewer, so I am guessing that might be a common life span of the coils on these cars. They sit right on top of the head/cam cover, and get pretty hot. You see, heat reduces the lifespan of any electronic product, so I am not overly surprised.
It does leave a bit to be desired in a few areas (as I will explain), but this no frills basic car is one of the most reliable cars I have owned.
BUILD: It has a relatively solid solid "well built" feel that I like. More so on the inside, but externally as well.
ECONOMY: Not too bad with fuel consumption. 10 to 10.5L litres / 100km for the auto 1.6L around Melbourne suburbs. Highway is about 7L/100km, but only if you are consistently using higher octane fuel.
ENGINE; feel/ power, etc:
- I don't know if this is just my car, or if they are all like this, but mine is a bit gutless below about 4,000 RPM, but has very good acceleration after that. That low torque at lower RPM makes it a bit impractical for city driving sometimes. I suggest a manual, or the 1.8L version.
DRIVING EXPERIENCE, handling, etc:
- I just LOVE THE HANDLING for a stock car. Handles well around corners.
- The cabin has VERY POOR road noise filtering. Especially noticeable driving on the highway.
- Blind spots are larger than other cars I have owned, but have finally got used to it.
- I have become used to the seats after 3 years of driving, but when I first got it, they left a lot to be desired when compared with the high quality seating of my last car. If you do long trips, you might want to look at a different car for something more comfortable. It is not really that bad. Perhaps more like a 6.5 out of 10 than a 6.
- Steering wheel position is more comfortable than other cars. Some other cars require you stretch your arms out, but this car is different. It allows the arms to be more rested when cruising. It is really a personal matter. Some people seem to prefer their arms stretched out.
Every other car I have purchased, have all had upwards of 150,000km on the clock (this one 178,000). I would say that overall, this has been a very reliable car for me.
I am considering what car to use for converting to electric. If it were not for the road cabin noise and not so comfortable seating of these cars, it would have been a serious candidate.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th August, 2013