1991 Fiat 126 from Poland


Funny, but not reliable


Leaking oil.

Problems with electrics (especially with ignition.)

Suspension is not reliable.

General Comments:

This car is not suported for long journeys. Engine is not reliable - performance is poor, but nobody expects miracles from a 650cc . Driving can be fun.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th October, 2003

7th Apr 2006, 08:34

You get what you pay for. They will never match a Porsche, but are a little cheaper.

1991 Fiat 126 Bis 703 from UK and Ireland


If the SMART is SMART.. then the Bis is a GeniousIf the SMART maybe smart, but The Bis is the Biz


Although better in every other respect over the 126 aircooled model... engine overheating in the Bis model was quite common. An additional radiator concealed in the front bumper allowed a trip to the South of France (and back!) at full speed ie 70-80 mph! Wooooe! No troubles with anything else....yet.

General Comments:

Not fast and not flash, but this car ALWAYS gets the 'thumbs up' wherever it goes! In my opinion, one of the most ingenious pieces of design ever to roll out of a car factory! Seceinto Sporting (with air-con and airbags..) is incredulous too, but am still hanging on to the 126 Bis - an absolute classic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th August, 2002

13th Aug 2006, 03:33

I just bought a non-runner 126 bis and found out that Haynes don't do a manual for the 700cc water cooled version. Have you found one?

22nd Aug 2006, 07:55

I also have a126 bis. I have recently discovered the mania surrounding the car in its native Poland. After getting the delicate gearbox rebuilt (€440) I have got it running. It was parked up for over a year. After much agonising and advice from various parties the fix was particularly technical. I applied Newtons method to it and dropped a relay on the ground. Bingo, started first time. I could not find a Haynes manual for the model, but using the edition for the air cooled car and some exploration it all becomes quite straightforward. The best part of this car is really its size, and a strong friend to lift it onto the axle stands. In what other car can you touch all four wheel arches from the drivers seat. My biggest problem though is under steer. All that is left for me is to put it through the test. (it only took four go's last time...

1991 Fiat 126 Personal from Australia and New Zealand


Great fun to drive, yet extremely economical


Ignition switch blew at 90,000 kilometres.

Bumper bars faded (now as new thanks to a special plastic bumper spray).

Some petrol leaks from the carburetter were easily fixed with a new gasket kit.

General Comments:

Overall, this car is great fun to drive, with unrivalled manoeuvrability and a wonderful roar from the air cooled, two cylinder engine.

The little Fiat provides the enjoyment of driving as fast as you can, without getting speeding fines!

Steering is direct yet light, complementing the extremely tight turning circle.

Acceleration is excellent from first to third gear, but slower in fourth gear.

Fuel economy is stunning (16 kilometres per litre, city cycle), even when driven enthusiastically.

Handling is excellent, with a playful tendency to oversteer in wet weather.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2001

29th Oct 2001, 06:12

This is probably the least powerful car you can get to oversteer on demand - every 17 year old should get some instruction in one... Great fun!

1991 Fiat 126 bis 0.7 from Turkey


Good for people who need to save money


Fuel supply problem occurred at 85.000 km.

Water cooling system started to lose water at 83.000 km.

Because of a cooling system fault, the engine started overheating.

General Comments:

It's a cheap and economic car to drive. Due to its size, it's quite ideal for Istanbul traffic and it's so good at parking.

Not fast or comfortable, but reliable, it offers easy driving, and a good view for its class...

Very economic fuel consumption.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2001

1991 Fiat 126 Bis 0.7 from UK and Ireland


A very cheap run around, if a little small!


These cars have a reputation for being unreliable, however, if you look after them not that much goes wrong, other than normal wear and tear.

When I purchased the car the cylinder head gasket had gone! This was down the fact that the correct servicing schedule had not been maintained; the head bolts need to be tightened down at every service as they tend to loosen due to poor design, thus ruining the gasket. In Europe a 700cc Cinquecento is available (using the same engine) with an updated head, during one of my regular trips to Spain, I obtained one of these cylinder heads with the new specification gasket and I have not had any problems since!

The car uses quite a few rear tyres, I tend to get 15,000 miles out of them.

The driver's door handle broke on one occasion and I spent about a month getting in and out through the passenger door. The handle is the same as is fitted to the Cinquecento, so eventually I found one in a scrap yard and fixed it.

I have been through three clutches! And countless hoses for the cooling system, particularly the one that runs to the front of the car.

General Comments:

This car, despite its diminutive size, is really rather good. It is very cheap to run and is ideal for London traffic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th June, 2001

15th Dec 2005, 15:04

According to your review you have travelled 71,000 miles in your 126 since you aquired it. My hat is off to you sir. I thought my 3,000 miles a month in one was maverik, but I have a couple more years to go to compete.

1991 Fiat 126 bis 0.7 from UK and Ireland


Tiny and slow, but lovable


A few things were "fixed" before the actual problem of a dodgy choke was identifed.

Rear hatch lock broke - trying to replace it meant contacting the Fiat Owners Club.

One electrical fault.

General Comments:

This was my first car and despite the problems I have had with it I love it. If Fiat UK still did more parts for the car, owning it would be a breeze. My local dealer at least is pretty useless when it comes to this model.

Not one to get if you like comfort - but a cinch to park.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th November, 2000

4th Jan 2001, 10:04

Tip here: If you are having problems finding parts. Try speaking to any garages in the area which used to be Lada dealers, you may find quite a few of the parts (esp. electrical) are interchangable.

13th Jan 2001, 15:33

We have a 1989 21,000 mile car, always fixing something but have no problems getting parts from our local Fiat dealer in Kingston upon Hull.

Clutch seems to be the weak link, now on second replacement! Lucky you can lift out the engine by hand!

1991 Fiat 126 E 0.65 super from F.Y.R.O. Macedonia


Almost everything:

The engine head had to be repaired at 30,000.

The stearing wheel head got loose (corrosion).

Suspension was long gone at 40,000.

Key ignition got stuck.....

Twice changed clutch, 30,000 and 40,000.

General Comments:

Very cheap buy...

Inexpensive repairs. Almost anybody can do it.

Air cooled engine at the rear.

Great sound, great feeling to drive it on snow or ice.

As a fun car it is really good.

low fuel consumption beats Fiat 750.

I like it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th January, 1999