Head gasket started to leak.
Rear crank case oil seal needed replacing, resulting in a bottom-end engine rebuild.
Water pump was replaced.
A new thermostat was fitted.
A few minor switches were replaced in the dashboard.
Injector fault (very rare I have been told)
New center clutch plate (due to a lot of city driving)
This was my first car, so naturally I loved it to bits!
Despite all the problems, the car never once let me down and always started on the button, no matter what the conditions.
The running costs are fantastic. Even if you drive it hard, you will struggle to get less than 35mpg. Part prices are very low and even the engine rebuild mentioned above was only £400 including the new clutch plate, water pump and thermostat.
The car was very comfortable, and many people who traveled in it proclaimed the seats to be the most comfortable they have ever used. Space is first rate and the whole package is very practical.
Performance was OK. The engine was quite responsive compared with other cars of that size, but was quite vocal and was rather sluggish with more than 2 people in it, but unless you want to race people from the lights the performance overall is quite acceptable.
The handling was excellent. Although I did have the bigger "16 valve" type alloy wheels on mine, they all handle well. With quality tires, grip is ample and although there is some body roll, the car had a good neutral handling response and didn't under-steer unless severely provoked, even when this happened it would convert to a good progressive slide by easing off the throttle. The ride quality was good and kept the car stable at high speeds, even on bumpy back roads.
The car look nice, especially with the alloys, and when clean looked very smart. There was no rust despite its age and the paint finish was excellent.
Admittedly I drove my 19 very hard, and I think this could be the reason the head gasket went, but for simple, A to B motoring with minimal costs and lots of practicality I highly recommend the 19. It is much nicer to drive than its rivals and if you keep it serviced and clean and it should prove to be an excellent car.