A nice, cleverly packaged car that prefers to be driven gently
+ One of the most economical cars we've had. But:
- Disappointing fuel economy. Expected over 40mpg for short frequent local journeys (1 - 5 miles).
- It lies about its economy. It reports an average of 38-40mpg. In reality, I work it out as 35-36mpg.
- Small fuel tank means frequent fill-ups.
+ Generally OK.
- Short bonnet that slopes away from you can be hard to judge.
- Mirrors are too big, and are spaced away from the car for some reason. So it is harder to squeeze through my driveway gates than some larger cars.
- The outer edge of the driver's mirror is presumably designed to give some sort of wide-angle view. But it's just a horribly distorted and confusing image near the edge.
+ When pushed hard above 4500rpm, there is reasonable power available.
+ Impressively quiet and refined at lower engine speeds.
- Noisy at higher engine speeds.
- Not much low-down torque for accelerating up hills.
- You have to work it hard to avoid getting in people's way, which hurts economy.
+ Driving gently in auto mode is smooth and relaxing.
+ You can tell it to change gear by throttle movements.
- Sometimes it holds on to lower gears for ages after hard acceleration.
- Feels like it applies the brakes while changing gear! (Judging by how quickly brake dust accumulates on the front wheels, I sometimes wonder if that really is what it's doing!)
- The main problems are in fast moving / busy conditions:
- Gear changes are too slow, especially 1st to 2nd.
- When approaching a roundabout slowly, it sometimes takes 5 seconds to decide on a gear. That sometimes puts you in danger.
- To pull away quickly on busy roads & delay the first gear change, you have to floor it. But that usually gives some wheel spin, so the front tyres might not last long.
- Can be jerky if you accelerate hard.
- Aggressive kick down - if you floor it in 2nd, it can kick down into 1st.
- Sudden engine braking at low speeds can be annoying when stopping gently. I don't look forward to that with snow or ice.
- The paddles move with the steering wheel, so you can't find them on a bend. Yes, I know you should only change when driving straight, but if you set off on a long sweeping bend, or a roundabout with traffic lights on it, you have to change up!
- In my opinion, the gear lever's manual + and - positions are the wrong way around. I think changing up should be like 1st-2nd in a typical manual car - towards the back of the car.
- Need to look at dash to see what gear you're in can be distracting.
Ride and Handling:
+ Feels firm and well controlled
- Ride can be uncomfortably firm sometimes (16" wheels don't help)
Other Controls etc:
+ Cruise control can be useful.
- The button that locks the electric windows should only lock the rear. And it should not affect the driver's window controls at all.
- With children in the car, it can take a while to close all the windows when they keep opening them!
- There is no button to open just the boot - you have to unlock the whole car.
- The tailgate opens towards you, so you have to be extra careful, especially with children around. In other cars, it opens mainly upwards, which tends to be safer & easier if you're holding something.
- Boot is sometimes not quite big enough for a big weekly shop.
- Seat belt reminder is annoying, I wish I could turn it off. I start the engine before doing anything else in cold weather. I don't need a beeper nagging me to put on my seat belt.
- Clock and radio not available when ignition off (even for limited time).
- Steering wheel can obscure the view of some status lights etc (maybe I'm too tall).
+ Doors open wide, which is good for access.
+ Rear seats fold completely flat - very useful!
+ Lots of cup holders
+ Two glove compartments
+ No spare wheel means more storage space
+ CD/Radio also plays music from USB FLASH drive
- The unusual tyre size for the EX with 16" wheels means there is fairly limited choice of tyre brands.
- No spare wheel - hope I don't get a puncture
- Nowhere to hide one or two coins (for shopping trolleys etc.)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 27th November, 2011