1996 Fiat Punto 55S 1.1 from UK and Ireland


Ideal first car


Sump corroded at 50000 miles.

Starting to rust along bottom of drivers door.

Clutch trust bearing failed at 55000 miles.

Head Gasket blew at 60000 miles cause unknown.

General Comments:

I was very happy with the car, it was cheap to own and insure.

It always started first time every time and had no faults or breakdowns apart from those mentioned above.

The performance was reasonable (noisy and unstable on motorways) considering it was a 1.1 - perfect first car or city car.

It was quite spacious for a supermini, however it was very basic (i.e no electric windows, sunroof, central locking etc).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd September, 2005

1st Nov 2005, 00:55

My brother bought a punto 55s and souped it up.

10th Feb 2006, 05:32

The Fiat Punto 55s is a fantastic first car. The controls are easy to adapt to and the size of the car is brilliant for maneuvers. I was given a Fiat Punto 55s for Christmas 2005 by my parents and it had just 41,000miles on it. I have taken it from the very north of Scotland to the south in one day and it is a good runner for in the city. Good points are:

* Size - Not too long or wide

* Spacious Interior

* Controls are clear and easy to use

* Low fuel consumption

* Cheap to Insure, Tax and Cheap tyres

* Looks fantastic for a small car

* Can gather speed quickly for a small engine - nippy.

Bad points about the Fiat Punto 55s:

* No Power Steering

* No electrics or central locking.

As you can see not many faults, recommended city car or car for new or nervous driver. I love it!

1996 Fiat Punto SX 1.1 from UK and Ireland


Nice looking car, inexpensive... I can see why now..


When I first got the car it needed 4 new suspension bushes and a new petrol cap, and the left rear indicator keeps blowing. The head gasket is now on its was out so overheats daily.

General Comments:

I do like the look of my car its silver and color coded, the 55SX 1.1 engine is OK, and the 6th gear is needed. The specification is good, but could have been better by adding power steering. The dash is well laid out and driving position is good, however it rolls on corners and makes a lot of noise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st July, 2005

1996 Fiat Punto Cabriolet ELX 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Why are companies still allowed to churn out such rubbish


Broken gearbox after 1 year (Informed by gearbox replacement company that they are notorious for it - Foolishly did not listen)

Broken gearbox after 2 years (Went to a different supplier - Informed again by them to sell the car). Now on 3rd gearbox and not wanting to drive the car any more.

New Exhaust (Rear End)

New Exhaust Manifold.

New Electric Window Motors (New ones barely work, with windows sticking all the time).

General Comments:

In its defense the initial price tag would appear cheap for a convertible.

After replacing the gearbox twice the costs have obviously escalated.

It is by far the weakest 1.6 engine I have ever driven.

The car rattles unbelievably and feels like it will fall apart at any given moment.

The interior is nasty and cannot imagine it appealing to anybody.

I cannot understand how I saw so many "Car Of The Year" posters for the Fiat. This is by far the worst car (car in the loosest of terms) I have ever had the misfortune of owning.

It is laughable just how weak and badly put together the car feels and performs.

Thank god for my Lexus.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th July, 2005

4th Apr 2006, 06:35

I can only further back these comments up. I thought for the price it looked nice, which it does, there is no arguing against that.

However...the low initial outlay and insurance for a nice looking 1.6 convertible soon proved a poor investment. Cheaply thrown together, it becomes like a cancer patient, slowly withering away in front of your eyes. First it was the electric windows, then the Exhaust manifold, then the gearbox, then the fuel injection, the the power roof... you get the idea. And I only owned the *&!£*!" thing for 6 months!!!

And I am amazed no-one has mentioned the brakes! They are terrible, you have to stand on the brakes to get them to do anything, and they still don't do a lot. They really are that bad! I put it into the garage and spent £300 trying to tighten them up and they were just as bad as before, I had two accidents which I blame squarely on the brakes, and tonnes of near misses. I never had that problem with quicker cars before, and I am no boy racer. You would be better of sticking a carrier bag out of your window (if the windows worked, of course), and using that to slow down.

I also have to agree the engine is poor, very very poor in fact. It hates being in 1st or 2nd gear, I am too scared to take it over 3500 revs for fear of explosion. It shakes, and I don't mean wobbles a bit, I mean aggressively launches into death throes like a Parkinson sufferer on acid when you take it past 50 mph or bring it down to less than 15 mph. It regularly won't start, for no apparent reason. one in every 30 or so times you try to start it, it does nothing. It will bump start, and there will be no problem for weeks, but then it will happen again, and no-one can tell you why. The steering alignment changes daily, the airbag didn't work in either crash.

You just have to drive this thing for a month and you will hate it more than you hate that ex-wife that you caught sleeping with your best mate and left you taking the house, kids, money and dog.

Listen, I could list its faults all day, but there is not enough room on the internet to describe my hatred for this car or tell you how cheated I feel, so I will sum it up thusly. I bought the car in September for £1600, I spent £2400 on it, and sold it for £700 in February.

I will try to end on a high, it has a very nice footrest by the clutch that all cars should have, and the lights turn themselves off when the engine is off, both very nice.

And that is all the good points I can think to write about this cheap piece of filth.

13th May 2006, 03:19

Well what can I say!!!

I have seriously considered buying this car for the summer.

And have finally been put off. Don't think I will be buying one of those.

Many thanks.

11th Sep 2009, 01:50

I have had one - just the tin top and it has been marvellous. Engine lacks a bit of poke perhaps, but it revs out very nicely indeed.

In response to the comment above, Fiat would have pulled out of the USA as they were losing market share to that other 'exotic' chain of manufacturers, the Japanese. Any American car would be at least as inferior to a Fiat. I have driven GM rentals, and back to back with a Fiat they were positively awful. Come on! You want trouble? Try a Renault, or a Pug...