Turbocharged, rear wheel drive... what more would you want?!!?
After 8 days of ownership, big end bearings failed, which is very very common on the ca18det engine.
Air conditioning stopped working.
Control on the drivers electric window became sporadic.
This car is possible one of the most underrated sports car of the early 90's, and for those who are after a truly unique (and sometimes difficult) but rewarding driving experience, this is the car for you.
It is a group 16 to insure, which may seem high, but I'm 20 and can still afford to buy and insure this car. However if you drive everywhere hitting boost, the fuel costs soon become apparent.
Make sure you buy one that has been well serviced, and preferably one that has been looked after by an enthusiast, who has changed the oil every 3k instead of the recommended 6k.
Don't take it to a dealer, join the sxoc.com and learn how to do everything yourself (it will be a lot cheaper), and advice and parts are easy to come by. If you can find one that has had an engine recondition (with evidence) that's good, as the big ends go around the 100,000 mile mark, depending how well it's been looked after, and this can be expensive. Also, turbo life is only around 80,000, so look for one that's had a new turbo, or budget for it to go.
Don't let the stories put you off; if you want a real driver's car, then get this. It can be difficult to tame at times, specially on roundabouts in the wet, but if you learn how to handle it, you can actually make mishaps look like a bit of good driving technique, but learn, and learn quickly.
The standard engine has around 170bhp. Expect that to be a little lower with age, generally due to turbo wear. That gives you a 0-60 of just under 7 seconds, and a top speed of 145mph. If you want to tune your engine, I would suggest making sure it's in tip top nick, or you might kill it, but expect big power gains. A stage 1, which is an exhaust and an induction kit, and a stage 1 chip, (all together about £400) will see you pushing 230hp, and then an uprated t28 (off the newer 200SX) a front mounted intercooler, and a stage 2 chip, and a few other bits and bobs (uprated fuel pump, plugs etc) will see in excess of 270bhp; not many cars that can do that for under a grand.
I found the interior very comfy, but I've heard different stories. If you're over 6", don't expect people to be getting in the back; it's a 2+2 as it is, and with your seat back a bit, I found the driver's seat touches the rear seats, but I'm not sitting in the back, so I don't care.
So get one that's been looked after, and spend a bit of time learning how to drive it, and little bit of time and money spent on it, and you will have a car that is capable of embarrassing some rather exotic machinery.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st April, 2005