2000 Fiat Punto Sporting Speedgear 1.2 from UK and Ireland


Excellent car, shame about the service and faults


Water ingress from either bulkhead or behind wings. Fiat cannot decide! Very wet carpets and lots of condensation inside.

Fiat are refusing to fix this under warranty as water ingress is not part of the warranty. This will probably cost in the region of £400.

ECU to be replaced as engine light keeps coming on in freezing weather.

Faulty micro switch in gearbox caused engine light to come on and brake pedal to cause a relay switching noise from centre console.

Rear spoiler and near side door bump strip needed to be re-glued. Spoiler after six months and door strip after two years.

Windscreen wipers making electric crackling noise at the end of travel. Have had this adjusted twice under warranty, both times around Christmas as the weather got colder.

General Comments:

Fantastic car to look at, sit in, and drive. It does not feel like a 1.2 engine and friends have always guessed it has a 1.6 until I tell them.

The speedgear gearbox is a dream and makes perfect gear shifting into the reach of even the worst driver!

The 7 gears available in the sporting speadgear gearbox means that if you want to race around for a while you can pull away from a number of cars. There is no real drop in revs because the gear ratios are so close together.

The handling could be better as it does seem to wallow around the bends. Nothing that an upgrade to the suspension wouldn't fix, and it does cry out to be lowered to frame the lovely alloys.

Service costs are high, a 24000 mile service (having only done 15000) costs £215 inc VAT. You can reduce this though by taking your own oil, spark plugs, windscreen wash. Cheapskate I know.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd January, 2003

31st Mar 2003, 05:43

Agree with writer re damp carpets - especially front passenger footwell. windscreen re-sealed - slightly better now, but can't say problem 100% resolved.

This is very poor in this day and age.

My wife had an old Mini that did this!!!

I have a 2000 yom 1.2 base 8v.

20th Apr 2003, 05:42

I was interested to hear about the problems with the ECU and gearbox. My mother has a 2001 Sporting Speedgear here in Poland (one of only a couple in the country, as automatics of any kind are not popular here) and she had the same problems. Fiat did not know what the problem was, and it took several attempts to fix it. They still do not know whether the ECU problem and the gearbox selector problems were linked.

The ECU repeatedly caused the engine to misfire, once totally failing, and leaving her stranded. It took four failed attempts at fixing the problem before Fiat finally decided that the whole ECU would be replaced.

The gearbox did exactly the same as yours, as it would cause a loud clicking when pressing the brake, and the gearbox light would flash non stop. That has also been fixed.

Apart from these two annoying problems (fixed under warranty) nothing else has gone wrong, and I am constantly surprised at how much fun this type of gearbox can be, and how relaxing it can be as well, when driven slowly.

2000 Fiat Punto LX 1.2 from UK and Ireland


The car is economical to buy and to run


I accidentally let the battery go flat over Christmas by leaving the radio on. I used the wrong procedure to try to start it by connecting it to another car with its engine running. I should have just used the other car's battery. Anyway now I have the small indicator light for the ignition system flashing continuously. I think this is indicating that the catalytic converter is temporarily out of use. Does anyone know how to fix this without going to a garage?

General Comments:

The car is a good urban run-about.

I don't like the restricted view to the right because of the angle of the roof support. This is most annoying on roundabouts. My previous car had a more upright support.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2003