The central locking did not work when I bought it and still doesn't, but I won't spend any money getting this fixed as the car only has two doors.
The no charge warning light comes on at low engine RPM. I think this is related to the next problem - I got in the car one afternoon and there was a total power failure with not even the warning lights coming on. I have had this problem before with other cars - the leads connected to the battery terminals were loose. The screws on the terminals were corroded so I temporarily fixed this by giving the connections a couple of bashes with a large spanner. After that, power was restored and the no charge light didn't come on for a while.
The drive shafts clonk loudly when approaching full lock at low speeds. Hopefully they won't decide to separate themselves from the rest of the drive train anytime soon.
When trying to maintain a constant speed at part throttle the engine 'snatches' as if it were misfiring. The problem goes away when more throttle is applied - the engine then pulls smoothly.
The car 'wanders' at high (70 MPH+) speeds on the motorway. Since I doubt anything significant has been replaced on the car, this could be down to worn shocks or steering joints. I'm not going to spend any money to fix this either, so the answer to this is to not go above 70.
The front brakes need relining and the timing needs adjusting, but these are routine maintenance items.
I bought this car for 180 pounds as a stop gap until I can afford something newer. I think all of the problems it has are as a result of neglect from previous owners.
I had one of these before, which was had been much better looked after. These cars have good acceleration due to reasonable engine power and light weight, and will reach 120 MPH.
The car has a low profile, low centre of gravity and short wheelbase, which means that the handling is excellent with very responsive steering. While I wouldn't dare test the limits of my present Sunny coupe due to the condition it's in, I had a blast with the previous one on twisty back roads. The steering provides lots of feedback and you know how much grip you have left. That, combined with the revvy nature of the engine makes the car feel like a mini racer.
The gearbox is still good with no crunching when changing gear. The throw of the gear lever is short and the gear change has a precise feel to it.
In terms of comfort, they are not very good. Both Sunny coupes I have had have been very noisy at anything above 50 MPH. If you want to cruise at around 80 MPH then think about wearing earplugs. It's that noisy - you certainly won't be able to hear the stereo very well or hold a conversation without shouting. Space in the back is minimal and only suitable for children on a run.
My TPFT insurance cost me over double what I paid for the car (London address, 31 years old, 5 years NCD). Insurers don't seem to like these cars.
Overall, this car was a great banger buy. While I'll definitely be buying something better (probably a Primera) when I can, it'll do until then or until something major goes wrong with it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th July, 2003