Fuss free, cheap and practical
Radio works on one side only.
Starter motor is sticking when cold.
Wiper motor fails to return wiper to off position unless operating stalk is held down.
Slight ticking from cold, which I suspect is the exhaust manifold.
Though this car has been in my ownership for a relatively short time, it belonged to a friend for the previous six years. It had 40000 miles on it at the time, and he used it for business trips all round the UK. Apart from the faults listed above, which have materialised recently, nothing outside of servicing and consumables have ever been required. He didn't drive it with a great of sympathy either.
The fact the car still starts first time, runs well and has proved totally reliable, is a testament to its integrity.
To drive, the car feels solid with an unrushed, composed feel.
The CVT transmission changes 'up' very early on, giving a sluggish feel when moving off. Using the sport button doesn't alter this initial poor response. Overall performance is adequate, to achieve reasonable progress quite a lot of throttle has to be applied to keep the engine turning over at sufficient rpm. This can be quite noisy.
On the upside, cruising is relaxed with extremely low mph/1000 rpm, given a sensitive foot. 100 mph at just over 3000 rpm is possible.
Fuel consumption is dependent on driving style - 35 mpg is a reasonable average given a mix of motorway and town use.
Handling does not feel especially inspiring to start off with. It's not exactly wieldy, but stick with it and it can go round corners with surprising grip and poise.
The ride however is lumpen, and sometimes feels short in vertical movement. This might be to do with the mileage however.
Turning circle is simply atrocious, the worst I have ever experienced. Quite how this oversight emerged when previous models have been widely used as taxis is astonishing.
Lots of room inside. Boot is usefully large.
A personal opinion, but the dashboard is a slightly wacky design. Ventilation is poor and hard to fathom out properly. Seats however are very good, even at this age and mileage.
In summary, a great hackabout car, reliable and still capable.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd April, 2011