2002 Fiat Punto Sporting 1.2 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


FIAT stands for Fix It Again Toni!


Gearbox started leaking oil within a week of taking delivery. Dealer diagnosed a driveshaft seal which was changed twice, but didn't fix the problem. Eventually they found rough edges on the casting itself. Gearbox had to be replaced, after a 9 week wait for the part.

Various electrical gremlins. Central locking only works 25% of the time, brake lights flicker on and off.

Plastics creak and groan inside the car.

Passenger seat tilt handle snapped off.

Indicator stalk ceased to function.

General Comments:

Zippy 1200 cc engine and novel 6 speed gearbox in a neat handling, funky looking little package.

Unfortunately the painful ownership experience caused by Fiat's antediluvian quality control standards and incompetent dealers, eliminates Fiat from any consideration whatsoever when I am next in the market for a car. Seems nothing has changed since the bad old days.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th June, 2003

9th Jan 2004, 08:08

Car owned: Fiat Punto 1.2 8v Active.

A well written review, which sums up so many of the problems I have encountered, including poor plastics, poor dealerships, and oil leaks.

The biggest bug-bear of my own car was the inability of the dealer to diagnose a clutch problem in the first 3 attempts (although finally solved with an entire new clutch)

My Drivers seat collapsed twice within the first 2 months, along with the nearside door card, both components were replaced, but I have since fitted a aftermarket eat as the new seat showed signs of the same problem!!

2002 Fiat Punto Sporting 1.2 16v from Malta


Italian sporty small car. Fun and moderately priced


In the showroom, both rear allow wheels were scratched at the circumference. Replaced prior to delivery.

After a few months, "metallic" noise was coming from the exhaust system when engine is cold. Noise was coming from flexible mesh just after the manifold.

Local dealer tries to rectify, but to no avail. Most of the exhaust system replaced under warranty- "metallic" noise starts again after a few days.

Rear bumper gets a burn, that is melts a bit due too bad workmanship from local dealer. Upon replacement of exhaust system, all the pipe work to the rear end of the car was misaligned. Exhaust fumes were directed at the lower part of the bumper, thus melting it. Shall be having the bumper replaced under warranty after arguments with local dealer.

General Comments:

The Sporting model is a leap ahead from the regular models, such as EL, in terms of refinement, performance, handling and looks.

For paying that little bit extra, one gets: 15" alloy wheels, side skirts, lip spoiler, front fog lights plus two extra colors to choose from that is yellow and sprint blue. The interior is highly up rated and one gets: leather sports steering wheel and gear knob, aluminum- colored central console, semi- bucket sports seats, sporty dials and a multitude of sporting extras.

I have got no stereo system as standard. No speakers not ever the roof antenna!

On the performance side, the 1.2 liter engine coupled with the six-speed transmission, gives the Sporting an acceleration of 0-100 km better than most petrol or diesel powered rivals. Top speed is just above 170 km/h. One driver alone in the car gets zesty performance, but with 2 passengers on board a lot of the agility is lost.

Handling is very good- sporty ride is very firm, but obviously ride is very stiff on our bumpy roads.

Fuel economy is moderately good: Driving the car mostly in the evenings for leisure purposes, I get 38 to 40 mpg. I don't use it to go to work though, which implies that if I did fuel economy would suffer.

I would highly recommend the Sporting to Italian- car lovers or young people, but I don't see it so practical for elder people or as a family- mover.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th April, 2003

9th Jan 2009, 14:06

After 6 years of ownership of this car, I must say that I am somewhat disappointed. This is due to the following mishaps:

- Metallic noise coming from engine ever since. Cause has never been traced. I've observed other Puntos with similar issue as well.

- Air con is dead after 2 years; (2004). This is due to a broken gas pipe of the A/C system.

- Faulty high tension leads lead to misfire after 4 years (2006). Replaced at my expense. Engine develops an ECU fault coupled with no acceleration at random times.

- 2007: The ECU fault results in a defective throttle body. Replaced at my expense. That same summer, the power steering motor fails as well. repaired as well.

- 2008: ECU reports another fault, coupled with engine misfire. Cause is still being traced by my mechanic. (Not a Fiat mechanic)

Overall the car is fun to drive and own but poor quality lets it down. By the way, total mileage after 6 years is just 27000 miles...