Recommendable only to the mechanically inclined and masochists..
A/C compressor bearing failed at 196000km; removed entire A/C system, replaced compressor with idler pulley and installed new belt.
Belt tensioner failure at 205000km, replaced with new one.
New ball-joints, tie-rods and front brakes fitted to cure abnormal tire wear and front-end shimmy (206000km)
Alternator failed at 207000km, replaced with rebuilt unit.
Side door fell off because the center track failed. Welded new track, reinstalled door.
Driver door no longer closes because of cracked A-pillar. Crack welded and door re-aligned.
(210000-220000km) Belt comes off repeatedly in wet weather despite new tensioner. Engine overheats and makes a clacking noise thereafter.
Engine fails at 220000km (likely caused by damage from having overheated) ; #3 piston shatters destroying an exhaust valve and causing the connecting rod to cut a 10cm gash into the cylinder wall. Replaced with used, low-mileage engine.
(221000km) Belt still falls off in wet weather and wears abnormally quickly; power-steering pulley discovered to be warped, replaced with new pulley. Replacement tensioner discovered to be defective as well, replaced under part manufacturer's warranty. Installed new belt.
(221100km) Belt falls off yet again preceded by unbearably loud squealing noise. Problem determined to be worn bearing on A/C-delete idler pulley. Installed new pulley and dealer belt. No more belt issues to date (knock on wood!).
Stabilizer bar snapped in two, replaced with used bar.
(225000km) Transmission replaced.
(260000km) Transmission leaking from cooler lines and pan gasket.
What an adventure! I've repaired just about everything they is to repair on this infernal machine. I could probably write a new repair manual for it! Every 1000km or so, something else seems to go wrong. For the record, this van is used as a delivery vehicle and must take inordinate amounts of abuse in its day to day existence. Between doors being opened and slammed shut again literally hundreds of times per day and carrying rather heavy loads, it's a wonder that it's still in one piece!
In terms of reliability, this thing has been a nightmare. I decided to hold onto it since I use it only for delivery and I don't want to ruin another newer and more valuable vehicle to replace it. I pretty much know exactly where it stands mechanically and I've become quite adept at fixing it. Parts are cheap and plentiful; despite the hassle of frequent breakdowns, it does not cost me that much money to operate. One might argue correctly that it has cost me in time, but on the other hand, I find mechanical work somewhat enjoyable so it softens the blow somewhat. Call me a cheap masochist!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 20th December, 2006