I bought a Stilo as it isn't just another one of those 'run of the mill' type cars. My true opinion is that it is one of the most underrated cars out there!
I've now covered around 35,000 miles in my Stilo and I'm very happy with it.
The JTD Dynamic 3dr I own offers strong performance, excellent economy and great ride comfort and I enjoy driving a car which is still quite a rarity on UK roads. The 3dr model looks fantastic, although the bonnet tends to be susceptible to chips to the paintwork. Interior quality is a big step forward from previous Fiats I have owned although the plastics used on the doors are particularly cheap looking and some of the fit and finish is a bit shoddy. Equipment levels are excellent, however, and the car is spacious. My biggest gripe has been the lack of a footrest next to the clutch. There is no doubting this is a heavy car and could benefit from stiffer springs but it still handles well - much better than the new Renault Megane and Peugeot 307 I drove recently. My car was six months old when I bought it, therefore missing some of the heavy depreciation larger Fiats suffer from and during the past two years it has remained reliable apart from the dodgy on-board computer which can be a little erratic. My experience of Fiat dealerships has been varied. Servicing can be pricey and their customer service varies from very friendly to downright unhelpful. Some of their showrooms are also looking rather tired.
I bought a Fiat Stilo in 2002 and have had nothing but trouble, with the power steering failing 9 times on the first model. I then exchanged the car for a Dynamic model and have had 4 engine faults and numerous electrical failings. The car is roomy and a good drive when it works, but reliability is extremely poor and repair costs high. Never again - and this is from a longstanding Fiat customer.
This is my second Fiat, previously I owned a Brava.
The Stilo is a huge leap forward in terms of quality and certainly puts cars like the Ford Focus and Astra mkIV to shame.
I was fortunate enough to have the use of a Focus for 18 months and whilst it's a great car, in my opinion, it's is a far less superior product than the Stilo.
I would strongly advise potential Stilo buyers to choose the three-door car over the five-door car, as not only is its styling amongst the best of the cars in this class, it also has a much more taut chassis and suspension system.
Whereas, with the five-door Stilo it can at times feel a little softly sprung. Fiat deserves to be very successful with this small car and it still amazes me that sales have been so slow in the UK (although if you visit Germany you see surprising numbers on the autobahns, so the Germans obviously hold it in high regard).
But perhaps the most amazing thing about this car is the incredibly low price that Fiat sell this car for. It should even be possible to buy this car below the What Car? target price, with £8000 easily seeing you behind the wheel of a Stilo 1.4 with its excellent six-speed gear box.
On the downside, fuel economy is average (typically 41mpg-43mpg I get, although that's mostly round town).
Depreciation will be high (expect the car to be worth about £3000 in three years' time), although this has to be contrasted with the low initial asking price and the fact that similar priced Ko
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