1998 Fiat Punto Reviews

1998 Fiat Punto 60SX 1.2 from UK and Ireland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2013
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 1.2 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired123000 miles
Most recent distance125000 miles

Summary:

A good nippy little car

Faults:

A couple of scratches around the body.

A little bit of rust under the back arches.

May need a new cam belt soon, as I have heard that they go pretty often.

Steering a bit tough (power assisted). Not too good when parking.

Needs some alloys, as there are trims on there at the moment.

Seats are pretty hard. Could do with some new seats or bucket seats. Wouldn't look too good though I doubt, as it's not really a sporty car.

General Comments:

I have had the car for 3 months and haven't had any real problems yet, and I hope I don't either, but from some reviews, things are prone to go on them, but others seem to say they are reliable and cheap.

It's my first car, so I don't really want it long; just until my insurance goes down, as the cheapest insurance I could find is on my Fiat.

It's white with colour coded bumpers :) Haven't seen many of these around.

Pretty nippy car for what it is, and spacious.

The handling is not too good, but OK.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2013

3rd Mar 2013, 07:12

I would not bother upgrading to alloys. This car is not worth it.

1998 Fiat Punto 60 1.3i petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.3i petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.4 / 10
Distance when acquired60000 miles
Most recent distance80000 miles

Summary:

Don't buy

Faults:

Where do I begin?

The heater matrix went very early on, and the cooling system was rubbish and leaked.

The footwells were wet because of those two components.

Wheel bearings went twice on either of the back two.

Had to scrap it because of the major failure it came up with at its MOT.

General Comments:

Quick and nimble. Was a really good car, but just so unreliable for a cheap runabout.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th June, 2012

1998 Fiat Punto SX 60 1.2 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 1.2 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired92000 miles
Most recent distance98500 miles

Summary:

Bargain basement runabout

Faults:

Replaced the alternator at 98500.

General Comments:

I was looking for a cheap runabout, and bought this last year for £400 taxed and tested! I had a Punto in '96, and it gave me no trouble in 36000 miles. So I thought I would revisit the old marque.

It has been reliable and economical, and just as nippy as I remembered, so I have decided to keep it for another year, at least!

No major faults, with the exception of the alternator bearings dying, but replaced with a used one at £20.

The old girl is getting a bit tatty, and there is some oil around in the engine bay, but it still runs well and starts first time every time in all weathers (I will get round to sorting it soon).

Cheap insurance, cheap parts, very easy to maintain for the home mechanic, which is partly why I like it. I do all my own repairs and maintenance, and the Punto is very straightforward to repair.

Will need some welding in the rear floor for the MoT in June, which I will do myself, but other than this, the body is in fine shape. Fiats were galvanised from the early nineties, so no major problems from the tin worm! This said, Punto's have very thin skins and dent easily. All part of the weight saving.

If you find a rusty one, walk away. Rust on the rear arches will only be indicative of a deeper problem. Some colours seem to be worse than others!

Find an early example with history and without troublesome power steering, and it will be a nice little car to use.

Comfortable inside, if a bit plasticky, with a decent sized boot and room for four or five smaller folks at a push!

Some electrical gremlins such as wiper motors and wiring. Buy a cheap test meter and a Haynes manual, and check out the wiring... Not as difficult as it first appears!

The 1.2 motor was always willing, and is still fun, even on the open road.

Poor road holding and handling will be down to rear suspension and bushes getting tired. Cheap and straightforward to fix.

Head gasket will go if it hasn't already; spend a bit on a decent gasket, and it will last until the engine needs a rebuild.

Use a good quality coolant to preserve the heater matrix and/or the water pump.

Engines can be long lived (with the exception of the head gasket) if they get regular servicing.

I have owned many Fiat's over the years, and none have ever let me down.

Change the cam belt at 50k, regardless of what Fiat say, and change the water pump at the same time!

It's always a risk buying an old car, but I have been more than happy with this little old Fiat, and it has already paid for itself.

Find a cheap one, and have a go at fixing it yourself. It's not that hard, and will save you a fortune.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th March, 2012

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 59 reviews