1998 Fiat Barchetta 98 LE 1.8 from UK and Ireland
A unique retro-modern roadster with character
Variator is starting to get noisy on start up, noise disappears after a few seconds.
Apart from that very reliable.
Lots of stone chips at the front, paintwork seems a little fragile.
Car is fun to drive even at slow speeds. Handling rewards smooth and committed driving, can be upset by sudden lift-off in corners. Handling is best on smooth roads, mid-corner bumps are just about tolerated.
Engine performance is adequate rather than amazing. Is better than a standard MGF 1.8 and MX5 1.6 and 1.8 (v1.0). Sounds much, much better with a performance exhaust! More Italian.
The interior and exterior is eye-catching with many unique design features, including the aluminium pop-out door handles, smooth integrated tonneau cover and pert rear end!
The front and rear end also incorporates discrete underbody spoilers, which don't spoil the look.
The boot is big enough for double digit holidays to europe for two - if you pack economically. There is loads of space behind the seats and under the tonneau area (where we managed to store 12 bottles of french wine...)
You won't get so much styling and practicality for the price.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th May, 2002