Cheap and reliable car, excluding rust problems
Driver's seat wears out badly on the upper left part, where your body easily touches the seat while entering/exiting the vehicle.
Had to replace the electronic ignition module inside the distributor cap twice. The car just died suddenly without warning. The part is cheap, though (~15eur).
Head gasket job done once at about 200000 kilometers.
The body got a lots of rust in the unforgiving Scandinavian climate. The rust started to grow mostly inside the body cavities. Not from the top paint coating. Lots of welding done over the time. Rear shock absorber - and springs mountings seriously destroyed by rust. In the end, there was no point fixing the body any more.
The car's mechanical parts were extremely reliable during the 14 years and ~260000 kilometers which I drove with it. Very cheap parts and maintenance. Easy to fix for a DIY mechanic. You have nice room and fine access to everything under the hood. Being an ECM/ECU controlled fuel injected engine, C16NZ, it doesn't have dozens of electronic sensors, which could fail and lead to more costly repairs. It was a relatively simple system.
The car' performance with the 1.6 8-valve engine, which produces 75hp/125Nm, is not anything sporty. Neither is the handling. I wouldn't recommend this car for extended highway driving, and overtaking other vehicles is slow. But, as a city car it's very good! Overall fuel efficiency is pretty good for both highway (max. ~100km/h) and city driving.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th June, 2014