Fast, comfortable and practical
Developed bad vibration through the pedal under brakes. Front discs needed replacing due to warping.
Experienced slight engine hesitation under heavy load (a full car or up a hill) when the throttle is wide open. Fixed by replacing the leads and plugs, and cleaning the fuel injectors.
The car comes with a 1800cc turbocharged engine (4G93T). The standard TD04 turbo has great drivability, especially in cities and traffic. Because it is so small, it comes on very early (less than 3000 rpm) with minimal lag. The result is very smooth and effortless power. The downside is that up high, it lacks the same kick that larger turbos provide, and runs out of blow quite quickly.
The engine itself so far has been very reliable. They cannot handle more than 15psi of boost, otherwise you risk the big end bearing failing. Regular oil changes with good quality oil can help prevent this.
One thing to be said is that on hot days, or with lots of weight in the car (e.g. four passengers) this car loses a lot of its speed. After all, it is only a 1800c, despite the turbo.
The car comes with full time 4WD (although lacks the AYC diff the EVO comes equipped with). The result is a very stable ride - no wheel spin, and good handling. The standard ride height is quite high and results in a bit of body roll and understeer if pushed hard. Lower springs and wider tyres would do much to improve this.
Very clean and tidy. The front seats are Recaro semi-buckets, which are very supportive without losing everyday practicality. Dash design is clean and tidy, with a nice screen that controls the digital climate control. Interior colour is subtle and inoffensive. Bootspace is ample.
A good all rounder. Fast, comfortable and practical. It doesn't drive like an Evo, but doesn't cost like one either. I would definitely recommend this car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th March, 2008