A great buy for the price
The engine only seems to be responsive over 4000 RPM. I believe this is due to the VVTi. It's a pain having to drop down to second to overtake somebody doing 40mph, but it does seem to pull extremely well when it's revving high.
Safety features are excellent - ABS, passenger airbag, 4/5 rating on NCAP safety test. This was the deciding factor for me over my other choice of car, a Rover 25.
Plenty of space inside. I'm 6'1" and have loads of head and leg room. Passengers have commented on the rear space as well.
Lots of cubby holes, pockets and drinks holders. This is one of the things I'm sure I'll miss when I get my next car!
Visibility is terrible. The headrests and rear pillars force you to use the wing mirrors more than should be necessary.
Economy is quite reasonable. I average 35-36 MPG using it around town. This is with 20 minutes of traffic each day and many roundabouts. I have been on long motorway runs and have gotten 55mpg if I do a constant 70mph, 46mpg if I do 90. Economy really seems to depend on road surface.
Gears seem unusually long for such a small car. Highest speed I've been is 118mph at approx 5000 RPM so I'm sure there was a little power left. Feels stable at any speed.
Gearchange is very stiff and notchy. There is also a real problem getting the car into reverse! You need to select neutral and disengage the clutch for 2 seconds before selecting reverse. This is a real pain if you're doing a 3 point turn or something and holding up traffic!
Lots of body roll when cornering, presumably due to the height of the car.
The digital tachometer/speedo is always a good talking point! It uses mirrors, so passengers are unable to see what speed you are doing.
Overall a great buy.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th September, 2003