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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I have the car for about 8 months now in which it has done about 9000 km. It has seen Belgian cobbles, regular city roads, highways, mountains and Germany :). The misses and I both drive it equally frequent, but the misses has a heavier foot.

We previously drove a 1993 Concerto, which was in bad condition.

Exterior
Stunning. All I can say. No scratches yet in the Milano Red paint. I suspect that Belgian roads are in better condition than the UK ones?

Engine, suspension, tyres
The 1400cc, 100bhp, 124 Nm engine is more powerfull than you'd expect. It occasionally thrashes a BMW 118d, plus it really like high revs, so a grinn is still involved from time to time. Engine noise -overall- doesn't exceed road noise when cruising (not accelerating). Spirited driving delivers around 7 L/100 km.

The engine doesn't like a full car, stuffed trunk and mountains, though. On smaller roads, only 2nd and 3rd gear are usefull (speeds up to 70 kph) as 4th gear would work in much the same way as applying the breaks. On larger roads, it was sometimes hard to get along in 4th gear @ 90 kph. On highways, 5th and 6th gear are worthless. In the lower gears, you're actually getting along nicely. In fact, it was getting there faster than most of the other cars. Fuel consumption is around 6 L/100 km. It's actually not that bad in the mountains, just keep it above 4000 rpm.

The ride is sometimes bumpy, but good overall. Road noise could be less, but good enough for a £ 14 000 car. You can still talk and understand each other, without the need for shouting. Steering precision, road grip and road feedback with the Bridgestone Turanzas is very good, even when raining. Wear on the Turanzas is a bit disappointing, but you get grip in stead.

To this day, there is almost no oil consumption.

Interior, Sound
The doors make a rather clunky sound when closed. Padding the insides with Vibroplast and an egg-box like isolation material does lot's of good.

The front seats are firm, but adequatly comfortable. When cornering fast, they keep you in place without much effort. Rear seats are softer and nicer to sit in, but don't hold up right in the corners like the front ones.

The dashboard looks futuristic and tied together, but is is mainly built out of very cheap plastic. I scratched several panels while dusting it with a linen cloth (not joking).

Loudspeakers are small and underpowered, but the head unit is good and I love the USB and AUX connectivity. Virboplast + isolation improves the lower frequencies of the puny speakers to an acceptable level.

Placement of the controls is good. There's a music cluster, air circulation cluster and an electronic i-never-use-it cluster (vsa toggle, rear demistifier toggle, parking sensor toggle,..). Everything is well within reach and after a couple of weeks, you almost never take your eyes off the road. Also, I have a button which does nothing. My dealer said it was for the head light washers -which I don't have- and was surprised it was there.

There is a vast amount of room in the front AND the back, compared to even lots of the larger cars. The trunk is larger than cars in the same category and has an extra 12V power socket, a hidden section (for optional spare wheel) and 6 or so hooks to... er.. hmm.. attach stuff? I tried fitting a full sized spare wheel in there, but it takes up the whole floor. Not recommended.

Rattles and faults
No rattles. 1 fault.

Sometimes, opening the door with the key fob, doesn't work. I takes up to 2 minutes for the car to "get" the command. ICU, lock and cable trees are allready replaced. The problem still occurs, but is far less frequent. You can still open the door by putting the key in the lock and turning it :)

Others
Anything I've forgot?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Is this still usefull?
 

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Nice report,cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
We went to France, the other week on a holiday. There were four people in the car and a full boot (and rear seats). At no point of the 13 hour drive, any of us was uncomfortable. The engine did rather well, too. Always went along fine with traffic, with reserve. It had some difficulties in the mountains in 6th, but 4th gear fixed that. No such problems on the way back. Finally feels "driven in". Averaged at 6.6 L/100 km (42.8 MPG).

Also found out that Shell and Total fuels deliver more power than Esso and Intermarché (whatever the f... that is).

We're at 12 500 km now, by the way.
 

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Excellent report Chillidog!!!

I have a 1.4 aswell which I've had for 3 weeks now and find it fine for driving and is definately suited for the journeys I do which is mainly town.
 
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