Fiat Punto 1.2 ELX Review

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  • Performance

  • Practicality

  • Reliability

  • Value For Money

Ieuanfawr's review of Fiat Punto 1.2 ELX

★★★★★

“I had my 98 85ELX 16v from new, and have just sold it...”

Written on: 15/03/2006 by Ieuanfawr (68 reviews written)

Good Points
Superb twin cam engine, good fuel consumption, comfortable and quite quiet, turning circle tighter than the MkII.

Bad Points
Needs frequent servicing, re-fuelling was always slow at the petrol pump, handbrake needed maximum travel to hold the car. The lack of intermittent rear wiper always annoyed me as the rear window suffered from spray from the rear wheels. Lack of handy storage space.

General Comments
I had my 98 85ELX 16v from new, and have just sold it after 8 years almost 120,000miles.



The only failure which needed the RAC was a battery failure after 5 years.



Most things just wore out. The rear windscreen wiper motor failed at about 60K, the front disks and rear suspension bearings were replaced about 70K, and clutch at about 95K. There was leak from a rear brake pipe at about 80K, but this was replaced while under recall for replacement pipes hidden by the fuel tank. At the 99K service, the NSF strut was and an engine mounting were replaced and the radiator fan repaired. The service at 72K was expensive, but included a new timing belt and change of brake fluid.



The central locking on the NSR door failed but I think a passenger caused that by messing about with the plunger. At 117K a new set of HT leads cured a misfire. The hinges of the glove box broke (which lacks a light).



Tyre life was good, with the fronts doing about 30K and the rears lasting much longer. Brake pad life OK - changed at services.



The only rust was over the windscreen, and there were no electrical faults. In fact most the light bulbs were original. All five doors still shut as new.



At the last MOT it needed a new driver's seat belt, rear dampers, OSF strut and a new steering column (worn bearings).

  • 1998

    Year Manufactured

  • since new

    Length of ownership

  • 5 door

    Doors

  • Performance

  • Practicality

  • Reliability

  • Value For Money

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Ivan1890's Response to Ieuanfawr's Review

Written on: 16/03/2006

I think that you have done very well with this car and it has paid for itself. Most of the things which wore out you would expect to wear out at the mileages you have indicated. (Had you purchased ANY small car in the 1960's you would have expected major repairs before 70k!) I purchased the 2005 version four months ago as my daughter's first car, and as a city car for the family, and we have all been delighted with it. It replaced a Ford 'Ka' (reviewed on this site) which we purchased new and sold a few months later as Ford were unable to to stop it 'pinking.' The Fiat is a lovely little car which we regularly run at 70-75 mph for long periods and the car's timing has remained spot on for over 5k miles to date. We have not noticed any faults (not even minor ones) and I will change the oil and filter in 1k miles even though I think that the service interval is 12k miles. I hope that our little car serves us as well as yours did. Thank you for an informative review.

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Ebonygpg's Response to Ieuanfawr's Review

Written on: 06/07/2006

The mileage on my vehicle was very high when I purchased it and I didn't associate this with the amount of repairs that it needed after I purchased it, so alot of it was due to wear & tear. I just automatically assumed that the Punto was a useless car!!

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Ieuanfawr's Response to Ieuanfawr's Review

Written on: 20/03/2006

Hi, ivan1890,
The 85ELX was my second Punto. I previously had a '95M 8v 75SX from new for three years. I was so impressed I moved up to the much higher spec'd 85ELX. It has been very good, reliable and free from any unexpected failures.
I currently have an '02 plate basic 3dr MkII 1.2, which seems to be just as reliable, but oh! how I miss the free revving twin cam engine with a surge at 4k revs, the electric sun roof, full instruments and the footrest to the left of the clutch pedal! The MkII has a bigger turning circle - I can just make the turn into my drive without reversing whereas the it was no problem in the MkI.
The other issue is that the Fiat dealers seem to have improved considerably in the last few years. In the late 90s, Fiat dealers seemed to be closing and opening every week.
The Punto Grande looks good and is selling well, but I'm looking a new diesel Citroën C4 or a diesel VW Golf if my funds will stretch.
All the best with your Punto.

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