seeing this a lot on all n16s! in terms of an MOT failure unless the cross member is actually split or cracked right through, hole however big is a pass and advise only. A local garage to us failed a car for a cross member then another passed and advised. vosa got involved, and sided with the pass and advise. most should pass and advise unless its pretty much parting company from the car!
Hate to resurrect an old thread but Almeras do rust: came across this thread when googling because my sump has rusted through! The crossmember on my 2003 N16 had completely rusted through and crumbled in my hands. Not surprised it failed the MOT. It didn't the previous year and no advisory either. I had to buy one on ebay for about £30. Drilled out the 100 or so spot welds and got my neighbour to weld the replacement in.
It is poor design and manufacture. If they are going to rust like this they should make it easier by having a bolt on approach
The sump is a pain to remove as the exhaust needs removing. Had to take the sump off earlier this year to replace the timing chain - not an easy job in itself