2000 Fiat Punto ELX 16v 1.25 from UK and Ireland


Good little run around..


Electric Power Steering had gone very lumpy several times. Motor got replaced under warranty. And again! Still lumpy so Fiat looked at it again an they said water/condensation must have got into the motor somehow. they removed the dash board and found a leak. in the process they caught the Air con pipe an caused the gas to leak. They just regassed it. Leaked out again an they replaced the pipe.

Had rear shockers reaplaced after 400 miles. (I owned from new...)

Handbreak mounting under the car came lose. Got welded back up by Fiat.

Slight misfire at idle. Fiat say "its OK" but think its the Lambder Probe...

Offside rear suspension arm came lose!!

General Comments:

The car is seriously economical. I'm averaging 68MPG from it via motorways AND town driving! Crackin handling and performance too! And the ELX gets a decent stereo and AMP in the boot!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2002

2000 Fiat Punto HGT 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Quick, choppy, hard, fun for a blast


Seat sliding mechanism fell off.

Dodgy electrical connection meant the fan turned the lights on.

Gear linkage came loose.

Stereo does not fit neatly.

Side trim coming off.

All this in the 3 months we have had it.

General Comments:

My wife wanted a shopping car that was more fun than her Mondeo.

It looks fantastic and has a really stylish interior.

Stereo could do with a bit more oomph, it has a sub woofer in the boot, but distorts quite early on.

Aircon is a bit feeble.

Sat Nav is a giggle for the first week, if we used the car for anything, but shopping it would probably be useful.

The engine isn't bad, it goes well above 4000 revs and I bounce off the rev limiter at 7000 revs when overtaking. Third gear is good for 30 - 85 mph.

The gearing is too low, it runs 4000 revs in fifth at 85 mph.

The driving position is odd, the pedals are close to the seat which leads to aching legs and pedals are offset and close so hitting the brake often hits the throttle too.

The ride is rock hard which gives amazing handling, I can't unstick it in the dry, the downside is that the ride if hard and choppy even on motorways, not a long distance cruiser.

The traction control doesn't do anything, it still spins the wheels off roundabouts.

Another 20 bhp and it would be fast enough for me.

Generally a good old hot hatch, fine if you are in your 20's, but I find it a bit hard for everyday use.

Definitely worth a test drive, feels special inside.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th August, 2002

19th Jul 2005, 10:30

I have owned the HGT version for 2 years and previously bought from the 1st owner who had it for 3 years. I agree that it's a choppy ride, but I find the handling tight and responsive compared with many hot hatches on the market. My car has never had any electrical problems, the stereo is amazing and never loses sound quality when pushed to the max. The air con is good and has never let me down. The build quality of my 5 year old punto is better than my husbands 2 year old CLIO SPORT which is falling apart at the seams. I've never broken down or had any problems. I agree that motorway driving is a little choppy and noisy as I regularly drive over 7 hours a day in mine when on business. The up side is its cheap to run and can burn off most golf gti's and reach speeds of 134mph! p. s I'm 30!

2000 Fiat Punto ELX 1.2 8v from UK and Ireland


A big disappointment


Front windscreen wipers failed.

Intermittent problem with engine failing to start. The Engine Control Unit was replaced in the hope that this would cure the problem, then the ignition keys, as it was thought that the engine immobiliser was the fault. None of these actually effected a cure, and the car still sometimes fails to start, though if left for 5 minutes, then tried again it will!

Engine misfire developed early on in ownership and the Lambda Probe (which I think controls the catalyst) was replaced. This cured the misfire, though the progress of the car in slow moving traffic with the throttle only lightly depressed is very jerky, as if the fuel cut-off device is too abrupt. It has to be said though that every other 8 valve Punto of the same age we've driven has been affected that way too, but it does sadly make them impossible to drive consistently smoothly.

Electric power steering system failed at 4 months. ECU replaced and has been fine since.

