1990 Fiat Tipo DGT 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Brilliant car and fond memories

Faults:

Failed digital dashboard at 8,000 miles. Replaced under warranty.

Snapped cam belt at 80,000 miles resulting in one bent valve. Suspect that the main dealer didn't change it at the scheduled service.

Crank sensor failed at 100,000 miles.

Rear wiper stopped working at 120,000 miles.

Central locking failed at 150,000 miles. Disconnected as couldn't lock the car.

Rear window winder plastic cogs worn out at around 150,000 on both sides so can't raise the glass.

Starter motor failed at 180,000 miles.

Alternator failed at 200,000 miles.

Repeated cracked exhaust manifold and down-pipes.

Various clutches, exhaust parts, batteries and other semi-consumables have been replaced.

Lots of rust on rear sub-chassis. While the bodywork is largely intact, seventeen British winters has slowly corroded the underside.

General Comments:

I bought this car new in 1990. It was the first car I ever owned - company cars before that.

It has served us remarkably well for nearly eighteen years both as an only car and then latterly as a second. It has let us down only three times in over 216,000 miles.

New, the car was by far the best choice on the market at the time. The alternatives were the Astra, Escort, Renault 19, Rover 216. The only car even approaching its practicality and drive-ability was the Golf. But the Fiat was much more innovative.

I did most of the servicing on the car from when it was about four years old and used mobile mechanics for the trickier stuff.

The gearbox and engine are original and are in remarkably good nick for their age.

So it's sad that I'm taking the car to the breakers today. The rust underneath has eaten away at the rear sub-chassis and bodywork and, while repairable, it would cost far too much to put right.

To our beloved Tipo - thank you.

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

Review Date: 27th November, 2006

1990 Fiat Tipo DGT 1.6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

The Multi-Talented Bargain

Faults:

Clutch needed replacing at 114,000 kilometres.

Crank Angle Sensor failed at 110,000 kilometres.

The engine seems to have a flat spot between 2000 and 3000 revs. It appears to be a common problem.

General Comments:

The Tipo achieves great balance as a true all-rounder.

Handling is laugh-out-loud fun - you can punt it through corners with ease. Only typical front-wheel drive understeer will try and spoil the party, but it's under control at all times.

Weighing in at just 980 kilos, the Tipo is quick off the mark, and still feels good at speeds over 120 kilometres per hour.

But it's also an extremely practical car. Interior space rivals a 2.0 litre saloon. And while some may baulk at the digital dash, it's a very handy apparatus. You know the odometer hasn't been tampered with by some backyard grease-monkey, plus it impresses chicks in the dark! But enough on that...

The forecast outside is looking good too, with chiseled lines courtesy of Italy's IDEA Studio.

FIAT's torquey 1597cc four-cylinder loves a thrashing, but can be very economical too. Sounds great with a big ol' hole in the muffler.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th September, 2002

1990 Fiat Tipo Formula 1.4 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

It doesn't rust, but does need repairing frequently

Faults:

Gearbox and clutch were replaced shortly after purchase (87k) due to serious wear!

Leak somewhere caused water to collect in passenger foot-well.

Various oil leaks.

Annoying small items needed replacing frequently - hoses, clips, plastic bits that weren't moulded properly in the first place and fell off.

Needed to repair stitching on driver's seat at c. 100k miles.

Rear wiper needed to be removed when it seized and filled the interior of the car with black smoke.

Wheels never stayed tracked or aligned for long.

Alternator gave out at 110k.

And plenty of others minor things...

General Comments:

Didn't really let me down badly, but just didn't inspire much confidence.

Feels like it's made from fairly good materials (especially exterior) but bolted together by monkeys - take a panel off and see where bits and pieces have had to be sanded, re-threaded or otherwise jerry-rigged to make it fit something else.

Being one one of the first galvanised cars, it won't rust. (without dire provocation)

Supposed to have a really well designed chassis with good torsional rigidity.

Good visibility.

Chronically underpowered, with an annoying flat-spot under hard acceleration.

It likes to ROLLLLL! Get used to driving sedately.

Really enormous cabin (for those in front anyway). Could drive a bus between driver & passenger.

Still preferable to alternatives in price range - more expensive Astra may be faster, but is uncomfortable & is like an old tin can.

I was fond of it and liked many aspects of it... but was relieved to get rid of it.

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

Review Date: 20th August, 2002