1998 Fiat Marea ELX Lusso 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Learn the lesson, forget anything to do with Marea or Fiat!


Brake fluid cap was left off after the PDI and leaked inside the engine cabin.

Brake fluid leaked from the car totally after 20 miles due to a leaking pipe.

Shock absorber unit replaced after 1 month, even though this was a known fault.

Computer control unit failed after 1 week and was replaced.

Air bag showed a fault and had to be replaced.

Sunroof was constantly rattling inside the roof and had to be repaired several times before the problem was cured.

Sunroof itself was never aligned correctly, so produced high wind noise when closed correctly.

Many smaller items too numerous to mention were replaced.

General Comments:

After buying this car I thought, finally, I have my first new car, life is great!

It only took 20 miles for the problems to start.

After 4 weeks of complaints and numerous trips to the dealer I gave up and insisted that I saw the head from the main office in Dublin. He arrived about a month later at which point he drove the car and suggested that it was really only a few problems that he would assure me could be fixed.

I assured him that if the car was not replaced he would be in court a lot quicker than he thought.

A new car arrived and when I collected it from the dealership, the handbrake was so loose you could not even pull it up, one of the bolts holding it was missing and had not been even checked during the PDI. Also the sunroof again and the suspension again, enough!

Finally it was repaired and I had 2 years of trouble free driving, was it worth it? NO. I have a new Renault Laguna II now, 3 weeks old and perfect.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd August, 2001

1998 Fiat Marea HLX 2.0 20v from UK and Ireland


Well built, priced and practical. Performs very well. Try one, you will not be disappointed


Alarm kept on giving false activations.

Dealer could not trace the problem with the diagnostic machine & yes the problem just happened outside the warranty. Despite the dealer doing everything to sort it out it beat them. Needless to say I am not going to have a new alarm fitted due to the cost.

General Comments:

For an estate, as far as they go, I find the car practical with shattering performance & excellent value for money.

Good load area with a neat rear drop down bumper for ease at load area. I slid a washing machine straight into the rear without having to alter the rear seats in the car.

Interior good quality & solid. Controls well placed & good functional equipment.

Engine lively & performs very well for the car in its class.

Fuel consumption a little heavy round the doors but on a long run gives 30+mpg if you don't tonk it too much.

The cars eats tyres or is it the way I drive it, well who can argue with the fun in a 20v 5 cylinder estate which handles like it's a much smaller car. Tremendous fun on windy roads.

Overall I would recommend one. The spec is good, performance is exceptional, looks are defined & compliment the car. The prices are good too. Build is solid & feels sound, unlike some other cars on the market.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2001

18th Oct 2004, 15:08

Hello, I'm from the Netherlands and also own a HLX Marea.

I'm also loving the car (1997). It is an 2.0 5 cyl. and fast. So when I'm driving it, I feel like Jos Verstappen, or to speak in Your Language, Jenson Button or Damon Hill.

My point is that my car also used to eat tires. But since I installed some Michelin tires it is going much better. The car is feeling more solid and is really making no noise at all anymore. Maybe You should also try them on Your Marea. Really it's the best money I've ever spend on the car. Regards, from The Netherlands.

4th Mar 2006, 12:43

I also own a HLX 2.0 20v (1997), great car. I have driven Alfa Romeo for the last 10 years, but this family-car is really fun to drive. great engine, great comfort, but yes a tyre-eater. I also bought some Micheline pilot primacy tyres for it and I make more km's on these tyres and the really annoying squeacks have mostly all disappeared. The fuel-consumption is acceptable because it is more economic than my last Alfa 155 1.8 TSS 8v and faster. regards from Den Helder, the Netherlands.

1998 Fiat Marea HLX 2.4 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Buy a second hand one and get lots of car for your cash


When I serviced it the airbox screws had corroded to the point of not being able to undo them without drilling the heads off, other than that nothing has failed or dropped off. There does seem to be 2 odd rattles, one from behind the dashboard, and the other from the drivers seat, but nothing seems to have broken.

General Comments:

The car is HLX spec with climate control, so there is not much you could really desire on the spec side of things. I have had a Marea before, a 2 litre ELX, and the performance of the diesel is obviously not as good, but is very good at in gear flexibilty as long as the turbo is spinning. It returns between 36 and 40mpg, which isn't too bad considering the way I drive it! Service costs are steep, 220 UKP for a 24,000 mile service, hence why I did it myself. I bought the car at 18 months old with just under 20k miles on it for 10,000 UKP less than list price, which makes it a good bargain in my book. Overall I like the car, and it's a bit different to the normal rep-mobile's on the roads, and would probably buy another.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th March, 2000