Had my '99 JTD105 Weekend for 6 months and 20k miles, now reads 120k. Added 15" Fiat coupe alloys and a £65 tuning chip. 0-60 8.8 secs, 0-100 24.5secs. It is quick, comfortable, reliable, has great neutral on the limit handling and decent steering feedback. Nice crisp turn-in. It looks excellent, has character, AND it gives 55mpg on a run, and 35 even if you're really pressing on (steady 100 mph for 3 hours through France). It runs very happily on a 50% mix of vegetable oil to diesel in winter, and 75% veg oil may to september. It uses no engine oil, and I mean none. It has a very good fold down tailgate where 2 can sit in comfort by a campfire. The interior could be brighter, but contrary to all the nonsense I've read, it's generally well made as seems the rest of the vehicle. The ride is a tad choppy unladen compared to a mondeo, but is pretty good with 4 people. An equvalent passat would be around £2.5k, but in my opinion this is the better vehicle, the JTD common rail being just as good and bulletproof as the 1.9 VW motor. The British public still think Fiats are unreliable fragile rot boxes. How wrong they are. These great cars go for about 1k on ebay, and are the best kept secret until now!
I bought this car when it was just turned 3 years old for £3850 with a years tax and guarantee, in late 2004 with 42000 miles on. I have thrashed it and trashed it to 88400, carrying heavy gear round the county. It has cost very little in servicing and has been almost completely reliable. It handles well, is comfortable and there is lots of room for kit in the back, though the piece of carpet covered hardboard over the spare wheel pit is in a thousand bits. On my experience, if you want a cheap, reliable workhorse, this is one to consider very carefully. It's a bargain.
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