A well featured wagon
Wouldn't start one day for no apparent reason, have had the same problem with the 89 Bluebird, I think it may be a computer glitch or a temporary sensor fault.
The car has a shake or vibration coming from the front, it feels like a wheel unbalance, but is not. I have even changed the brake disks, but cannot find the source of the problem.
Other than that, car is good.
One of the slickest manual gearboxes that I have ever used.
Engine is smooth and flexible, but doesn't really get going until it is over 4500rpm, however it is very responsive for a non-turbo 2 litre engine from there to the red line.
It has been lowered and has quite stiff suspension and 205/15/55 directional tires, so it sticks to the road pretty good. It is really well balanced through higher speed corners (rated 65kmh and up), but tends to understeer in tighter slower corners. I would fit an adjustable rear anti roll bar to tighten the rear roll and improve turn in if I could, but it has torsion beam rear suspension, the twisting of the beam effectively acting as the anti roll bar.
The brakes are very sensitive and responsive, but will start to fade after 2 or 3 fast stops from 100kmhr.
Cabin is nice and comfortable, but could do with a little more arch and side support in the front seats. The rear seats are very good for a wagon and are even tilt adjustable.
Being a Japanese Import it is a bit short of sound insulation from the road and is a bit noisy on the chip seal, but not too bad.
All of the interior materials and plastics are extremely hard wearing and show virtually no signs of wear after 130000kms.
Overall a very good car, with the handling balance on tighter corners being my only real gripe.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th February, 2004