21st Dec 2000, 16:45

I am thinking about buying a 2.0 20 valve ELX from an official Fiat dealer - R reg but only 7k from new, I test drove the car and liked the performance but the insurance is group 14, nobody seems to mention that and the MPG figure looks a bit scary. Is it worth £7000? Bearing in mind I would get a good part ex?

2nd Jan 2001, 07:11

I have had a Marea Weekend HLX for about 5 months now and I am very pleased with it. It has been back to the dealer to remedy a water leak but other than that it has been faultless. Mine is a company car and I had the choice of many others (BMW, VW & Audi included) but I liked the individuality of the car and the engine is fabulous; you really can embarrass some far sportier cars with ease.

6th Jan 2001, 12:39

Brilliant car. Great price.

Steering pump went on mine £200, apart from that just the servicing (& tyres) so not that cheap to run but excellent performance, lovely handler.

Individual, not much image - but can cope with that for the superb exhaust note.

Mine cost £8k, 12 months old with 15k on the clock. So far done 40k @ 29mpg. Not sure what the resale will be like, but who cares when somebody has taken a £9k loss in the first 12 months from list.

7th Jan 2001, 09:28

I have to agree with everything you say there about the 2.0 20v, it is amazing.

I was so shocked when I first drove the car on how good the performance was. I have had my car put on the rolling road and it managed a brilliant 155bhp and a top speed off 135mph, 0-60 is about 7.8 seconds.

My Marea will leave my mate's cars like a Mondeo 2.5 V6 24v, and Escort RS Turbos, even they couldn't believe how bloody fast it was. I'll have this car for a long time!!!!!

19th Feb 2001, 13:56

I've got a 1.6 ELX auto and that feels quick, this must be the most under-rated car in Europe, I will get a 155 HLX next time I change my car or at least till I can afford an ALFA 156.

5th Jul 2001, 14:27

Yup, cool car.

I had the steering pump problem too, now done 50,000 miles & still going strong - love the 3rd gear roll on when the exhaust howls.

Anyone got any thoughts as to when the best time is to sell? (I'll probably buy another cause I can't find a better value compromise between performance, practicality & low purchase price?)

3rd Aug 2001, 02:35

I agree with most of the previous comments. I bought a 4 year old Marea 1.8 HLX a couple of weeks ago. It has done over 54,000 miles, 2000 of mine. I just love it. The performance is excellent, the exhaust growl is scintillating and mpg is quite good - 35 to 40 mpg.

I live in Ireland and got it for IR£2,900, smashing price but it was more that the seller wanted a quick sale as he had already moved back to Portugal and his friend sold it to me.

The insurance is quite cheap actually. Irish insurance premiums are very high in general, but it's only costing me IR£540 for the year. To put that into perspective, my previous car was a 1987 Toyota Starlet, 999cc which cost me IR£415 - no claims bonus, I'm 30 years of age so no age loading and a full drivers license.

I have not serviced it yet, but will do very soon. No problems so far.

On the down side, the boot is stupidly big. Fiat could have given much more cabin space if they gave it a normal sized boot. Defogging the windscreen and windows can be a chore (I live in Ireland with a lot of rain so this could become annoying). I am unable to defog the windscreen and the side windows simultaneously.

4th Oct 2001, 10:30

About the gut wrenching smashing sound when going over bumps, that is a common fault with all Mareas, it is the front anti-roll bar which becomes slightly mis-aligned at approximately 12 months of normal road use, I have to have mine adjusted every year! You should suggest it to your local dealer. Otherwise, a well made and underrated car from Fiat.

8th Jun 2005, 10:50

I have had a R plate Marea for over 12 months now. The performance is outstanding. I am a bit disappointed with the automatic climate control. Has not got the chill factor of a Rover 8 series. The Marea is more like a Cianti at rooom temperature!However the performance far out weighs this.