1986 Fiat X1/9 Reviews

1986 Fiat X1/9 Bertone 1.5 from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired82000 miles
Most recent distance86000 miles

Summary:

The true joy of driving for the non-show-off

Faults:

Leather seats have split due to dryness.

Paint clear coat is de-laminating from age.

Normal wear for a twenty year old car.

Mostly just good service and fun driving.

Interior plastics appear cheap, but have held up perfectly. Similar to German plastics of the day.

German Bosch electronics and fuel injection on the later cars were a true gift from above for reliability. Many parts in common with a VW Rabbit/Golf.

General Comments:

This is a car that's way ahead of it's time.

Efficiency is top priority. Aerodynamic, light, quick while maintaining fantastic fuel economy, nimble, simple and bulletproof with minimal service.

Plenty of room for two, but you have to be limber to fit.

A true driver's car, it is designed for real life on a real person's salary. Not a Ferrari, but better because you can really drive it everyday and laugh all the way to the bank.

Parts are plentiful and cheap, and service is simple.

This is a car that is a permanent addition to my collection, right next to my 65 Mustang Fastback, and Porsche Boxster. It's a true sportscar that emulates the great mid-engine Italian super cars, EXCEPT that it's reliable, easy to maintain, cheap to insure, and general fun to own for daily driving.

My only regret is that FIAT no longer imports to USA. If this car were available new, I would own one.

Those that complain about power output deficiency should take solice in the nearly 40 mpg fuel economy on a well maintained car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2007

24th Sep 2007, 21:05

I-agree, except-that-it-is-a-Ferrari, a-baby-Ferrari!

1986 Fiat X1/9 Bertone 1.3 from North America

Year of manufacture1986
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.3 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance90001 miles
Previous carNissan 720 Pickup

Summary:

I miss the ones I had and want another

Faults:

Coolant transfer tubes rotten out. This wouldn't be so bad, but the floor ahd to be cut to facilitate replacement tubes. When they rotten out, it didn't take long for the engine damage to occur.

There was only one cooling fan on some models. I fixed this by going the local boneyard and getting another fan. Fiat did provide wires and mounts, so this was an easy fix.

As with all X's, rust is an issue, but on my 4th X. I figured out to strip the body of all paint, repair what needed and the I used cold galvanizing compound, primed and paint. Problem solved.

The electrical system is weak, particularly, the ground points. Keep them clean and there will be no problems.

As with all point type vehicles, there was always a need to adjust, clean, etc.

Parts availabity. Items like hoses, belts, points, brakes... not a problem. But, brake hoses and other oddities like that have to be custom made.

I entered the 90000 miles as I have had seven of these forgotten gems and I couldn't even guess the mileage, coming or going.

General Comments:

Overall, I would say this the best bang for buck sports car.

Handling is outrageous. Even roller-coaters are no match for this little car. Turn the steering wheel, and the car is right there responding to your every input. This comes from a very simple rack and pinion steering system. It has very few moving aprts and those that do move, you can depend on.

Once you got a few bugs worked out, you will not find a more reliable car that is so much fun to drive. The car is old, yes, but the design is very modern. The first car to try duplicating the X is Pontiac's Fiero. This was a P.O.S. right from the start and destined to fail. The Toyota came out with the MR2. A very good good, but still it is not an "X".

Many parts are available for the X to boost performance. The car needs a bit of a boost, but otherwise, is a GREAT car.

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

Review Date: 22nd June, 2006

1986 Fiat X1/9 from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1989
Most recent year of ownership1993
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired20000 miles
Most recent distance60000 miles
Previous carDatsun 280Z

Summary:

Reliable and fun, fun, fun

Faults:

Valve cover gasket leaked.

Slave cylinder for the clutch leaked.

RUST. This is endemic to Fiats.

Otherwise no other problems during the four years I owned the car.

General Comments:

The car was marketed by Fiat under the "Bertone" name. I think Fiat unjustly had a reputation for poor reliability in U.S. During the four years I had the car the total repairs came to under a couple hundred bucks. Very reliable! Never left me stranded.

I loved this car and still miss it. Seating was actually quite comfortable (I'm 6'). Handling was wonderful and while not super powerful, the engine was quite willing. And of course, the targa top comes off quite easily and stows in the front trunk. I would choose this setup any day over a convertible--much more secure.

The X 1/9 was a cool car. Too bad Fiat let it die.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th March, 2004

1986 Fiat X1/9 1.5 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance102000 miles
Previous carFiat X1/9

Summary:

Overall a great looking car, great to drive (particularly with the targa roof off) let down by infer

Faults:

Electrics are poor - particular problems with the headlights and headlight motors, the column switch burning out.

Brakes seize regularly.

Rust - particularly to the front of the car.

General Comments:

Poor electrics, brakes and bodywork are more than compensated for by great handling and a comfortable ride.

Performance is not great, but feels superior because of the low driving position.

Cornering is fantastic and predictable at all speeds.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2001

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 4 reviews