Advantages Comfortably smooth, cost effectively elegant, superbly designed
Disadvantages Poor economy, some naff dealers, not suited for the tall
Where we live, we see lots of Picasso's, loads of Scenics, far too many ugly (but fairly ingeneous) Zafiras and all too many Galaxy-esque tanks and the like. We rarely see any Tinos!! Even though we've been looking at purchasing one for 18 months, we STILL don't see many.Anyway to the car:- We took delivery just 3 weeks ago, but we nearly purchased from a different maker JUST BECAUSE of the service we "didn't" get from our local dealer. He/they were just incredibly unhelpul, objectional, condescending and even rude. We found throughout our extensive car search, that many dealers, of varying manufacturers were like that too.
By recommendation, we travelled 15 miles to a caring (or seemingly so) alternative dealer, DON'T be put off by bad service. Search your car first, test drive - THEN search for the supplier.So, back to these cars, (sorry mini-MPVs). They are simply magnificent, well designed, nicely equipped and are also very refined for what they cost. Their value for money is great, especially the "SE Extras" (basically the SVE specification, without ESP, and SatNav).
After seeing the older pre-2003 Tino's it was a good job that we waited for the new interior design gurus to reformat the styling too, making the price of the new shiny model very attractive indeed. (Actually even better value than "Second-hand" demonstrators, because of all the extra benefits of buying new). We have NEVER done it before because we didn't believe in it until the special price of the Tino caught our eye on the internet!We looked at several alternatives e.g. Daewoo Tacuma, Skoda Fabia Estate. For the nearest equivelant spec, they would BOTH have cost us MORE with less features and benefits and less credibility and re-sale value.
It has to be said that Tino's are bit basic-looking from the back and therefore a bit too grand from the front by comparison. However, these cars boast more than what could be expected from cars in this class. I mean, have you seen the Fiat Multipla? What are they like? Would those with kids REALLY want a sprogg between mum and dad in the front seat?As for Body roll, well the centre of gravity may be higher, but it is definately more solid than any of its competitors. Anyway, you're not buying this type of vehicle to race in, are you? What are they worried about. As for "struggling when laden", well, I've had a car full and still it out-perfomes any car I had before, namely 1.6 Primera's, and 1.6 405's. I'd like to know what cars these people are used to driving. Maclaren F1's?!
To sum up, this car has changed our lives. My wife actually wants to drive now, her mum can get in and out very easily, and the kids are so much more comfortable and they can see out. It is the best family investment we have made.There are some niggles though:-
1: The boot could have been slightly bigger/better laid out, in my opinion, but is ok for most applications.2: There is no Glove compartment light
3: The boot "parcel shelf" doesn't fit perfectly, by design fault, but most other components/fixtures fit snug.We would all recommend an Almera Tino to anyone, who is looking to change up/down to a small MPV. Buy this motor! You will not regret it, nor will your pocket,
(that is, unless you want a diesel - but they cost much more to buy and maintainance costs are higher, and the fuel savings would probably take about 4 to 5 years to re-coupe because the initial spend would be much greater!)
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