Good all rounder for a young student's lifestyle
Mild front tyre wear due to under-steering handling bias.
Extremely reliable, faultless ownership experience, nothing has gone wrong to date. Log books from previous owner confirm this record.
Cheap to run, good fuel economy despite auto trans (7.2 hwy, 8.5 city, 8.0 combined)
On the road: Adequate performance from 1.8 litre around town, but gutless at low revs when going uphill, and needs fairly vigorous use of the throttle if you have an auto. Will lose speed on undulating terrain, especially with several passengers on board or with air conditioning on. Handling is excellent on smooth, well cambered roads, but can get awkward on badly-cambered round abouts, with the front end under-steering moderately. Also, badly surfaced country roads can upset its balance, but this is common to most small cars.
Equipment and comfort:
Well designed and ergonomic inside: has all the essentials like air con, height adjust drivers seat, CD, air bag, but misses out on electric windows, tacho and cruise control (although cruise wouldn't work very well with a 1.8 engine). Great head and shoulder room, feels more spacious than a Mazda 323 but the materials are cheaper.
Despite its small size, the styling makes it look bigger and gives it more presence on the road than similar sized Toyota's and Mazda's. A non-embarrassing alternative for young men who wouldn't be seen dead in a Barina or Corolla.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th January, 2006