I have owned my 1.1i Forte since May 2002, and at just over five years old I have found it to be a fantastic car for the money I paid.
OK the standard equipment isn't too good, but I don't spend as much time in it as I use to, and it therefore has everything that I need. There is a lot of road and wind noise flying through the cabin when travelling at speed, but this isn't very often.
I currently only use it to travel about 20 miles a day. But in the second year of owning it I travelled over 120 miles a day. The driveability was brilliant, and the car was so responsive. Travelling on A roads, motorways, and inner city roads on this journey and this car has handled them all very well.
The best thing about this car is the reliability, albeit apart from general wear and tear and the odd bump and scrape this car (touch wood) has never broken down anywhere. There have been many parts replaced on the car, but as previously stated these were just general wear and tear. Entire exhaust system has been replaced, had brakes and tyres done a few times, cambelt done at 75k, and most recently (at almost 100k) the cat converter and lambda sensors were changed, this may sound a lot but in a span of five years I think it is fantastic.
It is currently at 102k and running more-or-less like the first day I bought it. I will be sad to see it go next year, but with our first child on the way a five door car would be more sufficient.
I bought it with 63,000 miles on the clock and I have had nothing but problems with it.
Firstly the electric windows, then both driveshafts, went, along with tracking rod ends and ball joints. I got the timing belt done on it and now the head is gone on the car and the car is not worth getting repaired.
The only thing I will say about this car is that the parts are cheap and it's good to run on petrol.
I have owned this W reg vehicle three years, and had it regularly serviced. It has only done 21,000 miles but the bonnet released whilst driving, breaking my windscreen and causing extensive damage to the body. The car may be written off.
This is my first car. I've owned a 03-reg Desire model for 7 months now. I find it cheap to run, as the fuel consumption is good (over 40mpg so far) and the insurance is fairly low. The CD player & sound are fine, and having a sunroof is great. I can also fit plenty of shopping in the boot, which - in my opinion - is a good size for such a small car. My other half, who has been driving for 13 years, thinks it is very easy to manouvre.
However there are a few niggles - the plastic interior trim is shoddy, and my door handle has come loose. I find the mirrors are difficult to get in a good position. There is a lot of rattling inside, even at fairly low speeds. I'm not short (5ft 7in), but the driving position is terrible - the pillars obscure my vision at junctions. Shame the seat isn't height adjustable.
The pedal positioning is rubbish, even my narrow little feet get stuck on the sides of the footwell.
Overall - if you can get a good deal then it's OK for a first or second car, but I don't think many experienced drivers will be impressed by it.
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