Better than you might expect, but expensive
At the first service after 15000km it became clear that cylinder 2 of 3 had inadequate compression. After discussion with an MCC expert in Germany it was suggested that it had been caused by overheating and the best remedy would be replacement of the engine. The car was taken by low loader to Milton Keynes technical centre which rejected the expert advice and returned the car damaged and not repaired. It was clearly in need of repair as the car struggled up hills. The service centre principal agreed that the engine needed replacement and I was provided with a courtesy car for almost 6 weeks until my car was returned to me with a new engine.
Since the engine was replaced there have not been any reliability problems.
Former Beetle drivers will be familiar with drifting in cross winds. It isn't a steering fault. The car is just very high and light.
Regular service by the franchised dealers is expensive but essential to preserve the worldwide warranty.
The car is claimed to have good fuel consumption figures but I have been disappointed. I travel 90 miles to and from work each day at about 60mph. I do not expect to get more than 47mpg.
But if you like the look of the car and it's only you and a briefcase going to and from work (don't worry, the boot will hold a huge Samsonite suitcase) you put up with minor disappointment.
Treat it as an air conditioned stereo with a roof to keep you dry and you'll be thrilled.
Be prepared for the grins and smiles from pedestrians.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st September, 2001