1987 Fiat X1/9 VS 1.5 from UK and Ireland
A triumph of Italian design (though not rustproofing techniques...)
Not a lot really, which I found quite surprising. Mostly rust problems as you would expect.
Drivers door a little hard to close.
General fit of windows, panels, etc.
3rd gear synchromesh weak (have to double declutch, it's cheaper than a rebuild!)
Minor electrical faults, i.e. sidelights not working, speedo not working, etc.
If you are going to buy one of these, the danger areas are the front suspension struts (accessible from inside the front luggage compartment), rear suspension struts (inside the engine compartment), the doors (as they are expensive to replace) and the rear arches (can be patched up fairly cheaply).
The main thing is to get a car with as little rust as possible, the mechanicals are fairly cheap to replace but the bodywork will cost you dearly. For example, brake discs are £12 each, but a rear wing (secondhand) is £150+, doors £100+, so be careful.
If the synchromesh is faulty (crunches when engaging gears at speed), you'll need a new box or a rebuild - an unfitted second hand box is about £150 and a rebuild is about £400 so beware!
To drive, these are a lot of fun and certainly get you noticed!
They may not be a ball of fire, but you can make easy and cheap modifications such as a performance exhaust, engine breather, performance air filter, etc.
If you crave extra performance, you can fit an Uno turbo engine fairly easily, and others have gone further including at least one person who has fitted a 3.0 V6 Alfa engine!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th January, 2002