Lancia Prisma Review from Finland

1987 Lancia Prisma 1.6 injection

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.6 injection Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired231000 kilometres
Most recent distance261000 kilometres
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

A real driver's machine!

Faults:

Rear brakes: New discs and pads, and new gaskets on the calipers at 231000km.

Both outer CV-joints replaced at 231000km.

New handbrake cable.

All doors were welded with new self-made parts (new parts were not available.)

Some rust-fixes on body, but surprisingly few considering it had been on Finnish salted roads for 14 years.

New light switch.

Electric window switches needed cleaning.

Front wheel bearings replaced at 259000km.

Front brake disks and pads replaced at 259000km.

Fuel pump (Bosch!) replaced at 235000km.

Front stabilizer bar bushes replaced at 239000km.

Water pump replaced at 240000km.

General Comments:

This car has been very heavily abused by its previous owners, so there were some damages on oil- and floorpans, which I had to fix when I got the car.

Lancias have much worse reputation than they deserve, so it's possible to find one for almost nothing. A drawback is, that since they are cheap, they're often very badly maintained, and good performance gets some of them abused.

Front seats would be comfortable, if I had shorter legs (I'm 178cm tall), these cars are still built for the "Italian ape," though once I get used to the driving position, it's quite comfortable.

The handling is better than any stock car I've ever driven, and performance beats even many newer cars easily, still the economy is surprisingly good.

Build quality is not too good, and some parts can be a pain to find, but for me it's still acceptable for this kind of performance and individuality. This has been the only FWD-car I've really liked to drive - Lancia has shown it's possible to make a FWD car for enthusiastic drivers!

If you're looking for something with great performance and handling, and are not afraid of doing some small repairs, look for a Prisma 1.6 or 2.0 - and if you can find one without serious rust problems, get it at once!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th May, 2003

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 1 review