As you can see below I haven't had my car for long enough for mechanical faults to appear. Or perhaps I just have a good one in that regard!
So while I won't yet comment on what it is like to own one, I can comment on what a wonderful experience it is to drive one.
Front Seats: Are very comfortable with good headrests and have 4 adjustments - The usual 2 plus lumbar and height. All easy to adjust at traffic lights.
Rear Seats: In my hatch headroom is a bit lower, but apart from that, is comfortable for two, and has seat belts (but I wouldn't recommend a long journey) for three.
Driving Position: Excellent. All dash instruments clearly in view and the steering column adjustment is good. Controls such as heater/air conditioner, radio/cd player within easy reach. Steering wheel mounted cd/radio controls handy. Steering column stalk controls for cruise control & information displays a little awkward to master at first, but fine once you get used to them. Horn buttons could be a bit easier to reach in a hurry. As is well documented the foot rest is a joke, but I’ve found that the flexible seat adjustment can alleviate the annoyance a fair bit.
Interior: Well thought out, with three minor quibbles. First, the centre air vents do not horizontally adjust well enough to flow air onto the driving position. Second, the ashtray/coin compartment won’t open on its own free will when more than half filled with coins and third, the drink holders are excellent with cans, but nothing else.
The information display is comprehensive - (date, time, various fluid levels, front disc pads, light bulbs, trip distances, outside temperature, various fuel consumptions including kilometres to empty, stop watch, cd/radio settings), as are the dash warning lights.
Mirrors are excellent, easily adjustable whilst driving with no blind spot.
The radio/cd player is very good if not spectacular - a Blauplankt with 6 speakers. The player starts at the point on the cd where you switched off, and the radio has programming for 12 FM (over 2 bands) and 6 AM stations. Reception is excellent.
Nice touches abound: Different chimes to alert ‘key in ignition’ and ‘headlights on’ when leaving. Electric windows can be shut after key is taken from ignition. Rear window demister automatically switches off after fifteen minutes or when ignition is removed. Oh, and intentional or not the radio aerial placement above top centre of rear window makes spotting car in crowded carpark easy.
The air conditioner is excellent – icy cold even when its 40 degrees outside! Can’t comment on the heater until this winter.
The Driving Experience: I’ve been doing 250kms a week for four months and I still get a buzz every time I hop in! The 2.5 V6 gives great power-to-weight ratio. Sports shift is great for getting away at lights, as is the traction control. Breaks are amazing with ABS discs. Handling is exceptional with responsive power steering that feels manual, but without requiring effort to turn.
On the open road my car really excels. Corners can be taken safely at speed and the 4-speed auto is great for overtaking. Come up behind a car doing 100 kph, flick or kick down into third gear and overtake with ease. Overtaking can be accomplished over short distances at just the right power band for third. Opened her up early one morning on a deserted freeway and backed off once I cracked 200 kph. Still had plenty in reserve (230 to 240?) and at 200 had low interior noise without engine or steering vibration. Beautiful!
Forget the GL and 2.2 litre models and get a CD V6. For $17,000 I’ve gained a car with the performance and handling of a BMW or Audi. For that I’ll take the risk on mechanicals thank you very much!
Am saving up for a 2003 3.2 V6!!