A worthy small car
The transmission gasket wasn't right from the factory, and it caused hard shifting into the 1-3-5 gears.
The car leaked a bit of oil at the start.
The windshield cracked easily.
The driver and passenger-side front windows are hard to roll up.
This car goes forever on a tank, until you hit 120 km/h. Then you will be surprised by how quickly the tank drains.
For shorter people, the thin seats don't matter, because of the good contours. I've done a trip of 7200 kilometers, 3600 of it in one straight run, and the seats were good, even on the longest stretches.
The transmission is starting to get a bit ropey as time goes on, and smooth shifts aren't helped by the extremely light and grabby (and original) clutch.
The patterned plastic on the door panels and sill plates scratches easily.
The car handles marvelously, if you ignore the weight.
Even with a 5-speed, this is not a fast car.
Five people can make a trip, but when going more than 200 kilometers, four is better.
The back seat is roomy for such a small car. It is nice to see child seat mounts and 3-point safety belts at all positions.
Our experiences with dealer service have been mixed. We use the same place all the time. Sometimes they are efficient and fast, and sometimes they are slow and generate more excuses than results. The same shop that made a chip in our windshield to prove that it wasn't they who made the crack in the windshield (convoluted logic, to my way of thinking) is also the same shop that takes care of scheduled maintenance within an hour of us showing up with the car.
This car, which will have racked up almost 200,000km in our ownership by year's end, has thus far been very good for my (mostly short) family. It is zippy and fuel efficient, with a cavernous trunk. Other than those minor items up top, and a few dissatisfactions down below, absolutely nothing has failed. No suspension failures, no electrical failures, no body hardware falling off, no cooling system faults, in fact it's just been eerie how little has gone wrong.
Previous car: 1993 Ford Taurus wagon. One transmission, one radiator, one set of exhaust headers, constant electrical problems, one very weak engine, and one car that makes this one look so much better.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th September, 2009