Clattery when cold
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: United Kingdom
County: Greater London
Front suspension is a service item, wishbone bushes and balljoints, anti-roll bar mounts (tricky to replace as the subframe has to be dropped). Listen for creaks and knocking sounds over speed humps. The bushes are seldom completely silent so squeaks are fairly normal. Knocks and bangs indicate work needed.
The electrical system hates weak batteries, so budget for a new one if it's getting on a bit.
Heavy clutch is common. It should be reasonably light and smooth. Slave cylinders tend to fail, but they're an easy fix.
Check the turbo is functioning correctly. Power should be fairly linear with the turbo kicking in from ~2k rpm. Problems with the turbo are often no more than split actuator hose. Or, split boost hose will produce low power and clouds of smoke - the lower hose tends to rub a hole in itself against the block.
In general there should be very little smoke beyond a puff on starting.
Engine temp should be fairly constant at ~90deg once warmed up.
Gear selection should be precise and smooth, although not fast, but can get sloppy and stiff thanks to worn linkage bushes - not a big deal.
It should be delightful to drive, and if it isn't, something's not right.