The car engine is considered OK if you take good care of it, because it is from a Mitsubishi engine. The engine produces hard knocking sounds, even if I've replaced new good materials, and the timing would have to be tuned most of the time, and there are no RPM meter gauge in this 1.3 model.
The plastic quality was terrible and fragile, I suspect recycled materials were used to cut costs, and the plastic injection moulds were far over their life span... and need to be trimmed after being moulded out, judging from the sharp edges..
However, it is quite a good car to drive around, especially manouvering due to the Mitsubishi design, but I can't compare it with the Merz when you're making a "U" turn.
The design looks presentable, and its seats are quite comfortable, although my car model doesn't permit me to adjust the height of the seats, and most of its accessories have been taken out like the auto cruise, internal light dim adjustment, air bags, speed adjustment for the wipers, door console, rear automatic windows, seat height adjustments, cup holders, no closing compartments in between the 2 front seats, just a hole for you to stuff some rubbish and etc.
Conclusion - not a bad car for a middle income guy like me, but constantly having headaches to get it repaired. Take good care of it, especially the plastic parts and the electronics such as light bulbs, which need to be check regularly.
Advantage - it is easy to source original second hand parts at a cheap price from those half cut shops.
Even though this car was taken from Mitsubishi's technology, design and engine, it is the local manufacturer's quality control that makes it looks really bad... no strict quality control at all...
1) Service regularly, do not wait till the exact time to protect your engine life span as well as fuel consumption (especially changed spark plugs NGK “Y” type, air filter).
2) Check and tighten all screws, especially your fog lamp, but don’t tighten any engine screws, as it needs to have some flexibility…
3) Install grounding wire set to stabilized. It's all time faulty electronics system.
4) Install an air intake compressor for better performance and fuel consumption.
5) Check your exhaust manifold for cracks, but I suggest you better install a 4-2-1.
6) Change the timing belt on time, and make sure it is a full set, and if it is the 2nd time, better change the water pump together as well, and all the belts in one shot to save cost and problems (beware of imitation Mitsubishi sets which are quite a lot in the market), and if you feel it is time, change the coolant and service your car at the same time.
7) Change to a thicker power or spark plug cable.
8) Change all necessary oils at the same time (power steering oil, brake oil, gear oil).
9) If you need more power, you can change your flywheel to a 1.6 type, request the mechanic to grind it thinner for lighter and better performance (optional - not recommended for normal drivers).
10) Go for a tyre rotation, balancing and alignment every 3 months or 10,000km to make sure your tyres last longer, are in good condition, no leakages, absorbers in good condition, and rims as well, because they may have warped and may cause your absorbers to fail.
11) Wash your engine once a month, just spray, don’t flush too much water as it would slip into unwanted parts. Especially flush the radiator front and back, which might accumulate a lot of leaves, insects, rubbish and stuff to keep it fresh… Use car shampoo with wax to wash on those cables, especially the hose to the radiator to keep it from being getting hard after a while, and it would eventually crack, in short maintain those rubbers flexibility… (Beware don’t wash too often as it will rust some metal functioning parts, and please remember to cover the power / spark plug cable heads at the side of the engine with a plastic bag or else you’ll have problems starting your car).
12) Check on any abnormal noise, as it indicates something is wrong (i.e if you hear there is a loud air leaking sound in the engine compartment, maybe your exhaust manifold might have cracked and you can’t see that, because it is covered with an aluminium shield); this will cause your fuel consumption to increase and loud engine noise… lots of people don’t realize this!! Or when you crank start your car and there is a long “craaccck” sound, it means your starter needs to be cleaned…
13) If your car is a fuel injection type.. request a computer check after 2 or 3 services to make sure everything is functioning OK, as 1.3 models do not have RPMs, we won’t know that the fuel timing is OK or not… The computer is able to check any errors, and once they're found, one click on the computer will set it back to factory settings and will settle your problems.. but you do also need to get your fuel injection throttle cleaned up once in a while for better performance and fuel consumption.