Wolf in sheep's clothing
Heater fan stopped working on speeds 1 & 2 (out of 4) - i.e. loads of air or no air.
Many false alarm activations - adjusted and now seems fixed.
Handbrake not strong enough to hold car on hills (now adjusted) - also sticks and makes a noise when reversing (this is apparently common and nothing to worry about)
Previously had a Sierra (that went up in flames) and wanted something with a bit more poke...
...and this is the car's main feature - it's speed & acceleration. The DOHC (Dual Overhead Cam) V-TEC engine is lively under 5500rpm, but push the revs over 5500rpm (red line at 8000rpm!) and the engine roars and the car takes off :) The engine is only 1.8 but is also 169bhp!
As for the problems above, they have been niggles since I bought the car and gradually I am getting them sorted out by the dealer (not at my expense either which is good) - so they have been good with that. However, they also promised me a handbook, and it still hasn't materialised after 3 months : (
The car on the whole is really good fun to drive and handles like it is glued to the road. The build quality is good, all electric inside, air con, half leather seats etc.
Fuel economy isn't bad considering that it's a sporty model (about 33mpg) but if you drive enthusiastically it goes down...
The only minus point I would say is the road noise. It really is quite a roar on some rough surfaces, even at lower speeds and is certainly not a refined ride. But at the end of the day, this is a quick car and obviously has a lot harder suspension than a more 'regular' model. So it is to be expected really, the fun of driving it more than makes up for it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd June, 2002