1997 Fiat Coupe Reviews - Page 2 of 3

1997 Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 miles
Most recent distance81000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

A top piece of kit for not a lot of cash!!!

Faults:

2001, Nothing other than service.

2002, Car started stuttering under acceleration, dealer plugged it into the computer couldn't find problem, did service and everything was fine again (I was told at a later date by a Fiat Coupe specialist in Manchester that they have a bad habit of cooking their plugs and leads. If I knew this in 02 instead of 05, life with the coupe would have been better). Year spend was £170.

2003, Brake discs warped and replaced, passenger side wishbone replaced, car stuttering again, stops after being serviced. Reversed into outside my house by some xxxx leaving me with a dirty towbar dent on the bonnet, off to the body shop to repair, not happy, but at least getting the car bonnet sprayed gets rid of the stone chips. Year spend was £830.

2004, Timing belt service, air conditioning and brake discs again, £1500+ spent (ouch), other than that, still driving well.

2005, White smoke when car is running stationary, dealers can't tell me what wrong again! (a bad case of computer says no). Told it's possibly stem seals and it would cost approximately £800 to remove the head and investigate before even fixing the problem. After some Internet research, contacted someone who has had a bit of Coupe Turbo experience. Diagnosed the problem as the turbo. Booked the car in, problem solved at £550 for a new turbo.

Passenger wishbone again and brake discs warped again, and a few bushes replaced. Year spend £1050 (big spend, but the car feels and drives perfect).

General Comments:

Fantastic drivers car, massive top end and very good to look at. Power is effortless with masssive torque and a fantastic engine growl.

Handling is good all round and the Brembo brakes stop you in your tracks.

Inside is really quite roomy with a good sized boot and so well finished, dash switchgear etc.

The seats are not as sporting as expected, but comfy.

I owned the car for 5 years and can honestly say it has been my favorite all rounder to date (never let me down, bar the James Bond style smoke screens left behind when the turbo was on its way out). May well buy one to keep in the garage as an appreaciating classic/weekend toy if, I can persuade my wife we need to extend the garage to add another car to the vtec engined Mini and the Integrale already there.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th December, 2005

14th Dec 2005, 19:11

Wow, that's a lot of money to be throwing at an old car... do yourself a favour and buy Japanese!

1997 Fiat Coupe 2.0 20v turbo from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 20v turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Vectra

Summary:

The most sports car you can get for your money - an absolute diamond

Faults:

Please note these didn't all happen at the same time, this is an entire 3 years worth of problems.. also some advice to any owners who experience similar. Hope it's of some help!

Felt like it was misfiring when accelerating, like something was 'holding it back'. TIP for anyone else who experiences this: get hold of a tube of silicon gel (about £8) and pop a small amount under each spark plug lead cover. The spark wasn't channeling properly into the plug, the gel makes sure it does. Worth trying before you go for any major repair work.

Car juddered when braking (esp braking hard from speed).. caused by warped brake disc, very common on these cars. New brake discs can be pricey (don't forget you need to buy and replace as a pair), but it's not as urgent a job as you might think - the brakes themselves are still safe despite the warp, and it'll pass it's MOT - it's just very annoying.

Oil filter pipe detached itself - just needed a new jubilee clip and re-attaching.

One of the radiator cables promptly followed suit as per above - same problem, same solution.

Car was cutting out at low revs, and occasionally would get the electrical fault light on re-start. Fault turned out to be Lambda sensor incorrectly managing the fuel - £100 to fix, mobile auto-electrician.

General Comments:

I've just bought my second Coupe - the above review was for my last one, a 1997 P reg 20v Turbo. I guess that speaks volumes about whether or not I'd buy another.. :)

These cars are purchased for performance, handling and looks - and it doesn't disappoint in any of these areas. Standard 0-60 is 6.3secs, 155mph top speed, designed by Ferrari design house Pininfarina. I don't believe you can get a better value for money sports car than the Coupe.

Handling is superb, just be careful in the wet - 220bhp all going to the front wheels can be dangerous on a wet or slippy road.

Cabin is deceptively big - loads of room in the front, also plenty of room for 2 adults in the back and a decent size boot. It's about as practical as a sports Coupe can reasonably be expected to be.

Fuel economy better than expected - 29mpg average, I use about £40 a tank (at 95.9p a litre), which does me approx 3 or 4 hundred miles. I had a 2.5 Vectra previously which had nowhere near the power, yet used more fuel.

I've found the reliability to be excellent. The above problems all happened over 3 years, total cost of repairs was about £250 tops (plus usual servicing costs) so overall absolutely superb. I once had a Citroen Saxo from new that had a failure in the heating motor and cost over £400 in one hit, which kind of puts things in perspective.

The dreaded cambelt change - a big sticking point for a lot of potential buyers. Yep, it's a big job. Yep, it's going to be expensive. BUT if you get quoted over £1,000 - look elsewhere. Fiat dealers will tell you that you have to remove the engine - you don't. It can be lifted to one side, and can be done for around £300 if you shop around. Just make sure they do the tensioner aswell!

Quick summary - great performance, handling and looks, and excellent reliability. Clearly not as practical as a family saloon, but this is a sports Coupe we're talking about, and as this type of car goes it's as practical as they get. Above average running costs for a standard car, I'd say below average for a sports car. Pricey insurance though (group 19) but if you offset this against the cost of purchase you'll find it more than worthwhile. Hope I've been of some help.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2005

5th Apr 2006, 05:19

Good review. You buy these at peril of your licence...Yahoooo!

12th Apr 2006, 15:16

A small point Pininfarina only designed the inside, Chris Bangle did the bodywork.

25th Apr 2006, 10:04

Wallet ripper / licence killer. Wonderful car. Great device for humbling BMW drivers. I just love cruising up behind a dork in his 320, red braces, mirror shades (10pm) nice blast of the HID lights and over he goes. Can't catch you even if he wanted to.. Great car.

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 13 reviews