Fun car, if you don't mind getting your hands dirty
Exhaust hangar fell off. Welded back on.
Dry CV joint, driveshaft replaced.
Head gasket blew.
Water pump leaked, replaced.
Seized brake caliper, both front calipers/pipes/disks replaced.
Brake master cylinder and vacuum servo replaced.
Perished vacuum pipes, all renewed.
Gearbox oil seals leaking.
Passenger door seal leaked once and filled the car with water, but it was a one-off.
Included wheel brace snapped off at the business end.
Both front fog lamps rusted away to nothing. Replaced after I gently rolled into the side of the office one day and destroyed them...
Lacquer peeling off bonnet.
Speakers rotted, replaced.
Rice *everywhere* when bought (don't think this counts, but...).
The above list should tell you I bought a banger! However, despite that, as a first car I would still recommend this to anyone.
These cars are immense fun to drive when you've been used to plodding along in driving school diesel clios for the last 6 months, it's a totally different experience.
These cars are best suited to driving around town/A-roads due to their short gear ratios, which give excellent acceleration. The engine is lively and doesn't lack power at all, although it can be stubborn when first started, always requiring choke even if it's only been switched off for a few minutes.
It handles motorway cruising nicely once you get used to the obscenely high revs (which it seems to have *no* problem with) and it's not the quietest of rides, but doesn't ever feel unstable even when cruising around 100+mph. It's got me up and down the country many times with no problems.
Handling in the dry is excellent and predictable, it goes where you point it with a little sideways drift if you push it, it doesn't spin out or plough into a verge. Watch the back end around roundabouts in the wet though.
The interior is functional, but basically there to cover up the metal and wires. There's a nice cd-sized cubby hole under the stereo though.
The seats in this one are grey corduroy-ish ones which I haven't seen on another XS before so I'm not sure if they are standard, but they used to come in 405s so may have been transplanted. They are the most comfortable seats I have sat in so far!
So, although many things have gone wrong, It has never refused to take me anywhere. I still love this car (and am now a very proficient 205 mechanic...).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th March, 2005