I bought this car back in October 2004 for £7,000. At the time I wanted a big car, and it has certainly fitted the bill.
The car looks a bit bland, but is very functional. There is plenty of room in the car for 4 adults, although very rarely have I actually had 4 adults in it. The boot is tremendous in size, and easily devours weekly shopping, and it is able to take large loads with relative ease.
Driving this car is good, the seats are comfortable, although you can feel a little fatigued on the longer journeys. The seats are height adjustable, so a range of driving positions can be found. For those looking for "fun" driving however, don't look here. It understeers if you go a bit mad (but then that's a good thing) and for a 2.0, with only 115bhp you may feel there's something lacking under the hood.
General build quality is pretty good, everything in the car feels pretty solid, although I've found a few squeaks that are quite annoying. Also, I've recently heard the car "creak" which is a bit disconcerting.
Performance is decent, 0-60 apparently is 10 seconds, top speed is 120mph. However, I've found best performance really is when you go 60-80 or 80+. (not that I've tried)
Consumption is very good for what the car is; I usually get between 32-35MPG on the commute to work, and sometimes get up to 37-40 on the longer motorway trips. However in these times of rising petrol prices, I've decided to jump ship and sell the car. A full tank of petrol in this car will set you back nearly £50, and you will get 360-420 miles for that.
Servicing is very good, the dealers are polite, prompt and very helpful. I was very upset after what had happened to the inlet manifold however, and have decided to move on and get another car while this one still has some value in it.
Cost of servicing I felt was a bit expensive too: - 10,000 mile interval, and costs were £120 for the first service, £180 for the second, and £250 for the 40,000 mile service I had this year. Added to that the £100 they wanted to fit new rear brakes has meant that running costs are a bit on the high side. Added to this the fact that Tax is £190 a year, and it belongs in Group 9, running costs must be considered!
Toys wise, the car has plenty: - The dashboard was a bit plain, but functional, and the onboard computer works well and does the job. I ditched the original (grundig) heat unit as it was rubbish. This does mean that the 6CD changer that I had with it becomes useless, as ONLY the original head unit can take advantage of it.
My model has Air Conditioning, heated/electric mirrors, electric windows all round, fog lights, metallic paint, remote central locking, ABS, power steering, 6CD + Head Unit (although poor) 60/40 split rear seats.
After 2 years of ownership, in general I am pleased with the experience I had in this car. I frequently drove for long distances, and it was always reliable and dependable. Despite my gripes with the running costs and servicing, these cars will run and run if you look after them. The badge will put people off, but who cares, if you've bought one of these, you've probably saved yourself a few grand buying it, and probably deter thieves at the same time!