First post and its a question!
I have just bought a 1.8 SRI (2000) and today I noticed an issue that seemed similar to a problem with another 1.8 (Comfort) I test drove. At around 3.5-4000rpm that engine seems to restrict and not want to rev harder (in the car i test drove it actually caused the car to lurch slightly at similar revs). This means in 5th gear at 80 i have nowhere to go, and acceleration is not as good i would expect given the paper figure of 8.5 0-60 (it actually doesn't feel a whole lot faster than my 1.6 16V CD).
I also noticed this week that the temp gauge seems rarely to lift off zero, although when I deliberately tried to rev harder today it rose to about 20% and quickly dropped after I dropped the revs. I have not really worked the engine much since I bought it a week ago.
I mentioned the issue I had in the test drive car to the seller and they said it was because it hadn't been driven for a while and the valves were probably slightly gunged up - in conjunction with patchy SH and a seller who had quickly gotten rid of it i decided to walk away from that one. This one seemed fine but now I am not so sure - any suggestions?