A big, tough lumbering beast
Driver's seat and seat belt were replaced due to wear. Took the chance to install front gas suspension seats which were an option on more recent models.
Stock stereo and speakers were horrible and needed urgent replacement with a Sony MP3 deck and Xplod speakers.
Gearbox is on its way out, sometimes grinding between gears. It seems to occur more frequently when downshifting, due to the higher revs I guess.
Bushes all through the front suspension need replacing.
Door seal on the drivers door needs replacing as it is torn in one corner and leaks water slightly.
This car is my reliable constant companion. It has been all over Australia on numerous camping and 4x4 adventures, most of them through Central Australian deserts. With a roof rack, bullbar and a good set of tires this car can go anywhere.
It isn't very quick off the lights, but the intercooled turbo diesel powerplant produces thoroughly silly amounts of torque without the equally silly engine displacement of some of its rivals. Driving revs are between 1000 and 2500 rpm and it idles at about 600. It can chug up a hill comfortably doing only 1500 revs without losing speed or getting the shakes. Furthermore, it tows a trailer with so much ease I forget it's even there (a big problem when changing lanes!).
The low operating rpm allows for great fuel economy not only for a car of its size, but its actually cheaper to run than a commodore, with around 9.5-10L per 100Km compared to a VT Commodore's consumption of around 13L per 100km.
It may not be quick, and heating the glowplugs, warming the engine up and cooling the turbo down all add a few more minutes to each drive, but it's reliable, economical and it can do anything.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th August, 2005