1998 Fiat Marea Weekend ELX 1.8 16v from UK and Ireland


Practical, good looking family car


Steering rack is worn & makes a knocking noise when going over bumps. Due to this the off side front tire is wearing out on the off side shoulder.

Engine sounds very course, but gets slighter better when the engine has warmed up.

Tailgate requires a firm slam to shut properly, as near side catch often fails to connect.

Slight bubbling on the plastic part of the roof bars.

Slight rust starting at top of the windscreen & rear window.

Cassette flap refuses to work, so it is constantly in the up position.

Ash-tray hinge has broken.

General Comments:

The Weekend is a good all round family car.

Could do with a bit more space in the backseats.

Good performance & handling & surprisingly good mpg over longer trips.

Great styling, probably the best looking estate car I have seen.

Flip down rear bumper prevents you from putting a standard tow bar on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2004

1998 Fiat Marea HLX 2.0 20 Valve from UK and Ireland


Nice looking, inexpensive GTI beater!


The engine under tray started bouncing off speed bumps as the fixings were worn so I had to replace it.

For a while there was a strange squealing noise when the car was in motion which only stopped when braking. After having the brakes checked and de-scaled it was still happening. Has stopped now although I have had pads and discs replaced for MOT.

Clutch slave cylinder had to be replaced, thankfully this was covered by the extended warranty.

One of the anti-roll bar links needs to be replaced as it's causing another knocking noise when travelling over bumps. Thankfully it's not the under tray again though. The dealer says this isn't expensive.

General Comments:

This is a subtle car which doesn't really stand out from the crowd. As a result you'll get the odd Golf GTI or Mini Cooper trying to out accelerate you at the lights. Take comfort when you see them a good few car lengths behind, wondering why.

The car handles fairly well, but it definitely isn't on rails. Don't floor it on a corner unless you plan to travel in the ditch.

Fuel consumption is reasonable if you don't thrash it and the ride is comfortable.

The car feels solid enough, but I'm sticking to the service schedules rigorously to be safe.

Overall a nice car to own and very inexpensive to acquire due to heavy depreciation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th January, 2004

1998 Fiat Marea Weekend 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Good looking and comfortable estate at an excellent price


The rear window washer has failed - the cause is not yet known.

The rear wiper motor failed at 101000 miles.

The heated rear window has never worked since I have owned the car.

This car had been regularly serviced by a leasing company, yet the camshaft drive belt failed within 3 months of ownership. The camshaft drive belt slipped and allowed the car to drive pistons into valves before failing completely. A new engine was fitted.

There is an on-going fault which I have not been able to diagnose yet where the car tends to wander. The following items have been checked and found to be good: tracking, wheel alignment, tire pressures and suspension units. This fault persists. The fault gives the impression of driving in a gusty cross-wind. The car drives along and then changes course requiring a steering input. If anyone has any ideas I would be grateful to receive them.

General Comments:

This car is generally comfortable for long journeys and returns what I believe is a fair fuel consumption.

Apart from the steering problem which tends to make the car feel as though it is over steering on fast left-hand corners, it handles very well for an estate and has never given me any nasty surprises.

This car looks incredibly sexy from the front.

The drop-down tailgate is an absolute delight.

The Fiat radio is somewhat lacking where weaker signals are concerned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2003

28th Nov 2009, 05:30

I had the problem with wandering and swapped both wishbones - problem solved and they're not expensive if you avoid the main dealer! The rubber parts had perished, but not enough for an MOT fail.