1996 Fiat Tempra S.W. 1.6 i.e. Liberty 1.6 m.p.i. (159B9.000)
A no-nonsense value for money performer
Nothing has gone really wrong, the car hasn't failed on me. There are a couple of issues though, some are minor and some are normal for a car of this mileage.
Lambda sensor needs replacing. That's a part which will cost around 150 euro.
Inner gaiters are leaking (this is considered a common fault in Fiat Tipo's and Tempra's, so I don't know if this is bad)
One forward brake hose needs replacing due to tire coming in contact with it.
The glass of the windhield seems a bit soft: there are lots of damages from small stones/sand. But it could well be that this car was always driven fast.
The former owner has had more servicing between 120k and 160k km:
Front shock absorbers.
This car is my first car, and I love it.
I paid 1700 euro's for it and without any troubles it has taken me 11000 km in six months.
With the tinted glass and alloy wheels she has the looks of an Italian designer luxury car while in reality she really is a very roomy and economical Fiat. Although you notice that the design is of the early nineties, the styling is still very appealing. It is not a car that you see much in Holland, but the comments I receive are very positive. The 'Rosso Bright' metallic lacque really holds up to its name: colour and brightness are as new.
I like the design of the dashboard, especially the (fake) wood panels and ashtray. The interior has it's crackles, but is more exciting than modern Japanese and German car's.
My engine has the air intake of the 1.8 and 2.0 engines, as well as a more modern multi-point injection engine delivering a not so earth shattering 90bhp. (Most Tempra's and Tipo's offer only a single-point injection engine which results in a somewhat worse fuel economy).
I fitted Champion "CC" (double copper) spark plugs which noticeably increased my engine's smoothness. The engine compartment is very friendly for servicing as there is a lot of space to work.
It uses a litre of oil every 7000 km or so, a bit high. But I use it mostly for city traffic so that probably is of relevance here.
The car is quite amazing in its performance: the torque peak at 3000 RPM keeps you ahead of most other popular cars when the traffic light hits green. This is even so with the 1.6 engine. On the highway this is a different story, however. It takes quite a time (in fourth gear) to accelerate from 80 km/h to 120 km/h for example.
I find that the break servo is not as powerful as I would like: it really takes a lot of force on the pedal to even try to lock the wheels. That could also have to do with the Michelin Energy XT2 tires (185/60 R14), which really are performers and have lots of grip under slippery conditions. The Tempra steers very precisely and has a very solid feeling cornering the highway exits at 70-80 km/h.
Since I started driving this car, I really like Fiat. When I can afford it I will surely opt for a nice Fiat Coup
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th August, 2002