2002 Fiat Punto Dynamic 1.2 16v


Cheap, reliable, nifty... What more can I ask?


Faulty spark plug wires had to be replaced at 80000km.

Rear drum brakes gone bad at 100000km, had to replace both.

Faulty passenger airbag connector now and then, seems it's a common fault in this model.

General Comments:

Low weight, willing engine for it's little displacement, good handling... It's pretty nice to drive. Good to very good mileage if driven carefully. Nice exhaust note.

Interior ages OK, for being cheap plastic. Good ergonomics in general lines.

Good to very good mileage if driven carefully. A much better buy than its 8 valve brothers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2009

21st Jun 2014, 11:50

I am from Egypt. I bought this car last year, a very good one, stable on the road, however its weight is light.

Its mileage is about 120,000 km now, the brakes are good, the engine is wonderful, and I can speed up from 0 to 100 in 8 seconds only, however it is only 1300 cc :-) I am satisfied with the performance, it is really better than any other car regarding its price.

The exterior shape is good, as well as the interior.

I only changed some parts, which have been consumed.

All in all, I recommend buying such a car. Thanks.

1996 Fiat Punto ELX 1.7 turbo diesel


Economical, reliable, practical, roomy and stylish


Electrical problems six months after buying the car.

Glow plugs needing replacing too often (about once a year).

General Comments:

Six months after I bought the car it had a serious electrical problem. When any kind of extra electrical consumption was needed (i.e. using the indicators, turning on the lights, brake lights, reverse lights, electrical windows, etc.) the whole electrical system would stop working completely for a second or two. It only affected the running of the engine once, but only for a couple of seconds, and as I was doing 90 km/h the engine restarted itself when the electrics came back. The problem occurred randomly, so it was impossible to pinpoint. FIAT kept the car for a week, but found nothing. I took the car to an independent garage, where they checked all the earth connexions and found a few loose. After that the fault disappeared.

I bought the car because I needed an economical way of transport, and the 1.7 TD engine has proved extremely economical, as the general maintenance of the car. It is stylish even now, and it is extremely roomy inside and bar the initial electrical problem, it has turned out to be extremely reliable, contrary to what most people think about FIATs.

Performance is not great, but then you don't expect huge acceleration from a 1.7 TD. The car is more than enough in most driving situations, and is specially swift in city traffic, thanks to short gearing. Which turns out to be a problem on the motorway. At a cruising speed of 140 km/h the engine is revving at 4000 rpm, and while the red line is still 1000 rpm away, the engine noise is just too loud for long journeys. I recently drove all the way from Belgium to Spain in a day (1423km) and the resulting headache was horrible.

The handling is OK for a small hatch, but I think that the dampers are too hard while the springs are too soft, which results in the car being uncomfortable over bumps and leaning too much on corners.

The general built quality is good, only now at more than 150000 km some cracks and squeaks start to let themselves notice in the cabin, otherwise all plastics and pieces of trim still look solid. My only complain in this respect is the bodywork. Living in Spain rust is not a problem :) but the steel is not very strong, so the car is full of micro-dents from other drivers hitting it when they open their doors in parkings and small stone-chips. And the paint on the front bumper has started to peel off near the license plate (not too serious, considering the car's age).

To sum up, a highly recommendable economical first car, that will happily do long journeys as well. FIAT was not very generous with the equipment list on this first generation, so even if they are more difficult the find, better get one of the well specced ones.

I hope this car lasts long enough (another 3-4 years) so I can afford a BMW 320td Compact or something similar.

Don't hesitate to drop a few lines if you have any questions:


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd March, 2004