Fun and functional, but not very pretty
Engine valve gaskets (not head gasket) started to leak 2,000kms ago.
Massive transmission fluid leak (to the car's credit, it was probably the people who did my transmission fluid flush.)
Great car. As an introductory note, I imported this on from Japan, and its papers said it was all stock.
It's a great blend of a fun car to drive and practical car to have for around town. The large amount of trunk room and AWD lets me carry lots of stuff through anything. Which is great for camping trips or trips to the office through rain and mud. Can fit an entire surfboard, and then drive right onto the beach.
Also one excellent road trip car if you can handle the less than comfortable back seats (the front seats are bucket seats that are really comfortable but can get tedious on long drives). It sticks to the road, and is meant to be driven quickly around corners.
The MOMO steering wheel is a nice touch on a station wagon.
A major plus for me was the visibility; more and more cars tend to make windows small and/or higher cutting into operational visibility. This car's window placement allows for great visibility.
My model is a wagon, so it doesn't turn any heads as I drive. But while it's a wagon, it does not act like it. This car can rocket off the line with its first turbo, then (after an annoyingly long turbo lag from 2,500-5,000) give you a second breath with its second turbo. I've taken this car up to 175 km/h before the limiter stopped it, but I've been told that without the limiter and with a few modifications, the car can achieve 250km/h. This wagon feels like it aspires to be a sports car, and it leaves you with a feeling as if you could beat Porsche. You can't, but it leaves you with a feeling of invincibility and unnoticed potential.
The only remarkable thing is that it is lowered, which makes going down a logging road or too fast over a speed bump an issue. I've noticed not all of them are lowered, but this one is and it is far too low. The engine noise permeates the cabin, which can be annoying. As for fuel efficiency, whatever hope of efficiency it may have had is destroyed by the turbos. A 45lt tank in the city usually buys me between 370-400kms (I use the turbos more than I really should though). Compared to the SUVs my fellow North Americans use, it actually has decent fuel efficiency. Compared to a Civic hatchback or a Corolla, it drains gas.
Also, the bonnet scoop is hideous (IMO). The car is also rather unimpressive looking from the outside.
Overall, a great car especially if you have an active lifestyle, and love being thrown back in your seat when you hammer down on the gas pedal.
Really fun car to ride with.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th August, 2010