1998 Fiat Punto 1.1 from Finland


Fun summer car


A bit of moist in some relay caused the revs to increase way too much at 106000 km. You didn't even have to press the accelerator pedal, the car just kept going (unless the gear was in neutral, then the revs just increased). Car service dried the relay under warranty and it fixed the problem.

The windshield washer stopped working at 110000 km, but the car service fixed this easily. The hose pipes were just jammed.

When braking, the car drifted strongly to the right. Brake discs + pads were replaced at 115000 km, but this didn't help.

120000 km: The exhaust gas pipe insides (a couple of metres of soft grey material, not sure what the right term is in English) flew out from the pipe while driving. Caused no further problems, except for more pollution, I guess...

General Comments:

Punto of the 90's is a very fun summer car, but the wet & cold winter in Finland is too much for this delicate Italian made car.

Visibility is excellent because of the thin window pillars. Those thin pillars are not good in case of a collision, though...

A quite spacious small car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th July, 2009

1998 Fiat Punto GT Turbo 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Pocket rocket!!!


Sunroof runners have just gone, but it's 11 years old now!!

Fuel filler pipe had hole in it - cheap to repair if not too corroded. (wonder-weld)

General Comments:

Great little car, that's fun to drive!! Plenty of turbo lag that throws you back in your seat at 2500rpm when the turbo kicks in!

Puts a lot of other cars to shame at the lights!!

Handling is good too, but the ride is not perfect.

Plenty of gadgets for an 11 year old car; electric everything!!

Overall, great fun and very cheap now, but hard to find a good one! Like rocking horse poo now!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th March, 2009

1998 Fiat Punto SX 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Fragile - fold along the dotted lines and dent


Head gasket was replaced by previous owner.

Car periodically overheated for no apparent reason, maybe a bad job by the mechanic on skimming the head (if at all) when the head gasket was replaced.

Seat fabric somewhat like a mesh curtain from cigarette ash blowing around the car.

Dents all over, not worth fixing.

General Comments:

Very sporty for a 1.2. No doubt due to the tinfoil body.

Fuel economy was good,

Handling could be termed good if you're into driving something that feels like a skyscraper on rollerskates.

It's a deceptive car, makes you believe that it handles well, which is OK if you're steady and don't spring any surprises on the running gear when you're committed to a line. Things change quickly for the worse when the local inbred moron comes around a corner on the wrong side of the road in his nitrous-kitted Nissan Twinkie giving every appearance of being totally out of control but doing it as fast as he can (or can't)

Fortunately the Punto folded in on itself one day after connecting a Sprinter at 30kms in torrential rain. Thus ending a somewhat torrid and risky relationship. Not a car I'd trust with my life.

Bought a far more dependable and sweet-handling Mitsubishi Colt.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th September, 2008

20th Sep 2008, 08:53

Why do all old Punto mark ones have dents all over the body?

I am about to buy my first car and was thinking about a Punto.

The main reason to not do is because the bad metal, I think it's a hair thick, other cars of the same age like Opel Corsa, Renault Clio, Seat Ibiza of around 10 years have straight damage free bodies, a Punto NEVER has.

21st Sep 2008, 14:33

I have noticed the same - they are always covered in door dents. We had three Puntos, a 96, 98 and 00 models, all were stylish in their day but poor quality-particularly the trim and electronics.

Personally, as a first car, I would be more interested in safety and would buy something newer on cheap finance - spending a little more on buying it will work out the same as keeping repairing an older Punto in the long run, and you get a safer, more reliable car in the meantime.

If you can live with the silly comments of the daft uneducated, try an early Skoda Fabia (pref with air-con) ; they are strong, reliable, safe cars and were usually bought new by older owners who will have looked after them. Watch out for power steering issues, though, caused by damp getting into the angle sensor under the NS headlight.

Or try a C1 - a bit tinny but fun to drive and cheap to run and insure.

More reliable than the old Punto but not much safer would be a Daihatsu YRV - a Toyota Yaris under the skin, quite cool and you can get a sporty looking, nice driving, good spec car with air-con and a glass panoramic roof for around £2000 now, and it will stand out in the crowd!

To get an idea what cars are available, just enter min and max price on Auto Trader website and get some ideas!

Insurance grouping will be a factor for you. Good luck!