I have owned this Abarth from new and am very pleased with it.
Some of the gadgets are practical for a woman driving on her own - as I do for 80% of the time.
It is also nippy and great fun to drive over long motorway journeys - maybe I've just been lucky with mine, but I think it's a great car!
This has got to be the best kept secret around. I've had this car for three years now (I bought it as an ex-demo with 2500 miles - it's now on 67,000). Not a thing has gone wrong with it. It's super-quick, smooth and the gearbox is very slick. It's very solid and a very comfy cruiser.
I keep reading how the Focus is meant to be the class leader and how the Golf is best on quality. Total rubbish - I've had a Focus (it lasted two months as I couldn't live with its cheap nastiness); I've also had a Golf TDi (fabulous, too, but the Fiat is just as good).
My Stilo is very well built and handles well, its boot is a decent size and the car has loads of kit.
Servicing can be a bit pricey, so shop around.
A real bugbear of mine with this car is the headlamps - should one blow, you're looking at £60 to replace it as it has to be done by a garage because they need to drop the bumper.
Other than that my wife and I love our car. It's sleek, sexy (especially after a wax-up). The dash is very well laid out and very solid, and everthing has that nice chuncky feel to it.
It's also fab at traffic lights, especially when Chavvy souped-up Corsas and Fiestas pull up next to you playing bad music and the lights turn green - floor the JTD and you leave them in a puff of diesel smoke.
This car is a wonderful second-hand bargain. I bought mine for £9000 and now it's only worth £3500 at best - a lot of car for the money. Also there aren't that many about. It a
just found my review from last july and im pleased to say i still think my stilo was an excellent buy, although i have had another problem which, thankfully, was simple to fix. i kept getting an error message saying 'loose connection' after i had started the car and the electric steering wouldnt work which was very worrying, especially for my wife, who started to distrust the car. but a quick check of the battery found it was on the way out. i bought a new battery and i havent had a problem since. the car has a solid, chunky feel to it which is satisfying. reviewers keep saying stilos arent as well made as others in its class but mine feels as tough as old boots. it may only have done 30,000mls but i have no doubt it will do a huge mileage with ease. incidentally, reviewers always say how well made vw golfs are but a friend bought a brand new golf tdi which had to go back to the dealer after less than a year because it was letting in water. my stilo is completely watertight. and thats after being left out in particularly wet welsh winters. all i can say is dont believe the reviews, there are good and bad examples of all cars. this is easily the best car ive owned, just two easy-to-fix problems in three years.
I can now submit a better review of this car, the other review submitted was due to faults from the garage where I purchased the car.
My car went into my dealer on Thursday Evening for the gearbox problem to be looked at. They looked under the bonnet and found that the gearstick linkage had been snapped and needed replacing. They said that it was probably done when my car was in at a garage the week before and they had knocked it loose, and wear and tear after that had snapped it.
Good points about the Stilo: it has excellent performance (although it's slightly slow up to about 30mph until the turbo kicks in), it's very quiet and calm on the motorway and it has comfortable seats with excellent lower back support.
I have also done 300 miles on half a tank of fuel, the car has a decent sound system, I love the way the car looks with the Abarth bodykit and 17-inch wheels, and the skyroof is an excellent feature (a practical convertible).
One thing that I really love about my car, though, is the power. When I have silly chavved up Corsas and Saxos up my rear trying to overtake, it's nice to put my foot down and leave them in a cloud of dust (and black smoke). The insurance is also an affordable group 5 as I am only 18, which is nice.
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