I’ve owned my Epica for 6 years and it has done 65,000kms from new and have enjoyed trouble-free motoring. The car has been 100% reliable, starting first time every time. The only issue was the early recall to replace the fuel hose (no cost to me).
I’ve just had the 6-year major service carried out with new front brakes (which is not bad for 64,000kms!), and still plenty on the rear brakes. Also, the car is still on the original tyres with plenty of tread for another year of motoring.
The longer I own this car the more I appreciate it! I’ve grown used to its “quirks”, like the initial turbo-lag and the speed-sensitive power steering. The seating is comfortable & there’s plenty of space for 4, 5 in a pinch. Fuel use is still very good, averaging in the low 7l/100kms. The engine has plenty of punch and is relaxing to drive on open and country roads and freeways, just ticking over at the legal limit.
The boot is large & practical with remote opening and it’s held open by gas struts. The engine bay is well laid out and the bonnet is also held up by gas struts. I recently discovered when reading afresh the owner’s manual that the Epica is fitted with multi-link rear suspension, which wasn’t so common on cars of that era and was found on much more expensive vehicles. Overall I’m very happy with the Epica.
I know the car was very underrated and scoffed at by the motoring journalist fraternity, calling it bland etc, but then they didn’t have to pay the bills or worry about long-term durability & reliability, and this car has excelled in those areas.