1998 Mazda Demio 1.4 from UK and Ireland
This is one the best cars I've ever owned; satisfying on many counts
Not much has gone wrong since we bought it a few years and 22,000 miles ago.
The tires seem not to wear.
There is no rust - and we don't live far from the ocean.
The battery went dead last week, but it was the original battery and it was ten years old.
The exhaust manifold got loose and I had to tighten it back up, and then it was fine.
The car failed inspection because the shocks were worn out - not surprising for Irish back roads.
New shocks were damn expensive (€240 each!) but a pair from the junkyard cost €50 each (from 2003) and went in with no problem.
The interior trim is still solid and there is still no rust.
There's not much room (the back seat wouldn't hold two grownups for very long), but the rear seats fold down nicely and you then have a large rear compartment.
The car handles very nicely. There is little body roll. The shocks are not great and it is often a bumpy ride. That's partly because it is a light car.
It brakes very nicely.
The electrics haven't given any trouble, though this is the basic model - no electric windows or central locking doors or cruise - which is fine with me since I value reliability above all else - and economy second. And the car gets over 40mpg.
It is also comfortable. Not luxurious like the Mitsubishi Galant that I had before, nor as comfy as a Citroen, but good enough that I can relax into the seats when I'm driving.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd September, 2008