1996 Fiat Punto 75 SX 1.2 from UK and Ireland


A 'big' and very reliable small car


Only one known fault. A temperature sensor on the engine management system failed, causing uneven low speed running. Fixed by dealer as part of service. Component cost £14.

General Comments:

I'm not (no longer?) a boy racer so absolute performance and serious handling capabilities don't matter too much to me. However, reliability and comfort are getting increasingly important as I have gone right off lying about under cars on my drive in the winter, and can't afford dealer repair bills.

Given my needs, expressed above, I cannot fault this car. It is comfortable, supremely reliable, economical to run and works first time everytime. It is plenty fast enough for sane driving and even fast enough for my occasional lapses into 'boy racer' mode.

Handling doesn't inspire great confidence when pushed and the ride can be a bit lumpy on Britain's currently appalling minor roads and side roads, but otherwise a comfortable, roomy reliable, good looking, durable fun car.

Incidentally my wife has a 75 ELX one year older than mine which is currently being repaired (by me) It has a rusted sump pan, broken cam belt, leaking camshaft cover gasket, leaking camshaft oil seal, and a sticking clutch! I hope mine doesn't go the same way!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th June, 2001

1996 Fiat Punto Sporting 1.6i from UK and Ireland


What an excellent car



General Comments:

What a superb car, nice looks, cheap insurance, very nippy, and a firm but comfortable ride.

I would recommend the 1.6 as opposed to the 1.2 as it seems less raucious going through the gears and not so hard pressed to accelerate with plenty of low down torque.

I was also impressed with the handling of this car (thanks to the hardened GT suspension on Sporting versions).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2001

1996 Fiat Punto 60 s 1.2 from Belgium


Zanussi on wheels


- Leak in cooling fluid circuit.

- Blown head gasket at 30000km.

- Broken gear box at 40000km.

- Broken door lock.

- 1st set new front tires at 20000km.

- 2nd set new front tires at 70000km.

And two more pages if you like.

It just seems like I am a driver from hell, but I couldn't be more careful.

General Comments:

A typical Italian car: absolute fun to drive, but a hell to have. Good looks, no quality.

The engine is absolute rubbish, it feels like it could blow every minute. And the body-work is extremely sensitive: the car has micro-dents all over, from other people smashing their doors against it in the parking lot.

Fortunately, we got this car for free, so no real financial damage was done.

Next car will be a big Volvo, one with very large bumpers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd April, 2001

20th Aug 2001, 06:45

We too are experiencing head gasket problems very early (28,500 miles) in the life of our 60s and the gearbox is sounding "crunchy". The Fiat specialist that we've taken it to stressed that it is ESSENTIAL to have the antifreeze/coolant completely changed every two years to avoid gasket problems.

We've only had our 1997 "R" reg car for 6 months, but prior to our ownership it was serviced at the main Fiat Dealership in this area. We strongly suspect that they did not carry out the coolant change at the appropriate time. Please advise other owners to pay special attention to this!

5th Sep 2001, 15:02

Can the trunk in a Fiat Punto convertible fit 2 suitcases?

13th Jan 2002, 12:38

I wrote the review about this car, and this comment is to complete the story.

At 70000km the head gasket blew again, and on top of that the rear wheel base was completely worn out.

So I sold the car immediately (it was still worth something), and I bought a reliable second-hand Volvo 960.

1996 Fiat Punto Sporting 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A great little car :-)



General Comments:

Good reliable willing engines, not to mention all the extras - power steering, electric windows, airbag, remote central locking, alloys, tinted windows, etc.

Also looks very stylish.

There is a surprising amount of room inside with a good driving position.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2001