A good all rounder before 100,000 miles
Alternator regulator pack failed, replaced whole alternator as commutator badly worn (£90).
Gearbox selector pin broke at around 90,000 (apparently common)
Clutch required replacing at 100,000 miles. Release bearing jamming meant difficult gear changes (may have lead to selector pin breakage above). The flywheel also needed machining due to clutch plate wear. Sounds costly, but actually only £140 including machining.
Engine became very smokey and required reconditioned injectors for MOT emissions test (£140 for four).
Front wheel bearing started rumbling at 105,000 miles.
Very robust up to about 100,000 miles, then bits start falling off or failing. The diesel engine is prone to oil leaks and hates starting in the morning. In cold weather it's even worse.
Also, look out for a blocked heater matrix, which you may not spot when buying in the summer!
On the up side, the 1.8 TD Sierra is quite fuel efficient and comfortable to drive. Don't expect to burn away from the lights though - it's sluggish from a start, but provides good torque from 20 mph all the way up to 90. Don't be afraid to rev the engine fairly high, as it's the only way to get the extra push from the turbo.
I quite like the hatchback as it has an impressive amount of room in the back when the rear seat is down.
Parts are very cheap and easy to come by.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th July, 2002