1987 Fiat Uno 70 SL 1.3


Fun to drive


The car had had a lot of work on it before I bought it (new clutch etc).

In recent times I have had trouble with fuel leaks from the carburettor area - mainly due to hose clamps working loose, but also due to gunk in the fuel tank working through to the carburettor. The car has only cost me $300 in maintenance in two years though, so well worth it!

One thing I would not recommend is buying any Fiat with electric windows. The switches have cheap plastic in them which tends to melt on the circuit board. Unless you want to spend a lot of time with a soldering iron, try for one without electrics.

General Comments:

Despite the shoe-box comments, it has been a great first car, extremely nippy and economical.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2002

1988 Fiat Uno Turbo 1.3L turbo


Rapid and economical


I had to replace the clutch, but that is not really a fault.

The inlet manifold gasket was leaking and needed replacing.

Boost hose split.

The gearbox needs replacing, but if I didn't own it, it would be OK!

General Comments:

This is a very fast, fun car to drive.

This is a very noisy and rattly car to drive. Its got a harsh ride.

Handles OK at best, but very predictable.

The brakes are adequate if good pads are used.

Its very economical for the performance it gives. Its very reliable.

Its easy to modify and the engine will last a long time, its very strong.

You have to be easy on the gearbox.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2002

1987 Fiat Uno 45 Sting 903cc 4 cylinder


Economic town car


Rust around the doors and around 45 symbol at the rear.

Needed new water pump at 60000 miles.

General Comments:

An extremely reliable car, 60000 miles and very few things needed fixing.

Fuel economy is excellent, I've been getting up to 600km on one tank (30 litre tank) you can't go wrong here.

Lacks grunt, but will surprise you for the size of its motor, haven't met a 1000cc mini that'll beat it.

Body roll was excessive when cornering, but that was soon fixed by changing the springs to harder ones, now it corners like there is no corner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2002

1988 Fiat Uno 70SL 1.3


Reliable versatile stylish Italian workhorse


Electrical fault while driving at night caused total shutdown of engine and lights. However restarted immediately and I was able to carry on my journey. This never occurred again while I owned it.

Rust around factory-fitted sunroof, which necessitated three trips to the panel-beater over five years.

Front seat upholstery wore through at 100,000 km.

Plastic clip attaching rear compartment cover to hatch door snapped.

Body roll significant.

General Comments:

An extremely reliable and fuel-efficient car which achieved 42 miles per gallon on the open road.

Lacked a bit of power especially in upper revs and never got up to its claimed maximum speed of 165 km/h.

Nice tall driving position although sunroof limits headroom. I am 179 cm in height and my head scraped the ceiling.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th April, 2002

1986 Fiat Uno 60 1.1 SOHC petrol


An excellent value-for-money choice


Blocked carburettor jets; didn't immobilise the car since it has a two-barrel Solex carb.

The gearbox has always had the same fault: 4th gear is sometimes hard to engage, whines in 1st and 4th.

Originally burnt lots of oil due to past overheating damage to the piston rings. This was in turn caused by a failed thermostat, which also led to a blown head gasket. I'm happy to say that none of these problems has occurred while I've had the car.

General Comments:

The Fiat Uno, especially in '60' form, is a superb no-nonsense small car.

I bought my car for $11, that's less than four quid. I drove it home, and set to work on the smokey engine and rusty doors.

Performance is very adequate and easily on a par with 1.3 litre Japanese cars of a similar age.

The styling is especially pleasing. The lines are simple and crisp, and there is a purity in details like the A-pillar and the rear doors (with no triangular quarterlight). The styling is also extremely functional: wind noise is very low, interior space is superb.

The '60' is a base model, the name denotes 60 bhp. This is a good state of tune from the 1116cc engine, resulting from a 9:1 compression ratio, twin-barrel progressive carburettor, twin downpipe exhaust, and electronic ignition. What this means is a good blend of economy, torque, and smooth driving. The engine noise is low and there are no 'boom' tendencies (unlike older FIAT and British Leyland models I have owned.)

One of the weaker features is the gearbox, which is only a 4-speed in the '60', and which suffers from poor synchromesh and internal wear giving loose gear shifting. Much - but not all - of this can be cured with new gearchange linkage bushes. The main design fault with the gearbox is the use of rubber driveshaft boots (on the swinging driveshafts) to keep the gearbox oil in (they don't).

The worst feature is RUST, especially in the door panel bottom edges, where the skin is folded over in an inch-deep band. The door bottom itself doesn't rust, because the factory rustproofing is excellent. But the folded-over edge will ALWAYS rust, no matter what.

Rust in front wings/bonnet/tailgate is less of a problem since those parts are easily replaced, whereas doors are expensive. The structural parts (sills, pillars) are much less likely to rust, again because of the factory rustproofing.

The interior is an excellent design, its ingenuity surpassing FIAT's later models. The trim and instruments in the '60' (or the '45') are very basic, but easily upgraded with those from a '70S' or '70SL'. The seats are very comfortable. Vision is superb, with the rear wiper/washer improving safety in wet conditions.

One fault with the Uno in general is a flimsy feeling; a characteristic shake when potholes are driven over, and a tinny feeling when closing the doors.

Electrics are not especially robust, although well-designed. I have never had any problems, but many owners have difficulties with poor earthing at lights and moisture-damaged fuseholders.

The 1116cc engine is noticeably smoother than the 1301cc, but the 999cc is more economical than either. The 1116cc, however, has a more responsive quality than the 999cc which makes it worth the extra fuel.

I have owned three Unos and driven four others, two of those drove very badly.

I would recommend the Uno to anyone contemplating a good-value hatchback, maybe as a second car. However, a test drive is essential to feel how well the car steers, brakes, and accelerates. Heavy steering, poor braking, and 'flat spots' respectively can be very time-consuming to rectify and there will be many other examples available...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2001

1986 Fiat Uno Turbo i.e. 1.3i turbo petrol


Light and powerful, yum!


Clutch cable every 12 months, but I couldn't afford an original.

CV boot.

Some rust in the driver's door/sill.

Flaking paint.

General Comments:

A very quick and very underrated hatch. Handling is beautifully balanced and will 4 wheel drift all day, although won't liftoff oversteer (boo hoo).

The tighter the road the better. Brakes could be better but are fine for everything apart from repeated HIGH speed decelerations and are over-served.

Engine is fabulous and whoever says Italian turbo charged cars are unreliable probably hasn't looked after it. Feed it Mobil 1 regularly and be nice from cold.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2000