1998 Fiat Cinquecento Reviews - Page 2 of 2

1998 Fiat Cinquecento Sporting 1.1 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.1 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired34000 miles
Most recent distance49000 miles
Previous carFiat Cinquecento

Summary:

Great fun to drive

Faults:

Fuel tank leaking at seam (Standard recall fault, was replaced before I got it).

A good percentage of the 'consumable' items such as brake discs and pads and exhaust sections have been replaced since I got it.

Tyres, but the ones that were on it were no-name budget tyres.

Rocker cover was leaking when I got it.

All shockers replaced at 41,000 because two were leaking.

Speedometer cable - common fault causing judder on speedometer needle is due to the cable going via a difficult route on right hand drive models. Fiat dealers fit a Mk1 Uno cable and route it a different way instead of the original, unreliable two piece cable fitted to the later Cinquecento.

General Comments:

If you want a street legal Go-Kart, this is definitely the car for you. Not recommended for people who have false teeth, though, as this car also has the hardest suspension of all the cars I have ever driven. The comfortable seats and fairly sweet gearbox make up for their spartan and clunky equivalents in the basic S and intermediate SX models, although those versions are the better choice if you prefer a higher, softer, underpowered ride. The Sporting will repay you for your choice by being rather unreliable and costly in terms of body part wear, but the engine will not falter and you will love it anyway because it is SO much fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2002

1998 Fiat Cinquecento Sporting 1.1 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.1 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired29000 miles
Most recent distance36000 miles

Summary:

A big GO-KART a pleasure to drive

Faults:

Middle section of exhaust needed replacing after 33,000 miles.

Rear drums lock when left for a long time.

Rear windscreen smashed due to heater problem.

General Comments:

Despite only a 1.1 it is surprisingly nippy and pips most cars off the line.

Has a severely hot head when driving in traffic.

Drives like a GO-KART very responsive.

Fuel Consumption superb.

Great looking package for the money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2002

1998 Fiat Cinquecento Sporting 1.1 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.1 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired13000 miles
Most recent distance38000 miles
Previous carCitroen BX

Summary:

A cracking little car, does everything a small car needs to do

Faults:

Heat Shield on Cat rusted itself loose and was removed by Kwik-Fit.

Rubber engine mount fell off causing a very nasty vibration when accelerating and causing me much fear of finding out what could have been wrong (gearbox/engine) - only £50 in total as it turned out - 1 hour dealer labour plus £10 part.

Rear window wash keeps freezing.

Paint chips very badly and bodywork dents easily. Less upsetting now that car is three years old but worse than any other car I've owned and they were all at least 5 years old.

Passenger seat bar for moving seat forward and back broke off in my mother's hand.

General Comments:

Dashboard squeaks and rattles but then again it's not supposed to be a Volkswagen.

It's a fine car which does it's job well, batters down the motorway at speeds indicated up to 110mph and is fun to drive.

Big windows and little noise absorption mean it always feels like you're going fast even when you're not... this is a good thing because if you put your foot down all the time in BMW you'll be more likely to be breaking speed limits more often, in a Cinquecento you can have a riot all the time and still be within the speed limit (well some of the time anyway!)

Seats are comfy and as long as you're not carrying 5 six-footers you can genuinely take 5 people in relative comfort - helped by the fact that the passenger can sit further forward because of the absence of dashboard in front of them (there's just a little shelf)

Tyres ARE expensive but I am afraid that getting new wheels & tyres might compromise the fun handling. However I have found my local dealer supplying Pirellis for £50 fitted as opposed to Kwik-Fit's £70-odd (£67 plus 'valves & balancing' how on earth you're supposed to fit a tyre without valves and balancing I don't know)

Fuel consumption good as long as you don't spend every single minute thrashing it, but even then it's still better than my last 2 cars.

The boot although small is a wonderful boxy shape when the seats are down and takes a surprising amount of stuff - more than any other car I've had other than my Citroen BX.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th June, 2001

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 6 reviews