A great little car with a great little motor
Head Gasket blown two months after purchase- replaced under warranty.
Thermostat housing corroded and leaked at 120000km.
Heater element leaked at 130000km.
Air conditioner de-gasssed at 135000km.
Rust appeared on rear mudguard at 140000km.
Head gasket blew (again) at 170000km.
The temp. gauge rarely moved much above cold- this was probably due to the thermostat being stuck open, probably leading to the reduced life of the head gaskets.
The EFI 16 valve engine uses platinum plated spark plugs. these are supposed to last 100000km, but cost 5 times the price of "normal" plugs. Be aware of this as I had several dealers try to change them at 10 000km intervals and put the cheaper plugs in. I caught them out every time.
In terms of performance, this car really goes! It is happy to gently cruise around at below 4000rpm, but let the revs build up a bit and the power really comes on right up to the 7500 red-line! Great fun to drive on a windy road, but will also wind out to 180kph- not bad for a 1600 4cyl four-door.
This car had manual steering which was a bit heavy in slow manoeuvring, but felt rock steady at speed and offered plenty of feel when winding through the Adelaide hills.
Seating for driver and passenger is deep bucket seats, allowing plenty of stability when hard cornering and plenty of adjustment. Stereo was good for its day. The hatchback and rear fold down seats allowed me to fit my bike in the back with only removing the front wheel.
Minor car cancer appeared on the right rear mudguard- this is a very common problem, solver with some anti-rust paint regularly applied.
Head gasket blew again as I traded it in on a larger family car. I should have repaired it and kept it.
I saw it a few months ago, looking a bit run down (now 20 years old) but still going!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th March, 2006