1990 Fiat 126 Reviews

1990 Fiat 126 Niki 650 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 650 Manual
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.5 / 10
Distance when acquired62000 kilometres
Most recent distance64000 kilometres

Summary:

Most loved of all the cars I've owned

Faults:

Gearbox linkages.

Battery.

General Comments:

In Australia it's called the FSM Niki, but it is basically a Fiat 126. What can I say... it's the best car I've ever owned. Definitely the slowest and cheapest, but always put a smile on my face, and those of the people around me.

I always got a wave from the people who knew what the car was, and sometimes from those who didn't.

Overall quality of the car was terrible, with the car in need of a paint job, and the interior falling to pieces.

Sold it a few months ago because the gearbox linkages moved out of alignment, which meant I couldn't get any gears properly, and didn't have the (very small) amount of money needed for the repairs.

Other than that, if given the opportunity, I'd definitely buy another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd December, 2007

1990 Fiat 126 BIS special 703 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 703 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 2 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired35000 miles
Most recent distance50000 miles
Previous carHonda Prelude

Summary:

Brilliant machine for everyday commuting

Faults:

Bottom hose perished, causing coolant loss, resulting in head gasket failure.

Petrol pipe perished affecting fuel economy due to fuel loss.

Broke down due to debris in the fuel line causing a blocked carburettor.

Heater blower switch melted.

Drivers seat fabric worn through to the sponge.

Distributor cap disappeared, but car continued to run.

General Comments:

Very compact and neat appearance.

Very economical, averaging 68 miles per gallon.

Brakes are a bit prehistoric, but you learn to anticipate hazards and drive accordingly.

Causes great amusement to pedestrians, and great embarrassment to teenage passengers.

Tires are very cheap to replace.

It will accelerate away from the lights very rapidly up to 35 miles per hour. After this the performance fades somewhat, but this doesn't matter too much because by this time you have to start braking for the next hazard.

The quarter light windows in the front are superb for air conditioning.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2003

29th May 2005, 14:16

I used to have one. Here in Poland they're still quite common. It's very cheap car, also cheap to run and maintain. Every mechanic can fix it. Maybe it's not roomy, comfortable, fast and prestigious, but it's a special car. I miss my 126... It's also fun to drive on sand or gravel, you can feel like Colin McRae or Carlos Sainz :D Regards from Poland!

1990 Fiat 126 BIS 704cc from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 704cc Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired42982 miles
Most recent distance44560 miles

Summary:

My all time favorite character car

Faults:

Starting problems due to previous owner fiddling with distributor and timing.

Connections on lights corroding (easily solved with connection cleaner spray)

"Flat spot" when accelerator is pushed in at a certain area.

HT leads burned against exhaust because they were not tied up properly inside, causing sparks!

General Comments:

This car is for people who like some character in their car. If you don't like the 126 I suggest getting yourself something boring and give the 126 to someone who will appreciate it.

It's a great little car, fun to drive and cheap to run. Ideal for amateur enthusiasts or "DIY mechanics".

Although fuel economy is low and parts are cheap, I have had to spend quite a bit of money and maintenance here and there. Being able to do it yourself is the key because otherwise your garage will see more of your car than you do. The answer is to look after it and treat it well and you will get the maximum performance, reliability and fun out of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th May, 2003

Average review marks: 5.2 / 10, based on 3 reviews