Cheap to insure, reliable if properly maintained, good learner vehicle, spacious - kinda
New clutch - (85K miles)
Drive shaft boot needed replaced - (85 -92k miles)
Cylinder head gasket - fixed, not replaced. (92k miles)
Fan seized - rock salt best suggestion. (103k miles)
Temperature sensor - £10 from Fiat dealer. (103k miles)
Cylinder head rings? - 'cylinders 1 and 2 were fighting each other', as explained by the mechanic. (103k miles)
Near side shock absorber - (104k miles)
Seats are beginning to show signs of wear, although this is to be expected of a car that is above 100K miles and is approaching 8 years old.
Drivers seat belt tensioner is sometimes faulty. Sticks in certain positions and eventually frees itself.
As I am taller than most people I was initially restricted in my choice of vehicle when learning to drive, lack of leg space was proving a serious issue. The punto accommodated my long legs, and is even comfortable.
Despite this car being a 1.2 8v, it is nippy - wouldn't say its fast, but can be quick off the line. Beaten a Saxo VTR on numerous occasions.
Cabin is quite pleasant to look at, doesn't look too cheap and nasty.
I personally find it a very comfortable car to drive, although my knee can get sore on longer journeys - possibly my oversizedness.
The fuel consumption is decent. I typically get between 80 to 100 miles per £10 of fuel. This translates to around 29 - 36 mpg in old money. Obviously this changes depending on the preferred method of driving... foot heavy or IAM style.
I have never been to a dealer for servicing as I my own mechanic. Although there have been several costs involved with this car, its nothing too excessive and comes part and parcel of motoring. When compared to some of the repairs I hear about from my friends it nothing.
Lastly, the insurance in my case for this car is reasonable. Due to my age (now 20) I am a named driver on this car. However, I pay the entire cost of insuring it which is currently £390. Three drivers, myself and my parents.
Overall, it's a decent car, may have some issues, but which car out there doesn't.
The only real downside I can think of regarding this car is it handling ability going round corners. If you drive in a cautious manner on faster roads, you will be unlikely to have an issue regarding its 'cornering ability'. However, if you try to keep a progressive style of driving you may feel uneasy as the high speed, twisted road cornering ability can best be described as 'A brick on an 80's skateboard'.
Just remember, every fiat is half alfa!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th June, 2005