We own a 2003 five-door Fiat Stilo 1.8-litre 16v in Dynamic trim.
The engine persistently stalls, which the garage has failed to fix on two attempts.
There was an untraceable system fault, and messages for ASR and ESP appear. The garage eventually appears to have solved this after numerous visits.
We have now receive a letter from Fiat stating the car is recalled for a defective steering column.
Are there any other subscribers to What Car? with the same problems?
The shape and form of the car is very good but the reliability, quality of working parts and warranty service is appaling.
We wish we had not bought it.
I've just bought this car and traded up from a Punto HGT.
The engine is superb - a five-cylinder engine, which sounds as nearly as good as a Alfa V6.
Someone once decribed this as a Poor man's GTA. While the handling is not as good, I think for £12,000 on the road with bigger tyres and metallic paint, this car is fantastic value for money. If I had £16,000, maybe would have a bought an Alfa.
The quality inside is far better than the old Punto and the ride is smoother, although it's not as 'chuckable' as the Punto.
Economically, it's not a lot worse than the HGT and, on the plus side, it has a biigger tank, so the range is better.
I can't fault it (yet) really. It has much more spirit than a Ford or Astra and is far more individual.
I bought this car recently, which at the time, was 18 months old and had covered 25,000 miles. I would certainly not recommend purchasing this as a new car.
Quite simply, the depreciation is savage and you can literally save thousands buying used. As for the car itself, I have very mixed feelings. I choose the 3 door dynamic model in the pearlescent sassi grey and it looks fantastic.
It's spacious, practical, safe, comfortable, well equipped and good value. Insurance costs are very reasonable and you can average 33mpg on the combined cycle if driven gently.
So what's my gripe? Unfortunately, the Stilo is nowhere near good enough to drive. The 1.8 engine is smooth and responsive but the handling is soggy and the steering is lifeless and unresponsive.
As far as reliability is concerned, I've had no major problems. However, the quality of the fit and finish are poor. The ashtray refuses to stay closed and the on-board computer has a glitch.
In conclusion, the Stilo is a fine looking car is great value used, but is nowhere near the class best to drive - the old shape Focus eclipses it.
I feel a bit like I have been left with the sizzle, rather than the steak!
I have owned this car for nearly three years and find it a bit of a head-turner to other drivers.
I have had a few faults but the three years' warranty covers it.
I have found it the most comfortable car to drive because the steering wheel and seat move into any position you need. It is quick off the mark and I added a few extras when I bought it, such as a 300 Watt stereo, leather interior, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
I have part-exchanged it and next week I pick up my new Fiat Stlio Michael Schumacher GP!
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