1989 Lancia Prisma Symbol 1.6 i.e. from UK and Ireland


Brilliant retro experience


Failed to start after stop on way home. Traced this to a common Fiat/Lancia problem of loose wire to starter motor.

Rattle from rear brake caliper. Solved by repositioning anti chatter spring from bottom to top of pads.

False error readings from check panel. Sorted by cleaning connections and wiring out signal from brake pad wear sensor.

Clutch very heavy with bite point too high. Replacement clutch has transformed the car.

General Comments:

Bought this on a bit of a whim back in the summer. Have used it as a daily driver ever since and absolutely love it. The Lampredi twin cam engine is a real delight and the comfort level is so much better than any modern car. The best £2000 I have spent on a car, and worth it just to enjoy for as long as it keeps going. Hopefully plenty of life left in it if I can keep the rust at bay.

The car is much better built than Lancia critics would allow, and is perfectly usable in modern traffic conditions. A real understated gem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2017

1989 Lancia Prisma 1.6 i.e. from Portugal


Just a beast!


Shock absorbers and exhaust changed at 160000Km.

Air conditioner doesn't work.

Power windows switches need to be replaced, but no more big problems...

General Comments:

This car is very powerful for an 80's 1.6 engine, top engine rpm's are very high, with 110 hp, this electronic injected engine has a devil soul. The gear box is very short, and that improves a great acceleration. Top speed with down inclination is 200 Km/h.

Another good aspect of this car is the comfort, good seats, good climatization (with air conditioner), soft controls, only power steering is missing.

Brakes have disks at the 4 wheels.

Suspension isn't original, shock absorbers were changed, so I can't have an opinion for the stock suspension, but the car is VERY stable and comfortable with Sachs absorbers.

Electronics are good, the dashboard has a computer with fuel consumption and exterior temperature meter, max speed reached record, with a check panel that includes various warning lights including low brake pads, low brakes oil level, low refrigerant, low engine oil level and pressure etc... The main meter console includes various lights; engine oil pressure meter, voltmeter, and the common meters...


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th January, 2010

1986 Lancia Prisma i.exe 1.6 i.e gasoline from Norway


Italian quality (do I have to say more??) Monday car and a lot of good nights thinking :)


Exhaust pipe had to be changed at 67000km.

Something wrong happened always.

The clutch had to be changed at 70000km.

If it was below 0 Celsius, the electronic windows didn't work.

The carburetors didn't work properly. It was double Webber carburetors.

There was always a red light on the control panel.

The rust killed the car.

The choke was in on summertime, but in winter time it didn't work.


The gear stick shifter disappeared right down the floor; caused by a mechanic fault and rust!!!

Very often overheating, caused by hole in the water heat expansion tank.

Leaking gasoline caused by rust between the welding made by Lancia.

Fan didn't work as it should, causing electronic fuse problems. I never found the cause of hundreds of fuses I had to change.

Windows just went down and disappeared, so I had to open the door panel, and I found out that the list for the windows was rusted away. I found the same lists in Fiat Chrome.

Electric windows switch was burned by over voltage.

Shock absorbers was broken back and rear. Never fixed that, causing too expensive parts.

General Comments:

1. You have a big wallet for these kinds of cars.

2. You have too many bad surprises with this kind of car.

3. I had a charming experience with this car; never knew what will go wrong next and when.

4. It had a lot of HP, 106!! For a 1.6. It was like an GTI.

5. The car was great at acceleration, but used a lot of gas. 1.2L-1.5/pr.Mile.

6. It had 5 gears, but the fifth was for speeds over 130...

7. It made a strange but still charming noise when the Rpm wasn't high.

8. The car is RARELY known.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th January, 2010

7th Jan 2010, 09:19

Just searched your car on Google. Not a bad looking motor really. Sounds like it could do with a major restore.

7th Jan 2010, 11:11

"Italian quality"

- That's no quality at all! And I'm surprised that you kept it for as long as you did.

7th Jan 2010, 17:24

I had a VW and a Jeep, and they had more problems that you mentioned... which car doesn't have problems, especially if they are not maintained...

7th Jan 2010, 17:42

I have one Prisma 1.6i.e. with 170000Km and it runs perfect without any rust... only the air conditioner doesn't work :)