Badly vibrating brakes were reported to our dealer at the car's first service, but on collecting the car my wife was told there was nothing wrong with them, the service receptionist condescendingly suggesting she shouldn't be wasting their time! I took the car back the following week insisting the chief mechanic drive the car, and he agreed that there was indeed a quite obvious problem. The front discs (which were warped) were then replaced.

Less than 9 months later the brakes were again vibrating badly. As our Fiat dealer had by this time closed (having been open for less than 3 years), we took the Punto to a local mechanic who again replaced the front discs.

The clutch is now juddering and will shortly need to be replaced, and the engine is suddenly using masses of oil, both of which have been the catalyst in getting me to write this report.

General Comments:

This Punto has been one of 6 Fiats we've owned and has been by far the worst.

Like our used Marea Weekend 2.0 litre HLX and a new Alfa Romeo it was bought from Rowcliffe Continental in Taunton, who are now no longer in business. Their ability to fix faults was abysmal, though our subsequent experience with Olds of Dorchester has been little better, leading one to assume that Fiat's UK dealers are probably all mediocre at best.

The reliability of the Punto has certainly spoiled our enjoyment of it, though there are quite a number of inherent design faults that do this too.

The gearing is absurdly high, which is great for relaxed (and quiet) motorway cruising, but gives the car no traditional Fiat brio whatsoever. You might question our judgement in this, saying that we would feel that way coming from a 150bhp Marea; but the reality is that the little Cinquecento S that we also owned at the start of our time with the Punto always had so much more brio, despite being inherently slower.

Other criticisms are the lack of a clutch foot rest, an indicator warning system that you can't hear, soft interior plastics which have a propensity to get scratched, and awful rear three-quarter visibility due to fat 'C' pillars.

I want us to sell this car, but my wife still likes it, which would seem to indicate that the car actually has some redeeming qualities. Due to the problems though, I find them increasingly hard to find.

Fiat have lost their way. When they produced cars that were fun to drive it was much easier to forgive their faults. Now though, with cars as mundane as the Punto, it is less easy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th July, 2002

13th Jul 2002, 08:28

Well, I agree with you about the (lost) traditional brio of FIATs. It seems FIAT does not understand that if people wanted a VW they'd probably buy one in the first place. Few companies can make better VWs than...VW itself. Instead, producing 1,2 lt engines pumping out 60 bhp in 2002 just kills the perceived image of FIAT as a sporty brand, without necessarily adding much in the way of perceived quality or reliability. That's why LANCIA is suffering too. Let's hope they'll wake up soon.

For the progress in slow moving traffic: my Tipo is affected too. However changing from FIAT spark-plugs (Champion actually) to BOSCH (WR6DC for the Tipo) and setting the gap between the electrodes to the lower permissible value seems to improve things. It also leads to better pick-up from low revs. Hope that helps.

24th Jun 2003, 09:21

Can you please explain what the trip button does on the right hand side of the dash.

15th Jun 2007, 05:34

2 months ago I bought 2000/Punto/1,9JTD at 60k km. Nice looking, well designed and good fuel consumption. Other option was Opel Corsa, and I start to regret not taking it. Punto, Fiat mostly has a strong personality and usualy tends not to function... Les expensive then others, but what you get is what you pay for, and if it's a second hand, small-moderate problems will accure often, service will be expensive and spear parts not of best quality. Not to mention the inconvenience of not being able to use it for some day, while in service, and those days could be many in number.

Anyway, Punto's all I could afford, not having more money, but if you can spend more for a better car, reliable mostly, don't hesitate! It's better then paying for service and constant problems. Punto-diesel is not as bed as some say, but life isn't easy with it. Petrol engines are much simpler, not so many problems, but even close to diesel in fuel economy.

Problems had were mostly with sensors and poor diesel quality in romania, resulting in start problems and engine stops while driving. Also vacum and clutch (expensive and to early)... sensors are not to expensive, but they are many and with time more & more fail. Commercial OBD scanners are not to good so still have to visit fiat's expensive service. In Bucharest it takes almost a week to get an appointment...etc.

Conclusion: Don't recommend a second hand Fiat, but if you feel lucky, like I felt, try it...