A well built, rugged car that is a pleasure to drive
Brakes refurbished (new discs, lines, pad, shoes) at 120000 miles.
Fuel pump leaked onto water hose beneath it, both replaced at 130000 miles (only time the car broke down - but still drove with careful top ups etc to get home).
Carburettor high idle; simple fix at 145000.
Speedo cable broke at 150000.
Alternator replaced at 165000 miles.
Both front coil springs broke at 160000 and 180000 miles approx - the car is still perfectly drivable; only the lower ride height on the broken side makes it obvious.
Water leaks into the rear floors lately - all rubber seals on doors and sunroof have contracted.
Lazy electric windows all round - need occasional stripping and rebuilding, both rear motors replaced from a scrap Carina E.
Corrosion trying to get in now, especially around the rear underside and roof edges.
Bought when 14 years old for 220 quid with a damaged windscreen and needing a good service. I needed a no fuss car to use while my old 60's classic was broken, and it's such a nice fast reliable car that I've had it ever since and put another 100000 miles on with no engine dismantling whatsoever.
Been through France twice, and up and down the British isles many many times over the years, plus all the day to day commuting etc, with one almost break down when the fuel pump leaked petrol onto a rubber water hose, which perished and split - never been left stranded though...
I'm still amazed at the power, especially when you get on the cam at 4000 RPM in third; really flies up the motorway and makes all the modern cars seem fat and heavy with their horrible complex diesels! Handling is typically soft and a bit slippery if abused, but fine for normal use - this is a light car for its size, running 165 13 tyres, tiny by today's sizes.
The best thing is how this car looks so ordinary and a bit tatty and careworn, although quite low and slim looking nowadays, and yet it goes so very well with OK MPG. I use higher octane petrol these days due to the very high mileage - although I don't know if it's necessary.
The reliability has been brilliant, basically just needs a good service twice a year, likes an engine flush periodically, and the problems for a car of this age and mileage are very minor.
The only annoying issue now is water ingress into the rear floors; very hard to find where, although the side window and sunroof rubber seals are contracting now (the car is 23 years old so that's to be expected).
Rust tries to get in, especially around the rear underside and roof edges, had a tiny bit of welding last year around the inner rear arches, but with periodic brushing over with old sump oil and the odd bit of Waxoyl inside the chassis, the car remains in a clean condition, with few real corrosion problems.
This is now a family car and gets abused all the time, and never stops working! I would struggle to replace with anything better - these late 80's early 90's japanese cars are very well made, whatever the make it seems.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st March, 2013