An armchair on wheels
Burnt exhaust valve in number 3 cylinder. The engine is reconditioned and a replacement valve is difficult to obtain. Had the valve re-ground at a cost of $5 and it works as good as new.
Engine bolts were poorly tensioned. Most of the bolts were only finger tight and the gaskets were useless. I stripped the engine down to the block and replaced all the gaskets while re-grinding the valve. Done at about 411000 kilometers.
Exhaust manifold developed 3 cracks. I replaced the header with a set of extractors when replacing the gaskets.
Switched over the rear-end and passenger's lower wishbone after spinning the car in the wet. Destroyed the wishbone and watt's link, along with one disc, one axle and one mag. In my opinion, there was surprisingly little damage given the situation.
Passenger's seat broke off mounting bracket. I figure this is fair enough, considering the passenger at the time weighed about 160 kilograms (352 pounds). Repaired using an arc welder.
Cruise control and interior vent controls have ceased to function at approximately 411000 kilometers. This may be due to the engine re-assembly.
Air conditioning failed to work at approximately 41000 kilometers. I still haven't determined the cause.
Performance off the mark is very disappointing given the size of the engine. However, once it reaches about 30 kilometers per hour, it starts to pick up quite phenomenally.
The ride is incredibly enjoyable. All the seats are extremely comfortable, and the suspension is not soft enough to allow excessive body roll, but not stiff enough for excessive ground feedback.
The steering responds quickly and easily while still allowing a reasonable amount of feedback to the driver. However, the car requires an excessively large area to successfully maneuver, needing up to 4 lanes to perform a U-turn.
The brakes are phenomenal. 4 wheel disc brakes running on about 60% pads and 40% tire tread can stop the vehicle from 60 kilometers per hour in under 3 car lengths.
The cabin is very spacious. I have had 4 large Aussie passengers seated without any space dramas.
Some modifications have been done to both the electrical and mechanical systems.
The stock Phillips speakers have been replaced with high-performance Sony's of equivalent size. A pair of Weconic 10" sub-woofers have also been installed in the boot, with plenty of carrying space to spare.
The exhaust header has been replaced with extractors.
Sound proofing is excessive. Almost no road or traffic noises are audible from inside the cabin.
The car performs almost without hick-up. Starts first time every time and runs flawlessly. The engine is sometimes so smooth at idle that it's hard to tell if it's even still going.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th May, 2002