2001 Fiat Punto Sporting 1.2 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Good looking car, ride quality to be improved

Faults:

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.

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th February, 2006

21st Jun 2006, 10:00

Brake failure, solved by discs and pads? One thing I had a problem with when I first bought my Punto Sporting, was the distance, or rather lack of it, between the brake and accelerator pedal - several time I managed to press both. I don't have big feet either. Very scary when it happened.

My Punto has always been dealer serviced (and fixed) and currently has covered 64,000 miles. I live in Germany, where the roads are excellent, no potholes where I live, but the winters are very harsh. My Sporting wears snow tyres for half the year and has been fine in temperatures down to - 16 C.

The baulk rings on 3rd and 4th gear wore after 18,000 miles and caused the syncromesh failure. Apart from that and many small faults, the cars drives really well still and I enjoy driving it. I would by another... but I know suffer from that Italian...erm...character.

15th Feb 2007, 10:32

I purchased a Punto Sporting in July last year, with only 26,000 miles. Within one month of taking delivery of the car it suffered with clutch judder when cold. I had a new clutch fitted and it was fine for about two days then the clutch judder came back. The clutch now judders not only when cold, but on a long journey unless its slipped a lot then it goes until it cools down.

The next problem was the drivers side door check strap which snapped without warning, no usual clicking or anything!

Then was the turn of the heater motor which squeaked continuously on position one.

After fixing this the wiper linkage broke forcing me to spend £91.00 on a genuine fiat part. For one piece of linkage I had to replace the entire motor!

Also the heated rear windows last two bars have stopped working, although the car is seven years old so could have been caught or damaged by someone in this time.

Next in the catalogue is a lazy hydraulic lifter which ticks when cold, but the engine is really quiet when warm.

Although I've had these problems I actually quite like the car, the seats are comfortable and the car is spacious with a good level of equipment (when it works). It also handles very well and has quite good performance considering it's only a 1.2.

I've read clutch judder is a common fault on these and I've been told its probably the flywheel that needs replacing.

Overall Fiat Punto's are OK so long as you don't wanna do any mileage in it and you have an endless supply of cash to throw at it!

2001 Fiat Punto ELX 1.2 16v from Malaysia

Summary:

I'm loving it!!!

Faults:

My steering motor start making rattling noise after 10k km. Replaced by dealer.

Battery run out fast (at 20k km)

Else is normal wear and tear.

General Comments:

For NA 1.2 range, the car is consider powerful.

The Speedgear Gearbox is superb, very fast changing and the automatic shift-up is good.

I really love this car and will recommend to others.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2005