I owned this car for a year and had to get rid of it.
I got it at 59,000 miles on an R plate and the gearbox went within 300 miles.
The warranty fixed that and got going again.
After about another two weeks the clutch shattered and ruined most of the engine - the warranty company said it was OK to repair so they did.
I had no major problems since that but it was very bad on idle and always pulled to the left even after new tyres and tracking.
Once its service came around I thought it was time to get rid, so I did for a Honda Accord. Never looked back.
The 1.8 engines are strong but high mileage can lead to problems.
A lumpy idle can mean big work. Valve shims or uneven compression are the main causes, and it can also cause carbon dioxide emissions to be high.
Excellent car for motorway driving - comfortable for long periods.
It has amazing fuel economy for a 2.0-litre engine. Spacious load area and very good spec in the cabin. The suspension top mounts went after 110k and coil springs about the same time. But these are easy to fix for DIY mechanics. It only took me one hour per side.
The 2.0-litre engine is pokey on acceleration and cruises at high speeds without any trouble.
It is best to shop around for spares. Main dealers are expensive. Minor services every six months keep everything running nicely.
I've had one since 1998 from new. I think it's brilliant - mine is quite low mileage but still drives like new.
It has no real quality or reliability problems. Servicing and parts are OK for availability and costs are reasonable. My air-con has recently been routinely re-gassed.
I like the fact it's done everything I've asked - loads of family gear and bags of room. You couldn't get a better car in my opinion, and I think mine's got lots of life in it yet!
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