1994 Fiat Punto Reviews - Page 2 of 4

1994 Fiat Punto SX 1.1 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.1 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired36000 miles
Most recent distance45000 miles
Previous carSAAB 99

Summary:

Great around town, but don't drive for too long!

Faults:

Head gasket at 38k miles, tappets still not right.

Rear brake shoes, twice in 5000 miles.

Clutch judder, probably needs replacing.

Drivers seat falling apart and it's not as if I'm a heavyweight!

General Comments:

There is a lot of room inside the car and loads of adjustment for the driver in SX spec. Despite the room and adjustment, only a chimp could get comfy in those seats (typical Italian driving position, long arms-short legs).

Steering is a bit heavy without power steering and odd 14 inch tyres are expensive and rare (£60+) for a budget car.

Very economical, even for a small car. Not the best car for overtaking (55bhp), though great around town.

A little noisy on the motorway at legal speeds. At 80Mph you'll get tinnitus after a few minutes.

Overall, quite a good car, but needs more power and seats designed for a human.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st September, 2002

1994 Fiat Punto SX 1.1 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.1 petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired24000 miles
Most recent distance87000 miles

Summary:

OK for the first 50,000 miles but expect bills running into the thousands after that

Faults:

Exhaust fell off twice, once at 30,000, again at 67,000. Not cheap to replace as you need complete system from CAT backwards. Front section replaced at 77,000 miles.

Clutch went at 70,000.

Head gasket went at 72,000.

Rear suspension arms needed replacing at 62,000. Not cheap either as you have to buy the complete arm.

Mysterious squeaking when turning full-lock.

Constant pulling to the left, which tracking adjustment fails to rectify.

Unknown knocking noise from left wheel on uneven roads.

Flimsy doors easily damaged when opening in strong winds.

Brake pipe replacement very pricey.

Sump corrosion at 80,000 miles-very expensive to replace.

Dents very easily.

General Comments:

Whenever you open the windows after its been raining, all the water off the roof comes in and soaks you.

You can't get roof-racks to fit.

The boot is tiny.

Nippy up to 50mph.

Good economy-40mpg at 80mph.

Cheap insurance.

Roomy for its class.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th January, 2002

1994 Fiat Punto GT 1.4 turbo from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.4 turbo Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance0 miles
Previous carVauxhall Nova

Summary:

Fast, fun and turbo'd

Faults:

I have only owned the car for 2 months, so far though it has been excellent, touch wood.

The only problems that have occurred have been through modifications, since fitting a foam induction kit and dump valve there is an occasional flat spot before the turbo kicks in.

General Comments:

The car is pretty ballistic when running correct.

Handling is a bit iffy, although up-rated springs are meant to help.

Seats are unsupportive compared to my old G.S.I.

Love the car, despite all this.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2001

1994 Fiat Punto GT 1.4 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.4 turbo petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance60000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin Metro

Summary:

Stealth missile :-)

Faults:

Trailing arms (pivot bearing), one at 50 and the other at 55K miles.

Electric sun-roof cuts out when parked in hot sun, but works again when driven for a few minutes (I've read elsewhere that this is caused by the grease shorting the electrics) - not a big deal.

Some intermittent electrical problems manifested as the engine briefly cutting out with the injector warning light on. Injector relay lifting out of its sprung contacts was the first cause (which I've also heard from another Punto owner). Second cause was a poor connection to the air flow meter. Pity the dealer recommended a new meter at £440 + labour, when just checking the connection fixed it!. Disappointing lack of effort on their part to correctly diagnose the problem.

Recently some 'judder' in the front suspension/steering when cornering/accelerating which I've yet to fix.

General Comments:

A great all round package. Stylish design, roomy interior, electric everything, and near Golf VR6 performance.

A more unusual hot hatch with understated looks and affordable insurance.

Not sure about the dealers, but then I'm sceptical of dealers in general.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th May, 2001

19th May 2002, 14:56

"It’s a blast... but it won’t last!"

Hello, it’s me again - with an update for those that are interested. I’ve now had the car nearly 3 years and it’s done 79K miles.

Firstly the good news - I still look forward to driving this car, and think it’s a great package. The joy of blasting past bigger and racier motors in such an unassuming vehicle!.

Now onto the bad news - durability. Oh dear, oh dear. Here’s the full listing in chronological order:

1. New radiator. Two-thirds ‘choked’ although possibly due to stone damage.

2. Rear dampers @68K (wish I’d replaced the fronts at the same time).

3. Handbrake cables. These are prone to damage, and can fill with water and freeze the handbrake on in winter.

4. Clutch slave cylinder @74K.

5. Engine mounts. 2 out of 3 perished, luckily not the oil damped one @£92!.

6. Heater matrix. Look for the heater steaming up rather than de-misting the windows, and coolant loss. Not a job for the faint-hearted!.

7. Front dampers @ 78K although I think now they had been degrading for a while. The dampers and engine mounts seem to have largely sorted the ‘judder’ problem described in my previous review.

8. Brake caliper guide pins. The front calipers in particular have become slightly loose and rattle over rough surfaces. Annoyingly it seems that the sockets have worn more than the pins, so the fix isn’t great.

At 70K the speedo started giving erratic readings and has deteriorated since - looks like an electrical failure, so resigned to a dealer fix for that one.

It’s only because I’ve done nearly all the maintenance myself that this hasn’t cost me a fortune. Some of the part prices are reasonable, but many are insulting with a capital F, so I’m shopping around more and more for aftermarket parts these days. I expect parts to wear out, particularly on a performance car (I’m pleasantly surprised to be on the original clutch and turbo - touch wood) but heater matrix and speedometer - I don’t think so!. These parts should last the life of the car, and I can do without the grief/expense of dealing with these things on top of everything else.

My final verdict: A car for the heart, but not for the head.

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 19 reviews