Where do I start with this car... I could write an essay! Gear knob was stuck when I saw the car in the car supermarket, but 3 days later & they fixed for pick-up...I should of known from then that this car would be problems.
On collection, the car was juddering. As it was cold and had probably been sitting around for a while, thought it probably needed to warm up. Not so. It continued to judder and shake, returned it to the car supermarket, who were reluctant to admit any problems with the idling speed, but took it in for 3 days to 'fix'. Upon collection of the car the engine was idling way too high still, so within seconds told them to sort it. 1 WEEK later they told me a load of rubbish about changing air filters and spark plugs and then insulting me by re-assuring me that an 80 mile test run over the weekend had confirmed the problem was resolved.
Few weeks later, the car accelerated and shot out into 2 way traffic despite having my foot on the brake. Slammed on the brakes, but was very nearly hit by cars from the left & right who thought I was a complete lunatic! The car did this on several occassions & I just wasnt prepared to drive the 'death-trap' until the car was looked at. The car also veered to the left, wrong size wheel had been fitted, back to a not so helpful car supermarket. Again air filter's changed gearbox housing 'cleaned', with a so called "mini service" & the wheel changed - although the car continued to pull to the left... apparently tracking wasn't done when putting the wheel on.
Few weeks later, back box of the exhaust, just 'fell off'! Down to kwick fit, forced the car supermarket to re-imburse me!
Couple weeks later, late night, raining, down-hill doing a very careful 30mph, brake failure! VERY near mis into the back of a bus! Towed back to the car supermarket AGAIN was told brake failure (wouldn't have guessed!?) brake pads & discs replaced.
Rear screen demister, last 2 lines decided they weren't intending to carry out their job! Back to the car supermarket yet again to replace the entire rear windscreen!
All of this I would say in the space of 3 months!
Took the car to a very surprised, but helpful fiat dealer who sympathised greatly. Diagnostics run (at 1/2 normal price) showed a catalogue of problems. Presented this to the car supermarket who were extremely un-interested as they said I had the car for some time and essentially despite being present at the purchase of the car, were considered to be wear & tear.
Every time the car was taken back to the car supermarket I had to request some form of proof of the works carried out - they did agree, but were none to happy about it and it was often sent a week later by post with a very short brief description of work carried out.
The car was practically written off (surprise surprise it was over-revving and pulled hard to the left on a bend) at approx 30 mph... I was warned by friends & family these cars crumple like paper... which they do! it looked a lot worse than it was, but that didn't help with the 3rd party cover & repairs needed.
£2k later the car (due to a gearbox replacement & a lot of engine work) no-longer revs as hard and actually drives better than before the accident, but barely made it through the MOT emissions! Despite the work carried out by the mechanic after the accident, both mechanics were 95% sure the car had been clocked, resprayed and done at least 80,000 miles! Great!
Essentially I would say that a majority of the problems were probably down to the poor service from the car supermarket rather than the Fiat car overall. I would probably say that this was a rogue car as not many people have had similar problems.
Over-all this car is a real looker, but parts are expensive (as they need to come from the dealer direct or from a scrap yard!) its handling round corners for eg is excellent, it holds the road well... probably a bit too well, as you WILL feel every singe bump, stone & un-even surface! In london that's a problem! it's noisy, but nippy.
The standard stereo is really good, the seats quite supportive & steering is very light in City mode making the car a dream to park!
The wing mirrors are one of the biggest down-falls, as they stick out like a sore thumbs & don't fit in at all with the sleek compact look of the car.
Advice if purchasing this car: be sure that the car is in good working order,check for any re-sprays (clearly visabile under florescent lighting) especially on the left side as it seems to be a habit with Puntos. Lights & wiring also seem to be a characteristic of this car cheaply fixed though.