1 Jun 2001
By CHRIS HARRIS
The N16 is nicer as the British-built five-door hatchback, benefiting from firmer European steering and suspension settings, a more distinctive design and a classier cabin.
But its heart is still the underwhelming 92kW/161Nm 1.8-litre DOHC 16V engine, coupled to either a five-speed manual or four-speed auto gearbox.
Available in two well-equipped models (ST and Q), an extensive facelift from November ’02 (new nose, cabin trim, wheels and tail-lights) brought improved dynamics and more safety – including standard ABS brakes.
But high prices and stiff competition limited the hatchback’s appeal.